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AP Biology Bacteria Plates

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AP Biology students successfully inserted a jellyfish gene (green fluorescent protein) into E. coli bacteria, which caused the colonies to glow in the dark. Students below gather around the dark bacteria plates glowing in the dark!

 

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Green fluorescent protein injected into E. coli bacteria

 

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Glow in the dark; sweet!

Motion Labs

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This week freshmen Physical Science students measured static friction (the friction of the object resting on the surface) and the kinetic friction (when the object is moving over the surface) with different masses of objects over varying surface textures. Then students measured the force necessary to lift a block vertically and how that force is reduced when the object is lifted on an incline plane at three different angles. Before doing these activities, students learned all the various ways friction is part of our lives: gravel on icy roads, our fingerprints, the friction between our shoes and the ground…

Science in action!

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Jack Carr & Taylor Foglio

 

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Peter, Morris, and Madison motion testing.

 

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Four different friction sources for testing.

 

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Incline motion testing in process.

 

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Testing materials.

 

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Dee Anna Bricker & Rebecca Gurnee excited about their lab write-ups.

Primate Research Center

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AP Biology students had the opportunity to visit the Oregon National Primate Research Center recently.  Students toured the Rhesus macaque outdoor enclosures and heard from Dr. Larry Sherman about his current research on demyelinating diseases (ex. Multiple Sclerosis).  Dr. Sherman also joined students in the classroom to introduce a tissue staining project they will begin in class soon.  Students will be analyzing mouse brain tissue with the goal of seeing how chemotherapy affects the brain’s ability to learn and perform neurogenesis (create new neurons).

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The Primate Research Center

 

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Dr. Larry Sherman

 

Fiber & Polymer Science

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Our Chemistry and Physical Science classes had a real treat today when Tom Wilson, who has a Ph.D in Fiber and Polymer Science, spoke from his extensive industry experience. In his work career Dr. Tom has been a part of NASA sponsored research, spent 11 years in medical applications of polymers, and 18 years at Nike. He also holds 13 US Patents. Most of the shoes the students were wearing contain polymers Dr. Tom designed!

The students learned how advertising can influence our ideas about chemicals and chemistry by studied a list of complex and scary sounding chemicals. Dr. Wilson was actually showing them the list of chemicals contained in the superfood Kiwi!  He talked about how polymers are used in shoes, adhesives, and in many aspects of modern life.

When the students had the opportunity to ask questions, one asked what he liked most about working for Nike. He answered that he was allowed to be creative. Earlier in his talk, he mentioned that faith is an example of something that is not made of chemicals. Dr. Wilson gave the students an great example of how we can bless others through creativity and intellect.

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Dr. Tom Wilson

 

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What is a chemical? Anyone?!?

 

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Nike cleats lined with…castor beans?!?

AP Biology: Studying Animal Behavior

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AP Biology students are running an animal behavior experiment with terrestrial isopods. Students will perform a Chi-Squared analysis to determine whether their isopods have a food preference or whether their “choices” are random.

What do you think the little guys will like best?

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Orange, green, or earth tone brown for breakfast?

 

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Will these little guys avoid green as much as Mr. Ball?

 

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McKenzie Turner & Ali Mills record their findings.

 

Anatomy & Physiology: Maniken Models

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The Anatomy & Physiology students are using Maniken Skeletal Models to learn body region names this week. Hands on learning is integral to conceptual understanding, especially in any science course. The class will be building different body systems with clay later this year!

 

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Skeletal exploration

 

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Mia Cywinski, Bailey Mckay, and Lizzy Stefan – where’s the femur?

Science: New Microscopes!

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The science department will be purchasing 14 brand new binocular light microscopes, complete with adjustable stage, and 4 objective lenses (4x, 10x, 40x, 100x).  Students in Biology, AP Biology, and Anatomy & Physiology, get ready to peer into these new eyepieces in the fall!  Our old microscopes don’t even compare to the quality and clarity of the images you’ll see through these microscopes!

 

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One of the new binocular light microscopes.

 

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Discovery awaits!


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Plant tissues under microscope magnification.

 

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New devices will allow students much more investigative options.

Science: New Light, Sound, & Gravity Lab Kits!

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Westside’s science department just purchased a Physical Science Lab Kit that will allow for new light and optic, sound, and gravity labs!

Mrs. Ivans is excited about “the Inquiry Labs that will help the freshmen apply what they are learning and solidify their understanding of the scientific method. The freshman will also develop a strong foundation in Chemistry and Physics, which will prepare them well for multiple additional science classes later in high school.”

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Physical Science Lab Kit