FLIES!!

[caption id="attachment_1109" align="alignleft" width="300"] By wellcome images[/caption]

Annnddd wee'rrreee bbbaacckkk! Seems that it has been months since I have put anything other than a new video up on this site. It always takes a couple of weeks for classes to get into the grove before I have them start taking a crack at producing content for the site. AP Biology, though, they're old hands. I can't tell you how nice it is having them as a year long course. Rather than spending the first couple of weeks getting to know one another, we were able to jumpt right in and get to work. Great for me, I'm sure not so much so for them.

This semester I am rolling out a new quarterly project for the members of AP Bio. In the past I have always found a way to avoid doing the classic fruit fly breeding lab. Time was too short, I didn't have space, the flies could get out, and so on and so forth. This year, I figured that since I was experimenting with everything else in AP Bio, why not give the flies a go as well. Thus AP Bio has been tasked with designing and conducting quarter long fly breeding experiments. Presently we are all waiting with baited breath to see if an F2 generation will emerge. If it is so, game on. The students will get to put the flies through experiments of their own design. I'm interested to see what comes of it. Don't worry, I shall keep you posted, or should I say that the students will keep you posted.

In that vein, here is the first installment of the week in review (1/14-1/18) from Niya Carrington and Abbi Williams.

Niya Begins:

On Monday in AP biology we got into our groups for the fly lab project. We observed and wrote descriptions about our observations of the flies under the microscopes. We had to identify what type of mutations that were shown between A, B, and C that was different from the wild type. Even though the flies were not such a pretty sight to look at and they were still moving they were still cool to observe. Afterwards we individually played jeopardy and did unfinished work we needed to finish. Tuesday in class we took a test that was fairly easy, if you studied. Then we worked on the fly’s project again and separated the males from the females. We had to identify the characteristics from each sex. After that we had to take five males and five females and mix them together into another jar that was filled with agar and food for our next experiment to see what the offspring of the flies would be.

On Wednesday in AP Biology we reviewed over our video from the night before which was on plants and how they began to evolve from each other. We made charts showing the differences between green algae, moss, ferns, gymnosperms, and angiosperms. We then had a class discussion about the charts and the phylogenic tree that we had to form for the plants. It was a pretty chill day. Thursday in AP biology we watched a video that explained about bees and how they are being harmed in their environment. It was sad about how the bees could possibly be all gone in 2035 and that there is not a definite cause of why they are disappearing. After the video we got into groups and explained our thoughts and feelings on the video. On Friday of this week we did not have school due to the weather.

Abbi Concludes:

It’s back to the grind – back to AP Biology. The past week really put the new semester in full force for me, personally. Despite having our first test and beginning our quarterly project this week, it was a warm welcome. No new teacher, same old classmates – it felt good to see these familiar faces once again. Because I am absolutely horrible at test taking, I cannot say I was totally enthused with the idea of school this week, however, I put in my best effort, studied hard, focused in class, and did my best on my test. On Monday, we began our quarterly project studying mutations in fruit flies – quiet intriguing!! Prior to this project, a fruit fly was a fruit fly in my eyes; but this week, Mr. Kite opened my eyes to the numerous and various amount of flies that are really out there. Besides being totally gross, I thought it was pretty cool to put the flies to sleep, and then observing them from all angles under the lens of a microscope. I would say this week has been a wonderful second week of the semester – it definitely has me motivated to do my best in the remaining time as we close out my sophomore year!

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