BLOG: Biology & Earth Systems (BES)

for Sophomores/Freshmen
enrolled in BES 7th Period


aka...What Happened In BES Today 

Registration Info: There is a Virtual Course Catalog for the science department, complete with power point presentations made by every elective teacher, in order to provide you with the opportunity to make an INFORMED decision.  BE SMART... USE IT.  Here's the link...


FIRST SEMESTER: Where did you come from?
SECOND SEMESTER: Where are you going?

March 16-March 26
We are using these days to work our way through a series of (carbon) labs...looking at the many ways carbon, in its many forms, moves through our lives.  In addition, students need to ALSO complete a 4-page worksheet "packet", answering questions from the CH 11 textbook (available online!!).  So put on your "Self-Directed Learner cap" and dive in!! 

If you are absent for any of these days (or simply want to make sure you're getting everything you need for a stellar notebook check), you can "do" all 8 Labs ONLINE!!!!!  Just pop on over to he DOCs: BES page, download the proper file (are you doing the IN-CLASS version or FROM-THE-TEXTBOOK version?), and RUN the program. NOTE: these ppts do NOT work on Chromebooks nor can you use your MUST RUN the actual power point.  If you're doing this at home but your family doesn't have a MicroSoft Office suite, you know, you can just Google "FREE POWER PT VIEWER" and that should take care of business!

March 14
After reflecting on the 2 Engage activities (and watching a brief ppt RE: Pamakulle), students began their "Carbon Labs" by watching me demo Lab #1. Over the next couple weeks, students need to be self-directed, accomplishing TWO tasks; 1) a 4-page worksheet/packet and 2) doing/recording (in notebooks) Labs #2-#8.  If a student is absent (or feels they need reinforcement of the concepts), the labs can be "done" (it's called "dry lab") running the ppt I made. It can be found under DOCs: BES.

Here's the results from Engage 1 & 2 (if you missed either one)...

March 12
After some practice at balancing equations, students did the ENGAGE 2 Lab (p548-549) using dry ice & BTB (notebook).

March 8
After finishing the chemistry review (notes) everyone participated in the ENGAGE Part 1...shaking the carbon out of seltzer water and watching the pH climb.  p546 in the textbook was pretty-much transferred to the notebook.

March 6
We spent the day going over some basic concepts in chemistry (subatomic structure, conservation of mass, states of matter, chemical equations, etc) then folks recorded the color schemes for UI and BTB indicators...all in their notebooks.

March 2
NOTEBOOKS DUE TODAY...CH 9.  For 40 pts you needed;
--a page of notes, reflections, opinions on each of 6 genetic engineering topics
--tagged, describe a certain graph
--answers to the GATTACA questions (pros & cons, fav scene & why, etc)

After a prequiz (and an article on CRISP technology), students wrote down the CH 11 MCs and taped a diagram in their notebooks. We then did some popcorn reading to introduce the chapter and students took introductory notes on CHEMISTRY.

Feb 28
We finished the movie...then watched a few of the Special Features and discussed the various aspects.  As far as your notebook is concerned, on a blank page (following the Euguenics notes), title it The World of GATTACA and include responses to the following;

--a T-chart with the PROs and CONs of living in the "world of GATTACA" (no genetic privacy, designer babies, genoism, IVF and PGD are the norm, everyone has a G.Q.)...list THREE of EACH
--your opinion of the film
--your fav scene...describe it and explain WHY it was your fav

Feb 26
To wrap up our Genetic Engineering unit students started watching the classic



Feb 15
After wrapping up the final bioethical topic (EUGENICS) students were given a cursory run-through of their options for next year...specifically, "what science courses are available to earn that third, and final, science credit (for graduation)?"  Registration will commence after mid-winter break so we were being proactive in order to have a little time to consider the options. IMPORTANT: There is a Virtual Course Catalog for the science department, complete with power point presentations made by every elective teacher, in order to provide you with the opportunity to make an INFORMED decision.  BE SMART... USE IT.  Here's the link...


Feb 13
Today's topic was GMOs

Feb 9
Today was all about CLONING
stem cells.JPG

Feb 7
After finishing GENETIC PRIVACY we moved on to GENE PATENTS (and pharmacogenomics).  We wrapped up by introducing CLONING (Friday's topic).

If you are absent/miss any of these days, it is your responsibility to click on over to the DOCUMENTS page and download (run) the Bioethics power pt, covering the topic(s) you missed.  You can't copy a much of this is YOUR opinion.  In place of missing the video, go to YouTube and enter the topic into the Search bar...and watch a couple.

Feb 5
Students finished taking notes and learning (and giving opinions) about EPIGENETICS, then we started on GENETIC PRIVACY.

Feb 1
We kicked off CH 9 today...the chapter explores bioethics in relation to genetic engineering.  Today's topic was EPIGENETICS.  For each topic, students take notes, discuss, watch a couple videos, then give their opinions in their notebooks.  The "theme" for Second Semester is "Where are you going?"...and we'll explore the concepts/chapters with a nod toward engineering.  CH 9 has no MCs, no test, no worksheets...the entire grade will be based on daily notebook entries and class participation.


Jan 30
Students watched the Journey of Man...using genetic markers to retrace the migration of our species across the globe over the last 60,000 years.


If you are new to the class, scroll down, read, and do the thing...

HOMEWORK: Get the Course Expectations "signed"* and returned.  Also, every student is REQUIRED to have a standard-issue "Comp Book" (see below).  I'd prefer it had the typical lined paper (not graph) but feel free to express yourself if the store offers a variety of cover motifs.


*either hard copy/old school-style or scroll down/read for the "green" version



(1) If you haven't already done it, click on over to the "Documents" link and download/watch the power point (virtual catalog) that describes what the class is all about. Consider the power pt my "syllabus" (course expectations).
(2) Since the vast majority of folks regularly navigate their lives via their cell phone each day, I've registered with "Remind" app that allows me to text you (your parents/guardians) with reminders about due dates, upcoming tests, etc. Here's what you need to do to "sign up"...






I'll send a test message the first week of classes and after that, try to keep further texts to a minimum, STRICTLY SCHOOL-RELATED INFO (specific to SCIENCE). Anyone can "sign up" I said, parents/guardians as well.


(3) Your first "homework assignment" will be getting your course expectations signed by parent/guardian. There are 2 ways to do this. The traditional method (get a hard copy from me in class, take it home, get it signed, return it) or the "green" method. Doing it the "green" way will score you EXTRA CREDIT. To earn the "green" points click on over to the "Documents" link, download the COURSE EXPECTATIONS for your particular course, DO NOT PRINT but rather have a parent/guardian read over the (e-version of the) document, and finally, your


EMAIL ME at the following email address;

Include, in the email, the following;


Please put STUDENT'S NAME in the Subject line.

"I looked over the syllabus/expectations for BES .
 ------parent name------- , parent of -------student name------- "
(this will qualify as an electronic signature)

ALSO: With regard to academics, if there's something you'd like to share, please do so...anything that might help your student be more successful this year (strengths, challenges, etc).