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Thomas, Robert A.; Thomas, Aimée K. – American Biology Teacher, 2015
We present a new use for a poorly preserved turtle specimen that teachers can easily use in demonstrating vertebrate anatomy or adaptive herpetology at the high school or college level. We give special attention to illustrating the sigmoid flexure of the neck as certain turtles withdraw their heads. This ability is anatomically and biologically…
Descriptors: Preservation, Anatomy, Demonstrations (Educational), Animals
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Bouwma-Gearhart, Jana; Bouwma, Andrew – American Biology Teacher, 2015
The "Next Generation Science Standards" (NGSS Lead States, 2013) recommend that science courses engage communities of students in scientific practices that include building accurate conceptual models of phenomena central to the understanding of scientific disciplines. We offer a set of activities, implemented successfully at both the…
Descriptors: Scientific Concepts, Scientific Literacy, Scientific Principles, Science Activities
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Zeeh, Ann; Quell, Andrew – American Biology Teacher, 2015
Teachers are being challenged to engage students in ways that will elevate student interest and understanding of concepts in science and encourage students to gather evidence to support what we know about science. It is critical for teachers to have budget-friendly, supporting activities that are aligned with current educational standards, that…
Descriptors: Science Instruction, Scientific Concepts, Student Interests, Science Activities
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Briju, Betsy J.; Wyatt, Sarah E. – American Biology Teacher, 2015
Instructors often present Mendelian genetics and molecular biology separately. As a result, students often fail to connect the two topics in a tangible manner. We have adopted a simple experiment to help link these two important topics in a basic biology course, using red and white onions bought from a local grocery store. A lack of red coloration…
Descriptors: Genetics, Molecular Biology, Science Laboratories, Science Experiments
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Hopkins, Robert, II; Alberts, Halley – American Biology Teacher, 2015
This activity is designed as a primer to teaching population dispersion analysis. The aim is to help improve students' spatial thinking and their understanding of how spatial statistic equations work. Students use simulated data to develop their own statistic and apply that equation to experimental behavioral data for Gambusia affinis (western…
Descriptors: Science Instruction, Spatial Ability, Thinking Skills, Equations (Mathematics)
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Davenport, K. D.; Milks, Kirstin Jane; Van Tassell, Rebecca – American Biology Teacher, 2015
Analyzing evolutionary relationships requires that students have a thorough understanding of evidence and of how scientists use evidence to develop these relationships. In this lesson sequence, students work in groups to process many different lines of evidence of evolutionary relationships between ungulates, then construct a scientific argument…
Descriptors: Science Instruction, Evaluation, Misconceptions, Scientific Concepts
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Kelley, Amanda L.; Hanson, Paul R.; Kelley, Stephanie A. – American Biology Teacher, 2015
Ocean acidification, a product of CO[subscript 2] absorption by the world's oceans, is largely driven by the anthropogenic combustion of fossil fuels and has already lowered the pH of marine ecosystems. Organisms with calcium carbonate shells and skeletons are especially susceptible to increasing environmental acidity due to reduction in the…
Descriptors: Science Instruction, Climate, Oceanography, Animals
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Parker, Joyce M.; de los Santos, Elizabeth X.; Anderson, Charles W. – American Biology Teacher, 2015
Our society is currently having serious debates about sources of energy and global climate change. But do students (and the public) have the requisite knowledge to engage these issues as informed citizenry? The learning-progression research summarized here indicates that only 10% of high school students typically have a level of understanding…
Descriptors: Science Instruction, Climate, High School Students, Secondary School Science
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Gonda, Rebecca L.; DeHart, Kyle; Ashman, Tia-Lynn; Legg, Alison Slinskey – American Biology Teacher, 2015
Achieving a deep understanding of the many topics covered in middle school biology classes is difficult for many students. One way to help students learn these topics is through scenario-based learning, which enhances students' performance. The scenario-based problem-solving module presented here, "The Strawberry Caper," not only…
Descriptors: Science Instruction, Middle School Students, Secondary School Science, Vignettes
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Korb, Michele; Colton, Shannon; Vogt, Gina – American Biology Teacher, 2015
Students often find it challenging to create images of complex, abstract biological processes. Using modified storyboards, which contain predrawn images, students can visualize the process and anchor ideas from activities, labs, and lectures. Storyboards are useful in assessing students' understanding of content in larger contexts. They enable…
Descriptors: Production Techniques, Story Telling, Visual Aids, Teaching Methods
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Valauri-Orton, Alexis; Bernd, Karen K. – American Biology Teacher, 2015
For many middle school students, connections between their lives and concepts like chemical reactivity, microbial contamination, and experimental sampling are not obvious. They may also feel that, even if there were connections, understanding the monitoring and quality of natural resources is something for grown-ups and beyond their…
Descriptors: Middle School Students, Secondary School Science, Microbiology, Chemistry
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Countryman, Lyn L.; Maroo, Jill D. – American Biology Teacher, 2015
Considerable anecdotal evidence indicates that some of the most difficult concepts that both high school and undergraduate elementary-education students struggle with are those surrounding evolutionary principles, especially speciation. It's no wonder that entry-level biology students are confused, when biologists have multiple definitions of…
Descriptors: Secondary School Science, College Science, Evolution, Scientific Principles
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Pecor, Keith W.; Lake, Ellen C.; Wund, Matthew A. – American Biology Teacher, 2015
Optimal foraging theory attempts to explain the foraging patterns observed in animals, including their choice of particular food items and foraging locations. We describe three experiments designed to test hypotheses about food choice and foraging habitat preference using bird feeders. These experiments can be used alone or in combination and can…
Descriptors: Animals, Food, Ecology, Science Experiments
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McCabe, Declan J. – American Biology Teacher, 2014
This exercise demonstrates the principle of parsimony in constructing cladograms. Although it is designed using mammalian cranial characters, the activity could be adapted for characters from any group of organisms. Students score categorical traits on skulls and record the data in a spreadsheet. Using the Mesquite software package, students…
Descriptors: Science Activities, Science Laboratories, Biology, Evolution
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Hicks, Melissa A.; Cline, Rebecca J.; Trepanier, Angela M. – American Biology Teacher, 2014
An understanding of how genomics information, including information about risk for common, multifactorial disease, can be used to promote personal health (personalized medicine) is becoming increasingly important for the American public. We undertook a quantitative content analysis of commonly used high school textbooks to assess how frequently…
Descriptors: Molecular Biology, Genetics, Science Instruction, Textbooks
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