Life Sciences

What is sound?

Author: 
Sharon Kessler, ASU Fellow; & Trina Howard, Teacher, Lowell Elementary School
Grade Level: 
5th - 6th (but this lesson would also work well for 7th-12th)
Standards
National Science Education Standards: 
Abilities to do scientific inquiry; Understandings about scientific inquiry; Structure and function in living systems; Regulation and behavior; Diversity and adaptations of organisms.
Arizona State Science Education Standards: 
FIFTH GRADE: STRAND 1 – Inquiry Process Concepts 1-4: Students will engage in the scientific inquiry process by forming and testing a hypothesis, analyzing their data, drawing conclusions, and communicating their results. STRAND 2 – History and Nature of Science Concept 2: Students will experience how technology can facilitate the creation of novel inquiries and data. Students will collaborate with class members while recording and measuring sounds. STRAND 3 – Science in Personal and Social Perspectives Concept 2: Students will use technology (computers, sound analysis software) to conduct their analyses and see the close relationship between scientific knowledge and technological capabilities. STRAND 4 – Life Science: Students will examine the relationship between structure and function in the vocal apparatus of animals, including how the structure of the respiratory system and vocal cords facilitate vibrations which produce sound. STRAND 5 – Physical Science Concept 2: Students will understand the relationship of force and motion as it pertains to the production of sound waves and the propagation of sound waves through various media including air, water, and solids (wood). SIXTH GRADE: STRAND 1 – Inquiry Process Concepts 1-4: Students will engage in the scientific inquiry process by forming and testing a hypothesis, analyzing their data, drawing conclusions, and communicating their results. STRAND 2 – History and Nature of Science Concepts 1-2: Students will experience how technological advances (sound analysis) can make new scientific questions possible. Students will gain skills in observing, questioning, communicating, comparing, measuring, classifying, predicting, organizing data, inferring, generating hypotheses, and identifying variables. STRAND 4 – Life Science: Students will explain how the vocal apparatus and respiratory systems work together to facilitate sound production. Students will be introduced to a variety of ways that different animals make sounds. They will research and compare several animals leading to insights about the animals’ anatomy, habitats, diets, etc. STRAND 5 – Physical Science Concept 3: Students will learn how sound energy propagates through various media (air, water, solids) in waves.
overview: 
Students will learn about how vibrations produce sound, and then they will apply that knowledge to our own vocal tract as they measure their own voices, measure the calls of several other animals, and generate and test hypotheses about sounds across species.

Comparative Anatomy Scavenger Hunt

Author: 
Sharon Kessler, ASU Fellow; & Trina Howard, Teacher, Lowell Elementary School
Grade Level: 
5th - 6th (but this lesson would also work well for 7th-12th)
Standards
National Science Education Standards: 
Abilities necessary to do scientific inquiry; Understandings about scientific inquiry; Structure and function in living systems.
Arizona State Science Education Standards: 
FIFTH GRADE: Strand 4: Life Science: Concept 1: Structure and Function in living systems: Students will explore and observe the internal anatomy of the nervous, muscular, skeletal, digestive, circulatory, and excretory systems. SIXTH GRADE: Strand 4: Life Science: Concept 1: Students will learn to relate different anatomical structures across animals to their respective functions and they will learn how the various anatomical systems work together to perform functions vital to a living organism.
overview: 
Students will research their animals and their habitats, dissect the animals, and consider how the anatomy of each is adapted to its environment. They will observe vertebrate internal anatomy and compare the fish, bird, rat, snake, and frog. They will consider how the similarities and differences they observe provide evidence for evolution.
keywords: 
Evolution, Adaptation, Dissection, Comparative Anatomy

Graphing Genes and Proteins: A real dataset

Author: 
Wandaliz Torres‐Garcia, Arizona State University, Fellow; Joseph Corbett – Parkridge Elementary School, Teacher
Grade Level: 
9th‐12th grade (lowered to 8th grade)
Standards
National Science Education Standards: 
Grades 8-12 •Abilities necessary to do scientific inquiry •Understanding about scientific inquiry •Science as a human endeavor •Structure and function of living systems •Regulation and behavior
Arizona State Science Education Standards: 
S1: Inquiry Process; Concept 1: Observations, Questions, and Hypotheses; PO1 S1: Inquiry Process; Concept 3: Analysis and Conclusions; PO1, PO2, PO3 S1: Inquiry Process; Concept 4: Communication; PO1, PO2, PO3 S2: History and Nature of Science; Concept 2: Nature of Scientific Knowledge; PO1.
overview: 
The students will experience working with a dataset currently used for research. This lesson focuses on tables and graphs its main components and how to build a scientific scatter plot in Microsoft Excel. Also, this activity aims to have group discussion on how to “read” results from graphs and to relate them to its source.
keywords: 
genes, proteins, DNA, data tables, graphs, relationship

Wow it is Hot! Exploring Water Conservation among

Author: 
Melissa Kruse (ASU GK-12 Fellow) & Ms. Kate Butorac (Centennial High School, Peoria Unified School District)
Grade Level: 
10, but appropriate for younger students 7-8
Standards
National Science Education Standards: 
Content Standards: 5 – 8 Content Standard A Abilities necessary to do scientific inquiry; understandings about scientific inquiry Content Standard C Structure and function in living systems; regulation and behavior
Arizona State Science Education Standards: 
Eighth Grade Strand 1: Inquiry Process Concept 1: Observations, Questions, and Hypotheses PO 3. Generate a hypothesis that can be tested. Concept 2: Scientific Testing (Investigating and Modeling) PO 5. Keep a record of observations, notes, sketches, questions, and ideas using tools such as written and/or computer logs. Concept 3: Analysis and Conclusions PO 1. Analyze data obtained in a scientific investigation to identify trends. PO 2. Form a logical argument about a correlation between variables or sequence of events. PO 5. Explain how evidence supports the validity and reliability of a conclusion. Concept 4: Communication PO 1. Communicate the results of an investigation. PO 3. Present analyses and conclusions in clear, concise formats. PO 4. Write clear, step-by-step instructions for conducting investigations or operating equipment (without the use of personal pronouns). PO 5. Communicate the results and conclusion of the investigation. Strand 4: Life Science Concept 1: Structure and Function in Living Systems PO 6. Relate structures of living organisms to their functions. Concept 3: Populations of Organisms in an Ecosystem PO 2. Explain how organisms obtain and use resource to develop and thrive
overview: 
This lesson is intended to introduce students to desert ecosystems and how organisms conserve water through an inquiry approach. In the lesson, students will observe a model situation and make inferences about real organisms and their ability to conserve water in a dry environment. Students will develop hypotheses and interpret the results of their observations. Students will measure using a balance, record data, and communicate ideas in a written and oral format. Although this lesson was designed to be implemented during an ecology unit it is also well suited to talk about other concepts such as adaptation, natural selection, and global climate change.
keywords: 
desert, ecosystem, habitat, water conservation, adaptation, inquiry

Human Characteristics Lab – How similar are we?

Author: 
Celena LeClair- 2008-2009 Graduate teaching fellow; Trina Howard – Lowell Elementary School
Grade Level: 
5-6
Standards
National Science Education Standards: 
Grades 5-8: Content Standard C: Life Science - Reproduction and Heredity A new individual receives genetic information from its mother and its father. Hereditary information is contained in genes. An inherited trait of an individual can be determined by one or by many genes. Some traits are inherited and others result from interactions with the environment.
Arizona State Science Education Standards: 
Science Standards (Grade 6): Strand 1: Inquiry Process Concept 1: Observations, Questions, and Hypotheses PO 1. Differentiate among a question, hypothesis, and prediction. PO 2. Formulate questions based on observations that lead to the development of a hypothesis. Strand 3: Science in Personal and Social Perspectives Concept 2: Science and Technology in Society PO 1. Propose viable methods of responding to an identified need or problem. PO 2. Compare possible solutions to best address an identified need or problem PO 3. Design and construct a solution to an identified need or problem using simple classroom materials Strand 4: Life Science Concept 2: Molecular Basis of Heredity: Understanding the molecular basis of heredity and resulting genetic diversity PO 1. Analyze the relationships among nucleic acids (DNA, RNA), genes, and chromosomes. PO 3. Explain how genotypic variation occurs and results in phenotypic diversity.
overview: 
During this lesson students are introduced to the idea that although we are very similar to one another, we are also very different. Students will be able to understand that our differences reflect a direct interaction between both genetic and environmental factors. In addition, students should also begin to understand that molecular differences (variation in DNA) help explain our phenotypic differences.
keywords: 
traits, inheritance, co-vary, correlation, genetic variation

Classification Station

Author: 
Elisabeth V. Culley (ASU Graduate Student) & Ms. Shannon Harshman (Deer Valley Unified School District)
Grade Level: 
8th Grade
Standards
National Science Education Standards: 
Science as Inquiry, Life Science
Arizona State Science Education Standards: 
Strand 1: Inquiry Process Concept 1: Observations, questions, and hypotheses Objectives: Develop questions based on observations that lead to hypothesis formation Concept 3: Analysis and conclusions Objectives: analyze data that show a variety of possible relationships to identify trends; form a logical argument about relationships between variables; explain how evidence supports the validity and reliability of conclusions; plan new investigations based on known data Strand 4: Life Sciences Concept 4: Diversity, adaptation, and behavior Objectives: determine characteristics of organisms that could change through time; describe traits that allow organisms to survive and reproduce
overview: 
Classification Station was developed as part of the National Science Foundation’s GK-12 Down to Earth Science Program at Arizona State University. The lesson strives to increase science literacy in the 8th grade by using actual research problems to teach age-appropriate concepts and inquiry methods. Classification Station presents students with a collection of living organisms which they must organize as the basis of a classification system that identifies relationships among known species and that helps categorize newly discovered ones. Students develop and apply their pre-existing knowledge about variation, adaptation, and evolution while learning new analytical procedures. Classification Station is a “performance of understanding” for Strands One and Four of the Arizona Science and Technology Standard and underscores the relevance of scholastic content in contemporary scientific research.
keywords: 
inquiry, life science, variation, adaptation, evolution, classification, taxonomy

Influenza Inquiry Lab

Author: 
Joanna Malukiewicz
Grade Level: 
9-12
Standards
National Science Education Standards: 
Science in Personal and Social Perspectives
Arizona State Science Education Standards: 
Strand 1-Inquiry Concept 1; Strand 4- Life Sciences Content Standard F-Personal and community health
overview: 
This activity allows students to explore and study realistic scientific data based on seasonal influenza activity. Students come to understand the occurrence of epidemics, vaccine design, and the surveillance of infectious diseases. Additionally, students develop skills in data interpretation and analysis, model design, and basic statistics. This lesson can also be used or modified to introduce other topics such as public health, pathogens, and host-parasite interactions.
keywords: 
Epidemic, Influenza, Virus, Epidemiology, Infectious Disease
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