In Ms. Allnutt’s biology classes, students have learned what the word “biology” means and what it means to be considered alive. If they learn nothing else this year, they will at least remember that “bio” means life! All living things require energy, are made up of cells, must maintain their internal environment and have the ability to reproduce and grow. There are four unifying themes of biology: all life has systems of related parts, structure and function are related, organisms must maintain homeostasis in diverse environments, and evolution explains the unity and diversity of life. These themes can be throughout the year as we learn about life from the microscopic to macroscopic levels.
Students have learned about the different molecules essential for life, such as proteins and carbohydrates, and about what makes water such a unique compound and important for life on Earth. We just finished our chapter on cellular structure and function, including cellular transport. The best part of this chapter was dissolving the shells off of eggs using vinegar to see if they would change size depending on the strength of solution they were submerged in. The experiment was successful, but a bit smelly and messy. Students also have spent lots of time working on their scientific thinking skills through labs based on observation and questioning. Next up is cellular energy where we will learn about photosynthesis and cellular respiration.