Supported by a grant
from the Howard Hughes
The theme of the 1998 Woodrow Wilson Biology Institute was ``Life in Motion''. The construction of this institute addressed the importance of movement to all organisms and dealt with biological concepts at multiple levels of study. Participants shared classroom activities, interacted with visiting faculty, attended guest lectures, and developed inquiry-based laboratory activities with the help of fellow participants.
Participants presented effective classroom activities which dealt with motion in life. Visiting faculty demonstrated laboratories, themes, or classroom activities that illustrated the importance of motion in animals, plants, fungi, protists and bacteria. Participants also explored how motion was important at multiple levels of study ranging from molecular/cell biology to populations. Guest lecturers stimulated the teachers and enriched their background knowledge.
Our outstanding guest faculty and lecturers included:
Most importantly, our participants worked with each other to develop novel inquiry-based activities that addressed motion at a number of different levels in a variety of organisms. The results of their efforts and experiences have been archived on this web site for your use. The heart of this institute was the work generated by our expert teacher participants. This group features urban, rural, suburban backgrounds; public, private, alternative schools; very high to very low income communities. We think this group represents some of the best of American science teachers. We hope that you will use this information to help create a more effective teaching environment in your classroom. (back to top)
There are many ways to sequence a general high school biology course. Our group researched different sequences to see if there was an overriding sensibility to a particular orientation. We found that there is not a single model that will work in every situation.
We were fascinated by the fact that our host, Princeton University, has split their biology department in two. There is the Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, and also a Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. So at least one world class university has effectively given up trying to teach everything in one department, much less one survey course. This is reflective of the difficulties that scientists have in orienting curriculum, and in covering the many important themes and concepts in a single course. Why, then, are high school teachers expected to do just that?
The "900 pound gorilla" of an answer, of course, is the demands of standardized testing. Whether it's the AP exam, the SAT II Biology, the Regents Exam in New York, or the Golden State Exam in California, we are constantly under the gun to cram more and more into our course. Although the National Science Education Standards recommend a "less breadth, more depth" approach to the curriculum, until there is meaningful assessment reform on a national level there will not likely be a radical transformation of what we teach. The picture is not completely bleak; there is solid support in many states and localities for authentic, performance based assessment, and for more thematic, curricular integration with other scientific disciplines and with other core subjects for students.
With that in mind, we present some different approaches to sequencing and some suggestions as to when each may work. These are certainly not the only ways to orient a course. (back to top)
Click on project title to link to that project page (back to top)
You can contact each teacher by clicking on his or her name; browse a project by clicking on the project title. You can also search for participating teachers.
(Participants: to correct your personal information, please use the Alumni Update Form on this web site.) (back to top)
|Ruth Baldivia||Epidemiological simulation using actors and your own school building.||Betty Jean Jones||Studying Ecological Succession in Pond Water cultures. Moving through trophic levels and time|
|Bob Birch||Interactive examination of lobster claw biomechanics using multimedia||Burt Kessler||A
two day kinesthetic "game" for modeling the process of natural
selection, speciation, and adaptive radiation.
|Ian Bleakney||Tropisms and seed germination||Eileen Malloy- Desormeaux||Investigating Prions. This activity investigates movement in protein shapes.|
|Janice Chen||Long-term dissection investigations||Gene McNicholas||Students create models of nucleotides and investigate steps of replication|
|Norman Dahm||Problem based learning activity involving reenactment of a hantavirus outbreak||Harold Meiselman||Using multimedia technology to examine locomotion in geckos|
|Mary Duane||Epidemic disease simulation||Melinda Miller||Students create models of biomechanics of flying|
learning models and cooperative group strategies for teaching science
Using a variety of
"targets," the student will have to find whether or not they are able
to identify the object that is in front of them.
|Gary Fortenberry||Motion-based activities using Kagan's theories of learning style and development||Linda Needham||CBLs are useful for collecting data related to motion.|
|Jacqueline Foster||Pond Water Ecological Succession studies||Laura Parker||Using multimedia to demonstrate motion|
|Anne Marie Froehle||Mouthwatering
Mollusks: A tasting and observation lab designed to
introduce students to various types of mollusks.
create models of circulation in mammal hearts
|Robert Furtado||Investigating cytoplasmic streaming in Elodea||Celeste Payne||Using
CBL's to model motion involving a pH gradient
is used by muscle proteins to create motion and heat. This lab exercise
conditions for that process.
into adaptation and migration using E. Coli
|Steve Hammack||Using probeware to model motion. Combines physics, neurology, and biomechanics.||Karen Shrader||Investigating
movement within cells
|Jonathan Harris||chemical uptake in malphigian tubules||Jim Sink||India ink is used to observe the flow of water over the gills of crayfish and as a demonstration of the jet propulsion system|
|Philip Holley||Investigating gravitropism in seed germination||Soo Boo Tan||An inquiry-based lab activity for observing fish respiration through gill and opercular motion.|
|Anna Horowitz||Using quiz boards to review concepts and vocabulary||Mimi Wallace||Using an inexpensive
classroom ecostream model, students are able to build and maintain an
|Carla Huffman||Kinesthetic classroom simulation of oxidative phosphorylation||Harry Weekes||This
site discusses background information, activities, and exercises for learning
about marine phytoplankton.
|Erika Hunter||motion and team building for students||Nancy Wright||Exploring
the physics of foot motion
|Bill Johnson||Modeling motion in mitosis and meiosis|
|Erin Cline Tiderman||Inquiry Based Lab on Factors Affecting Seed Germination|