SERC Science Honors Biology Class (Ages 13-16 yrs)
This course is designed as a supplement to biology course work (high school level), paralleling several of the labs found in the AP Biology test curriculum but uniquely highlighting biological topics in conjunction with SERC research. Each class will consist of a one hour lecture and 2 hour lab with a lunch break in between. There will be required readings, pre-class work, and written lab reports. All students interested in the course must apply, and answer some basic questions so that the instructor may gauge their preparedness for the course. Acceptance in the course is dependent on students possessing an adequate foundation in basic biology. I must have at least 12 students to make this class run.
NOTE: You can do one of two things, either go ahead and register now then I’ll send you the the basic questions for admittance. If your students fills out the questions and doesn’t meet the criteria then I’ll just issue a full refund. Or, you can look at the questions, fill them out and send them in and wait for a response. The first way you’re guaranteed a slot, the second should be OK but you’re not guaranteed slot. The questions are closed book and can either be e-mailed in to me in word format or written out and mailed in. You can find the questions by clicking here: Home School Honors Student Eval.
Course Location: Smithsonian Environmental Research Center, 647 Contees Wharf Rd. Edgewater, MD 21037.
NOTE: Due to the nature of this course class material builds upon each subject/class. If students miss a class it will be incumbent upon them to make up materials with their instructor. This eight week class includes completion and turning in of all assignments. Missing more than 3 classes or assignments will result in the student being asked to leave the course.
Registration: The cost of the course is per student $360.00 for all 8 classes and lab fees. Registration is online only at: http://serc.si.doubleknot.com/event/honors-biology-lab-series/1247413
Texts and Supplies:
- Biology, Concepts and Connections 6th Edition Campbell, Reece, Tayler, et. al. Available on Amazon.com used for anywhere from $15-40.
- Students will also need student lab composition notebook with 50 carbonless duplicates from Hayden McNeil publishers, about $11 also on Amazon.com.
- Students will also need lab gloves, safety goggles or glasses, and a loose-leaf binder with paper for taking notes. The Neiko 53874A Ansi Z87 Anti-Fog lab goggles for $5 on Amazon are fine.
Class Updates: Course materials, class updates, weather policy, and homework will be posted on the SERC Home School Blog at: https://serchomeschool.wordpress.com. Parents should register with this site for e-mail notifications about the course. If a class is cancelled due to inclement weather we reserve the right to add an additional class to the end of the course. Please be sure to book out at least two additional Thursdays in May.
Parental Participation and Siblings: This is a lab based course for students. Parents and siblings may remain on the main campus outside the room, or drop off students and return for them at the end of each class.
SERC Science Introduction and Biological Methodologies
Thursday, January 17th 11 am-2:30 pm
In this first course we will discuss proper biological methodologies for data collection, units and conversion, forming a hypothesis, writing a lab report, graphing, creating citations, and some of the standards used by all biologists.
Trace Element Biogeochemistry Lab: Chemistry of Life
Thursday, January 31st 11 am-2:30 pm
We’ll begin with the basics of chemistry from how to read the periodic table to how bonds are made. We’ll then look at chemical structures and formulas. We’ll tie this to the SERC Trace Elements Lab and the elements they study in the Bay watershed.
Microbial Ecology Lab: Cells and Cellular Processes
Thursday, February 7th 11 am-2:30 pm
Microbes make up the basis of life. We’ll start with the parts of a cell and their structures and functions then we’ll move into cellular processes. This relates directly to the microbes that SERC studies and how they affect the mercury in our aquatic ecosystems.
Microbial Ecology Lab: Cells and Cellular Processes Part 2
Thursday, February 21th 11 am-2:30 pm
We will focus on the cell cycle, growth factors for cells, mitosis, and meiosis, again relating this to our Microbial Ecology lab.
Forest Ecology: Photosynthesis
Thursday, March 7th 11 am-2:30 pm
As primary producers plants conduct photosynthesis. We’ll explore the components of photosynthesis and the step by step processes, from oxidation of hydrogen to reduction of carbon using sunlight to turn it into usable food for the plant. We’ll then relate this to studies by our Forest Ecology lab and their work with climate change.
Terrestrial Ecology Lab: Evolutionary Biology, Phylogeny and Evolutionary Patterns
Thursday, March 21st
Starting with the evolution of animal diversity we’ll then explore the dynamics of phylogenetic classification. This will then be related to the Terrestrial Ecology Lab’s work with herbivorous insects and plants as they evolve to defend from herbivory.
Fish and Invertebrate Ecology Lab: Population Dynamics
Thursday, April 4th 11 am-2:30 pm
In this class we’ll look at how populations and densities affect each other, from dispersion patterns, growth parameters, and limiting factors to growth. We’ll then tie this to research from the Fish and Invertebrate Lab and their work with spatial scale and habitat change, which affect ecological interactions of organisms in marine systems.
Marine and Estuarine Ecology Lab: Communities and Ecosystems
Thursday, April 18th 11 am-2:30 pm
We’ll begin by exploring the components of communities and ecosystems and relate this to interactions in aquatic communities and the research conducted by our Marine and Estuarine Ecology Lab on gelatinous zooplankton.