Project 1: Current Issues in Biology

  General Information

Lead Teacher(s): Cheryl Gordon
(
cgordon@calvin.stemnet.nf.ca)
School: Glovertown School System
P.O. Box 40
Glovertown, NF
A0G 2L0
Tel: (709) 533-2443
Grade Level: Level I - III
Number of Students: 60
Project Start and Finish Dates: Oct. 1997 - April 1998
  Project Overview

In an effort to apply biological concepts learned in the classroom to real-life situations, students will research current biology topics using the Internet and write a research paper based on their findings. These papers will then be published on-line under Glovertown Regional High’s WEB page.

In preparation for the writing of their paper, students will choose a topic from a prepared list, or an original topic, and search the Internet for appropriate information. Students will be required to contact a professional organization to request information through e-mail and retrieve at least three journal articles on their topic.

  Curriculum Connections

The first project encompasses the curriculum objectives for Biology 3201 and Language 2101. The second project encompasses the curriculum objectives for Biology 2201 and Language 1101.

Intended Learning Outcomes for Biology 3201

  • Describe the efforts that are being made to address the problem of an expanding global population.
  • Assess the effects that human activities (both beneficial and harmful, conventional and technological) are having on the environment and predict the long term effects (e.g. Greenhouse effect, ozone depletion, habitat destruction or improvement, conservation practices, pollution, the green revolution, human intervention, etc.).
  • Evaluate alternatives that will allow the human population to co-exist in harmony with its environment.
  • Discuss some of the recent developments that relate to human reproduction such as in vitro fertilization, multiple births, surrogate motherhood, drug addiction in newborn babies, etc.
  • Define genetic engineering and cite several examples.
  • Discuss the importance of genetic counselling.
  • Discuss the ethical considerations of genetic engineering and genetic counselling.
  • Explore the current controversy over evolution and illustrate the impact that science exerts on society.

Intended Learning Outcomes for Language 1101

  • Learn and apply the fundamentals of essay writing to write properly formatted essays.

Intended Learning Outcomes for Language 2101

  • Learn and apply proper research techniques.
  • Use essay writing techniques to write and present a research paper.

Intended Learning Outcomes for Current Issues in Biology

  • Using proper research techniques, research a current topic in the field of biology and write a research paper in accordance with the ILO’s of Language 2101.
  • Use search aids such as Web-Crawler to research the topic.
  • Use a word processor such as WordPerfect to produce the final product.
  • Publish the final product to the Glovertown Regional High Web page, complete with links to appropriate sites.
  • Send and receive e-mail.

  Resource Connections

Due to the current nature of the topics being explored, limited access to recent material makes completing some of our course objectives difficult. With the availability of innumerable up-to-date resources on the Internet, completing the course objectives that require students to be informed about recent topics in biology makes achieving the objective much more attainable. Being exposed to a vast wealth of information also helps students hone their research skills by summarizing articles, creating the most effective searches, and linking ideas from various sources.

In addition, by using e-mail to request information from a professional group, chatting with a scientist or a doctor develops within students a sense of reality about their research topic. It no longer becomes just an idea in a textbook.

Students also have access to a number of print resources (i.e. Journals, encyclopedias), and software resources (i.e. Encarta).

  Evaluation

Checklist

  • Paper proposal
  • E-mail
  • First draft
  • Final draft
  • Course objectives covered
  • Required number of on-line research time booked

Through research on the Internet, we hope that students will become excited about learning through a different medium and learning about very current information in the area that is being studied. After having worked extensively with this research tool, more students may want to use this service for other subjects and to explore personal areas of interest.

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