I’m back with another set of bookmarks for students and teachers. Because I’ve taught the IB Environmental systems and societies course for several years, this set of online resources is closest to my heart. Some of these links are here simply because I think they’re cool or fun. Many may also be applicable for studying biology and chemistry as well. Let’s get to it:
United States Census Bureau. Extensive database of global human populations. Can be used to create age-sex pyramids, as well as other applications.
Earth wind map. A cool interactive resource to check wind patterns in real time anywhere on the planet.
Wildlife survey field lab template. This PDF from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection has a good layout to help middle school teachers and students design their own field surveys.
GRID-Arendal Maps and Infographics Library. In association with UNEP. This is one of my favorite resources for teaching environmental science. Searchable by topic, keyword, or geography. All maps and images are free to share. Awesome!
Timelapse. Watch the world change over the course of nearly three decades of satellite photography.
Over the past few weeks, I’ve been updating various pages within my website, and as I work, I keep encountering all these different websites and digital resources I’ve bookmarked over the years. My bookmarks bar is organized by broad scientific subjects: astronomy,biology, chemistry, ecology, and physics. I’ve also got a folder dedicated solely to scientific games. I will share the resources in these folders in subsequent posts, organized by subject area. Once posted in the blog, I’ll then add all bookmarks to the general science pages in my website, but I thought I’d take this opportunity to share them with the broader global community as well. I have so many of these resources that I’m going to have to split the list into two parts – the bookmarks from my Chrome browser and those from Firefox.
Today: biology resources for students (and teachers!) in no particular order.
Bioman Biology. Interactive biology games on a variety of topics, including physiology, cells, ecology, genetics, evolution, DNA, respiration, and photosynthesis.
Carbon cycle animation from the University of Alberta, Canada. A simple but comprehensive flow chart (system diagram) of the global carbon cycle.
InstaGrok interactive concept maps. Pre-made concept maps showing links between a whole bunch of topics in general biology. Click on a term to see links to other biology topics, facts, websites, videos, images, or add your own notes.
Cells Alive! This site has been around for years. Good, easy-to-understand interactive cell models.
John Kimball’s online biology textbook. This guy has been teaching biology for decades, and he’s amassed an incredible amount of resources on his site around every conceivable topic in biology. It’s kind of an old-school site, but it’s thorough.
Learn.Genetics at the University of Utah, USA. I use the tutorials from this site extensively in my genetics and evolution units.
Bozeman Science biology playlist on YouTube. 76 videos! 76! This playlist contains videos that could be useful in AP Biology, IB Biology, Biology, and other life sciences, all from the amazing Paul Andersen.
Mitosis World Home at University of North Carolina, USA. An aggregate of several other biology resources.
Discover Biology animations from W.W. Norton & Co. High-quality animations that can be viewed straight through, step-by-step, or narrated.
Interactive transpiration animation from ScienceMag. Adjust plant parameters and environmental conditions to see different effects on the movement of water through plants. With some creativity, you could run a virtual lab from this animation.
Understanding Evolution at the University of California – Berkeley. Densely packed with information and thoroughly researched. I use this site as a main reference for my evolution units. The site has been around a long time and is showing its age, but it’s still highly useful.
Sex determination video at TED-Ed. One of many useful resources from the TED people. Includes a review quiz and discussion questions.
Biology for Life. A great website from Gretel von Bargen at Skyline High School in Washington state, USA. It follows the new IB Biology syllabus. Also linked to her Twitter feed. I use this site a ton.
Bioknowledgy. Probably my favorite site for IB Biology. Chris Paine in Shanghai has created an extensive library of resources and materials aligned with the new IB Biology syllabus. Includes presentations, videos, and guided revision questions, among other resources. Awesome!
I hope that’s a good start for now. If you find any helpful resources you think I’ve missed, please send them my way in the comments, and I’ll add them to the second batch.
My 8th grade classes developed independent projects focused on the role of plants in society, and I received a wide variety of products from them, from posters to presentations to animations. The one I’ve embedded below is a particularly solid example of the kind of work young people are capable of doing when given the freedom to choose a topic of interest and the resources to create something different.
Back at school today after a lovely 3-week holiday in southern Spain, so it seems best to start with a celebration of one of my student’s Genius Hour projects. The animation below was created by 8th-grader Darik de Jong, and it explores the positive and negative impacts of biotechnology in agriculture. I think the quality of animation is excellent, and Darik communicates the required scientific information clearly.
I’ll add more later, but for the moment, please use this lab report planner to develop the investigation you will design into photosynthesis and respiration in Philodendron hastatum and Sansevieria trifasciata.
Below is a link to the planner as a Google form. When you complete the planner and click ‘submit,’ I will receive a digital version of your responses, which means I can then quickly see what you’re planning for your investigation and give you some timely feedback in class. ***Please note that you must be signed in to your IST Gmail account in order to see and use the planner form!
Click on the following link to download a MS Word version of the planner. It covers all parts of the lab report process in MYP science and is a little more detailed than the embedded Google form above. Photosynthesis-Respiration Lab Report Planner
This week in grade 9 science, we’ll start the process of developing your investigations into photosynthesis and respiration in Sansevieria trifasciata and Philodendron hastatum plants. The first steps of that process are a couple of preliminary experiment to establish an understanding of these essential processes.
The experiment below is the one we’ll be doing in class on Thursday and Friday of this week. Please make sure you’ve read all the way through the procedure before we start in the lab!
You will submit digital versions of the data tables and the analysis questions for homework after you’ve finished this experiment. You may send them via email.
Plants and animals are both eukaryotes, meaning they have distinct nuclei. (Bacteria, by contrast, are prokaryotes, which means they don’t have a nicely organized nucleus.)
Plants and animal cells have many other similarities: ribosomes, mitochondria, chromatin, cell membranes, smooth and rough endoplasmic reticula (ER), vacuoles, and Golgi complexes, among some other organelles we’re not studying in this unit. However, there are some fundamental differences between plants and animals on a cellular level:
cell wall in plants
chloroplasts (plastids) in plant cells
large central vacuole in plant cells
centrioles in animal cells
some differences in the structure and function of the Golgi complexes
Watch this video for a nice summary, and please do click on the links he posts at the end for a deeper explanation of the topics he covers.
The following video is a bit more ‘scientific’ and uses some nice computer animation to tour plant cells. It’s worth a quick watch, too.