Lively Science: Living Organisms and More


At the heart of all, biology is still the science of life. Observing and studying living organisms is critical to a good, strong program. Whether in the field or in the classroom—as a small part of a larger ecosystem or as the ecosystem with microscopic parts—the study of living organisms is at the core of the discipline. Amidst all the chemicals, new equipment, and technology, living organisms need to be maintained in a safe and educationally sound manner. This requires serious effort. This chapter highlights why it is important to remember why it is worth all the extra work.

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  • on Sun May 04, 2014 1:58 PM

Asking questions about living things that are observable often is the core of life science for middle school students, as well as many high school students. Given our new sensitivities to student health and moral issues concerning live organisms within classrooms, this chapter charges us to consider classroom menageries and plant corners carefully but not to reject them. The text offers a useful chart on the type of organism, level of care, and potential problems. The text then proceeds to caution and to inform educators on using bacteria and growing other cultures within the classroom in addition to thoughtful words on integrating safety into all investigations that deal with live specimens. As a new teacher, I would file this chapter in the front of my lab preparation book and as a veteran teacher; I would carefully reexamine my classroom practices. STEM and NGSS standards urge us to design environments for students to explore and to extend their understanding of systems by firsthand knowledge and investigation and this chapter lays a foundation for teachers to craft safe learning environments to encourage students to ask questions and to seek answers. Other chapters within the book are worth consideration, too. Be a ‘savvy science teacher’ and take a moment to read this chapter.

Patricia  (Arlington, VA)
Patricia (Arlington, VA)

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