1-Saturday July 3
These have been the meet and get acquainted days. We have been sharing numerous ideas with each other. I can not wait to share these ideas with my colleagues. Also, we have completed two activities in small groups. The first activity was a great little pond water microscope activity. The other activity involved volumetrics using different substances and measuring devices to study populations.
|Looking at some pond water|
Monday July 5-Wednesday
We are now into this thing at full force. On Monday, we began small group inquiry projects
dealing with microbiology. My group's activity approaches the subject of spices as anti-microbial
agents. We ran to the grocery store and purchased a few fresh ethnic spices and got to work.
This project will continue the entire institute.
Tuesday, we traveled to Mercer County Lake. It was about 105 degrees
outside. We used different techniques to study microbes in the field.
I was fascinated by the field microscopes we used. They were portable
and very easy to work with outside. I got a lot of great ideas from
|Just hanging around!||The microbes of Mercer Lake|
On Wednesday, we returned to the microbiology lab to work on our group project. We are really coming along with our project. Wednesday night we went on a bug walk with Kefyn Catley from AMNH. We saw a lot of spiders and moths. It was interesting to view the diversity of life that comes alive when we are going to bed.
9-Saturday July 10
Thursday, we had a great day. We went outside to see the biodiversity of leaf litter. Kefyn Catley from the museum we visited last week came to talk about bug collections and studies. We went out in the woods and collected insects using nets and various other methods. I learned a great way to make pitfall traps to collect specimens by using a solo cup, propylene glycol, and a piece of cardboard. Put the cup with the glycol in a hole dug in the ground and place cardboard on top. Then wait to see what shows up.
Friday, we had an afternoon of computer time. You are looking at a big chunk of that time.
|Then on Saturday,
we went back to New York City. We took a short tour of the Bronx
Zoo. They have a new exhibit there called "Congo." It allows
you to come face to face with the gorillas. I enjoyed just sitting
and watching the gorillas' movements. In the afternoon we went to the New
York Botanical Gardens. It was very relaxing and I really enjoyed
the rose garden. If I do get time to take the kids on a field trip
I think I have some ideas for activities when we travel.
Thinking real hard!
|So this is where Brazil nuts come from!|
Monday July 12-Wednesday July 14
Monday, we worked hard on our small group inquiry projects. We will complete this and you will be able to see part of it it via this web site. On Tuesday, we began with some more work in the microbiology lab. We learned a little about the background of microbial disease. We also shared some great activities. I learned some great Biology songs and neat activities for the beginning of the year. It was really great to learn new ideas from others. We also learned some quick micro labs to do with common household items. Wednesday, we traveled once more to the AMNH in New York City. This time we explored the EPIDEMIC! exhibit. It was a wonderful presentation of common and not-so common bacteria and viruses. It also explained various epidemics and how these epidemics are dealt with in the long run.
15-Saturday July 17
Thursday, several of the doctors from the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta, Georgia came to talk to us about educating our students about diseases. They shared some methods of disease identification and possible case studies to share with the students. We discussed an interesting case of Legionairre's Disease in Bogalusa, Louisiana. I would like to work with these case studies with my students and maybe cut it down to meet the needs of my students. Friday, we talked yet again with the CDC and talked about some more ways to use their work in our classrooms. Saturday, Bruce Alberts of the National Academy of Science spoke to us about science education. He had some good ideas about state testing and the national standards.
Monday July 19-Wednesday
It is our last week here. On Monday, we worked with some molecular techniques. We actually got to set up some gels and do some PCR amplification. It was interesting to do this once again after a few years. I also found out about a local college that will lend out the equipment to run gels in the classroom. It is Tuesday and we are wrapping up our group inquiry projects. We also looked at slime molds and how we can use them in the classroom. Wednesday we will present our project which can be seen by clicking on spice of life at my home page. That's all folks!
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