Monday, May 22, 2017

Week 2 Genius Hour

This previous week went really smoothly. Despite all the growing hype for Prom I was able to get a solid start on my experiment. I was able to obtain all my material on Monday at Walmart for a reasonable price and after school I constructed the artificial lung to make sure everything worked before I kicked off my experiment on Tuesday morning in class. Luckily, the lung worked and I got the green light to start collecting data on Tuesday. Inside the balloons I placed two small squares of white sponges to help collect any contaminates that would collect inside the lungs. The cigarettes also fit very nicely inside the straw that works as the airway. This makes it easier to make sure that I get the sucking power needed for the artificial lung to actually smoke the cigarette. By placing a small piece of masking tape around the end of the cigarette where it meets the straw I am able to operate the lung without having to hold the cigarette. I have also started constructing my presentation but for the most part I am just waiting for my data so I can wrap it all. On a quick side note, it is really gross that my fingers smell like cigarettes after each session of collecting data. The cigarette smoke surely lingers which is why it is nice I have a way to vent it all out of the room while conducting my experiment.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Week one of Genius Hour

After the first week of Genius Hour I have successfully thought of an experiment. I will be testing the effect of Natural cigarettes versus Marlboro Red cigarettes on the lungs. I found a cool and pretty simple way to replicate lungs. The most expensive part of my experiment will be the actual purchasing of the cigarettes. I have been pretty lucky to not have really hit any road blocks while coming up with my experiment except for the fact that I wanted to find the best way to showcase build up in the lungs. The tricky part is that with my replica of the human lungs I will be using a regular rubber balloon. Rubber is not a material that would absorb chemicals or contaminants, this proved to be a problem because this is exactly what I am trying to test for. The solution I am currently seeing is using a wet white sponge to showcase what the actual lung would absorb and look like following the smoking of cigarettes.  So far my experiment is off to a good start and I can't wait to start collecting data.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Weekly Reflection

 This past week in AP Biology we worked with the transpiration rates of leaves.  My group decided to test the transpiration rates of two different plants (impatiens and a cactus). This was done by monitoring the amount of water that each leaf took in over the course of two days. This was an interesting lab because it was pretty free as to what we could test and/or compare. The ability to create our own lab made it far more intriguing and engaging because our group was testing something that we came up with and wanted to know. It also made the whole classroom more interesting because every group was testing something completely different. This was also good practice in how to construct a full lab from writing up our own procedure, forming our own question and all the steps in between. I believe that this was a great way to conduct our last experiment before the AP test because it forced our group to think like scientists. The whole process was extremely helpful and I greatly enjoy working in groups because you always have someone to bounce your ideas off of and help you if you run into a road block. Looking back I do wish we were able to test more than just one leaf of each plant because it caused our data to be extremely susceptible to error. Looking forward in Biology I am excited to start reviewing for the AP exam and see how much I remember from this year. On the plus side, having the vodcasts is extremely helpful to look back on.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Heart Reflection

I feel as though I should start off this blog about how amazing the heart dissection was. It was incredible to hold a heart in my hands and to be able to cut and explore the anatomy of it. The questions in the packet were good and really made sure that we understood the anatomy of the heart and how it works. Quite honestly the smell the hearts gave off in the classroom was a little gross but once you adjusted it was not even noticeable. It was awesome to be able to run your fingers through the valves and see how blood makes its way through the heart. I was also blown away by the size of the heart. My group had one of the larger hearts which made the valves extra ability to explore the valves. Coming out of this I have a much better understanding of the functions of the heart. 

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Weekly Reflection

Week Standards [4.9, 4.10, 4.11, 4.12, 5.1, 5.2]

Most of this week was spent doing the life processes project. This is when each group got a different process and had to write no more than two pages explaining what the purpose was of our process and how the process took place. I believe my group did a really good job. We broke the questions up and each had to handle a different section. This made the project easier to tackle and made getting the answers easier, however, I believe it was a downfall of our project too because this meant I did not have to focus on what the other people in my group were doing and therefore only really had to understand my questions and my portion of the project. At the same time, it was not that hard to get the information because as I was also taking in the other groups information I was also taking in mine. For the most, I believe that I was able to take in the information but what I like most is that if any questions do arise I am able to revisit the projects because they are attached to the class page. The diagrams each group had to do was also extremely helpful. It was a whole lot of information packed into those two pages. 
One of the main things I need to work on in class in my vodcast work. I find that a lot of the time I have trouble remembering the content and rush through the whole process. I have worked hard to make sure that I take better notes but at the same time, I tend to just rush through the prezi on it and take notes while listening to music and that makes it incredibly hard to retain the information that my hand is taking down. I know that my focus is starting to fade as the end of the year approaches and I really need to slow down and take in what I am doing. 
This whole week ties into what we are learning in biology because we are working on early development, and Chromosomes, DNA and inheritance patterns which all ties together nicely. We are sort of getting all the aspects of development which is nice and helps fill in any blanks that there could have been.

Friday, March 31, 2017

Weekly Reflection of March 27-31

This week in Biology we worked a great deal with fruit flies and doing different tests on their inheritance patterns. We were able to use a virtual lab that allowed for the creation of the next generation much faster in a matter of seconds rather than waiting for our own flies to reproduce. This was really cool because we were able to cross flies with different traits and based on the generations later produced we had to conclude the type of gene (Dominant/recessive) and the type of inheritance (Sexual linked or Autosomal). Then based on our outcomes we had to calculate the critical values and see if this would reject the null hypothesis or not. The upside of this experiment is that it took a fraction of the time and effort it would normally to breed the flies and have them grow and yet it still gave us accurate results. I personally find inheritance very interesting and like how predictable it is, given there is not some environmental force acting on the situation. We ended the week with some AP test prep which is really helpful. I like the idea of working with some of the material before we actually have to take the test because I think it will make it all feel more comfortable when it comes down to having to take it. Also I liked how I noticed some of the questions that are on our tests and quizzes come from the AP practice test and that gives me more confidence going into the test knowing that I will be more familiar with the material. This week wasn't at all overwhelming and I feel like I handled the material really well. I look forward to dealing more with inheritance. Overall, I believe that this week went really smoothly and I feel that I have ample time to prepare for our up coming quiz that was moved to Monday due to so many of our students being on a Key Club trip.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Weekly Reflection 3/20-3/24

This week in Biology we did a lot of work with Chi-squares and working with inheritance patterns. This was an extremely effective packet because I really liked how it broke down the process. Some of the language was a little confusing like when it was talking about Critical value and the P value but luckily my group figured it out. It was good to practice different ways that we can analyze data and take information and determine if something is significant or not. It is really important that we can not only conduct the experiments and collect data but that we can also interpret what it all means and showcase the information in such a way that other people could understand it.
On Monday of last week, we were also able to wrap up our cancer activity. I really enjoyed the cancer activity because I believe that it is incredibly relevant and I find the growth of tumor pretty interesting. As far as workload, for this previous week I believed it was pretty light which was pretty amazing and made it really possible to take our time and absorb the knowledge as we did it. There was still enough to keep us busy but not so much that you had to spend hours on it. Personally, I believe this was a good week for me, I feel like I absorbed the work really well and feel really confident moving forward. Also, Nina and I were able to finish the mini lab on Friday which always gives you a boost of confidence if you can accomplish all the work in class. Onto the virtual Fly lab for this week!