Archive for September, 2010


Wednesday, September 29th, 2010

Tallest man vs Shortest man by kire on flickr

  • What is variation?
  • Why is it beneficial for organisms in the same species to show variation?
  • What is the difference between continuous and discontinuous variation?

These are a few of the questions we’ll be answering in this next section of work.  You are going to collect data, and lots of it, to compare one continuous and one discontinuous type of variation.  Choose your variables carefully, design suitable results tables, collect as much data as you can – the more the better – and then collate it, and draw graphs of your results.  Choose an appropriate type of graph for each variable.  Here is the detailed outline for you to use Continuous and Discontinuous Variation

Use this rubric to check your work before submitting it. FINALRubric DCP

How is heat transferred?

Friday, September 24th, 2010

Thermal fluid dynamics by Pro-Zak on flickr

This week we’ll be learning about the 3 different processes of heat transfer: CONDUCTION, CONVECTION and RADIATION.  To help us, we’ll be talking soccer and basketball – watch this space!

Here is a brainpop video to watch.  Some questions to think about while watching:

  • Can you explain which contains more heat: a glacier or a lightning bolt? 
  • Can you explain why food cooks faster with glassware than metalware?
  • Can you explain how curtains keep a room warmer at night?
  • Can you explain how winter hats, jackets and blankets keep us warm?
  • Can you explain the picture in this post?

The powerpoint used in class is here: Topic 03 – Thermal Physics  The text is a little advanced for G9, but the images are good.

And if you’re feeling really clever, perhaps you can make a rap like this one to explain heat transfer!

To find out whether you’ve really understood the applications of heat transfer, you will be given a challenge.  See the attachment to read more 🙂  Have fun! Heat Transfer Patent activity and rubric

And here is a link to the Integrated Science blog which gives you some more resources.

Chemical elements and water

Wednesday, September 22nd, 2010

the world of water by Snap(R) on flickr

Here is the syllabus outline for Topic 3, and also Topics 7 and 8 since they are extensions of Topic 3.  Topic 3,7,8 – syllabus outline

The first section has to do with chemical elements and water.

  • What are the most frequently occurring chemical elements in living things? 
  • Why are calcium, sulfur, phosphorus, sodium and iron needed by plants, animals or prokaryotes?
  • What does a water molecule look like?
  • What are the thermal, cohesive and solvent properties of water?
  • How do these properties relate to water’s use in living organisms as a coolant, medium for metabolic reactions and transport medium?

Try this webquest (thanks Mr Hobbins) to help you cover these points: Water Web quest

This presentation might help, and so might this answer scheme!  Water Web quest MScheme

ToK link:  Some people have claimed that water has memory.  Others say this is pseudoscience.  Do some reading and make up your own minds!

Vaccinations and immunity

Wednesday, September 22nd, 2010

influenza vaccination by AJC1 on flickr

Here are some questions we’ll tackle this week:

  • What is the difference between active and passive immunity?
  • What is the difference between natural and artificial immunity?
  • How do vaccinations work?
  • What are the advantages and disadvantages of vaccinations?

Now is the time to delve into one particular disease.  You should choose ONE PATHOGENIC disease to investigate.  You will need to research the causes, effects and treatments of this disease and prepare a short presentation (3-5 mins) for the class.  You will need to include statistics that are current, relevant and from reliable sources.  Here is the instruction sheet for this activity: Presentation of disease and here is the rubric: Pathogen presentation rubric

And here is an example of a very creative piece of work: [youtube][/youtube]

Growing bacteria

Monday, September 20th, 2010

bacteria plate from surface washed with Lysol by xtinabot on flickr

Which surface do you think would contain the most bacteria?  Do you think there will be different kinds of bacteria from the various places tested? 

We’ll do this lab: Growing bacteria lab  which will lead us on to a discussion about the body’s second and third lines of defence, namely phagocytes and antibodies.

Both phagocytes and antibodies are found in the blood.  Phagocytes are non-specific.  This means they engulf any kind of foreign bacteria that enters the body.  Antibodies are specific.  They only work against one particular disease. 

Here is a very simple video showing phagocytosis.  A white blood cell is chasing a bacterium and trying to engulf it.

We’ll use this very good presentation by Mr S Taylor in Bandung, Indonesia to help us understand the concepts.


Friday, September 17th, 2010

lily mitosis by kat m research on flickr

Here are  some of the questions we’ll be answering in this section:

What is the cell cycle?

What happens in each of the four stages of mitosis?

Why can’t eukaryotes just divide by binary fission like prokaryotes do? Watch this great video.

What does mitosis have to do with cancer?

Again, we’ll use this presentation (thanks to Mr Taylor in Indonesia).  We will also do an online simulation of a lab that allows us to identify the various stages of mitosis in onion root tip cells.

How is our immune system like a castle?

Monday, September 13th, 2010

Bodiam castle by PhillipC on flickr

Which part of our immune system represents the castle walls?  The small openings or windows?  The moat? The archers in case people get in? 

We’ll begin by talking about our first line of defence – the skin and mucous membranes.  We’ll take a look at their structure and explain how they work to prevent pathogens from entering the body.

These video clips are excellent in explaining how our skin has evolved. Evolve 1Evolve 2.  Evolve 3.

Specific heat capacity

Monday, September 13th, 2010

Flames 4 ghost of fire by Edson Martins on flickr

You could probably tell me what each of the words in the title to this post mean individually, but what does “specific heat capacity” mean when we put them all together?  Here’s a presentation we will use to find out a bit more about it.  Thanks to Mr Hobbins for producing it.   Specific-Heat-Capacity

Here is the handout with tons of practice questions: Specific-heat-Capacity-questions

We’ll come to an understanding of how heat (a form of energy) is different from temperature

And we’ll do a lab where we compare different types of fuel to find out which is most efficient.  Comparison of fuels lab

Energy homework

Tuesday, September 7th, 2010

Since I wouldn’t want you to be bored over the long 4 day weekend, here’s some homework to keep you busy…

I’d like you to watch some brainpop videos.  In particular: Forms of energyPotential energyKinetic energy

These videos are short, simple and a good review of what you already know on types of energy.  If you’re feeling really keen you can have a go at the quiz and activities at the end of each one too.

Membrane structure

Friday, September 3rd, 2010

Lipid bilayer of the cell membrane - model by wellcome images

We’ll use this presentation in class.  You’ll need to be able to:

  • Draw and label a diagram to show the fluid mosaic model of membrane structure.
  • Explain the terms hydrophobic and hydrophilic, and how these properties help to maintain membrane structure.
  • List the many functions of membrane proteins.

And for a good idea of where this is taking us, here’s a short video.