Filters

# Science Process Skills

• ### Exploring the March to Mars Using 3D Print Models

Learning Objectives
• Students will be able to describe the major aspects of the Mars Curiosity Rover missions.
• Students will be able to synthesize information learned from a classroom jigsaw activity on the Mars Curiosity Rover missions.
• Students will be able to work in teams to plan a future manned mission to Mars.
• Students will be able to summarize their reports to the class.
• ### Your Tax Dollars at Work: A mock grant writing experience centered on scientific process skills

Learning Objectives
Students will be able to:
• Propose a testable, novel question contributing to a biological field of study.
• Formulate a study rationale.
• Describe relevant background information on a topic using the primary literature.
• Choose appropriate scientific, mathematical, and statistical methods to analyze a research question.
• Determine the financial costs of a research project.
• Present a proposal for peer review and compose a constructive peer review.
• Collaborate as a member of a scientific team.
• Articulate the review criteria and process used in NSF-style proposal review.
• ### Learning to Pipet Correctly by Pipetting Incorrectly?

Learning Objectives
• Students will be able to use analytical balances and micropipettes.
• Students will be able to calculate averages and standard deviations.
• Students will be able to use t-tests to compare two independent samples.
• Students will be able to justify accepting or rejecting a null hypothesis based on an interpretation of p-values.
• Students will learn to use spreadsheet software such as Microsoft Excel and/or Google Sheets
• Students will be able to explain how pipetting incorrectly leads to errors.
• ### A first lesson in mathematical modeling for biologists: Rocs

Learning Objectives
• Systematically develop a functioning, discrete, single-species model of an exponentially-growing or -declining population.
• Use the model to recommend appropriate action for population management.
• Communicate model output and recommendations to non-expert audiences.
• Generate a collaborative work product that most individuals could not generate on their own, given time and resource constraints.
• ### Sex-specific differences in Meiosis: Real-world applications

Learning Objectives
After completion of the lesson students will be able to:
1. Describe the differences between female and male meiosis.
2. Interpret graphical data to make decisions relevant to medical practices.
3. Develop a hypothesis that explains the difference in incidence of aneuploidy in gametes between males and females.
• ### Air Quality Data Mining: Mining the US EPA AirData website for student-led evaluation of air quality issues

Learning Objectives
Students will be able to:
• Describe various parameters of air quality that can negatively impact human health, list priority air pollutants, and interpret the EPA Air Quality Index as it relates to human health.
• Identify an air quality problem that varies on spatial and/or temporal scales that can be addressed using publicly available U.S. EPA air data.
• Collect appropriate U.S. EPA Airdata information needed to answer that/those questions, using the U.S. EPA Airdata website data mining tools.
• Analyze the data as needed to address or answer their question(s).
• Interpret data and draw conclusions regarding air quality levels and/or impacts on human and public health.
• Communicate results in the form of a scientific paper.

Learning Objectives
Students will:
• Articulate testable hypotheses. (Lab 8, final presentation/paper, in-class exercises)
• Analyze data to determine the level of support for articulated hypotheses. (Labs 4-7, final presentation/paper)
• Identify multiple species of plants in the field quickly and accurately. (Labs 2-3, field trip)
• Measure environmental variables and sample vegetation in the field. (Labs 2-3, field trip)
• Analyze soil samples using a variety of low-tech lab techniques. (Open labs after field trip)
• Use multiple statistical techniques to analyze data for patterns. (Labs 4-8, final presentation/paper)
• Interpret statistical analyses to distinguish between strong and weak interactions in a biological system. (Labs 4-7, final presentation/paper)
• Develop and present a conference-style presentation in a public forum. (Lab 8, final presentation/paper)
• Write a publication-ready research paper communicating findings and displaying data. (Lab 8, final presentation/paper)
• ### Predicting and classifying effects of insertion and deletion mutations on protein coding regions

Learning Objectives
Students will be able to:
• accurately predict effects of frameshift mutations in protein coding regions
• conduct statistical analysis to compare expected and observed values
• become familiar with accessing and using DNA sequence databases and analysis tools
• ### Infectious Chocolate Joy with a Side of Poissonian Statistics: An activity connecting life science students with subtle...

Learning Objectives
• Students will define a Poisson distribution.
• Students will generate a data set on the probability of a T cell being infected with a virus(es).
• Students will predict the likelihood of one observing the mean value of viruses occurring.
• Students will evaluate the outcomes of a random process.
• Students will hypothesize whether a process is Poissonian and design a test for that hypothesis.
• Students will collect data and create a histogram from their data.
• ### Inexpensive Cell Migration Inquiry Lab using Zebrafish

Learning Objectives
Students will:
• formulate a hypothesis and design an experiment with the proper controls.
• describe the steps involved in the zebrafish wounding assay (treating zebrafish embryos with drugs or control substances, wounding the embryo, staining the embryo, and counting neutrophils near the wound).
• summarize results into a figure and write a descriptive figure legend.
• perform appropriate statistical analysis.
• interpret results in a discussion that draws connections between the cytoskeleton and cell migration.
• put data into context by appropriately using information from journal articles in the introduction and discussion of a lab report.
• ### Building a Model of Tumorigenesis: A small group activity for a cancer biology/cell biology course

Learning Objectives
At the end of the activity, students will be able to:
• Analyze data from a retrospective clinical study uncovering genetic alterations in colorectal cancer.
• Draw conclusions about human tumorigenesis using data from a retrospective clinical study.
• Present scientific data in an appropriate and accurate way.
• Discuss why modeling is an important practice of science.
• Create a simple model of the genetic changes associated with a particular human cancer.
• ### Discovery Poster Project

Learning Objectives
Students will be able to:
• identify and learn about a scientific research discovery of interest to them using popular press articles and the primary literature
• find a group on campus doing research that aligns with their interests and communicate with the faculty leader of that group
• create and present a poster that synthesizes their knowledge of the research beyond the discovery
• ### A Short Laboratory Module to Help Infuse Metacognition during an Introductory Course-based Research Experience

Learning Objectives
• Students will be able to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of data.
• Students will be able to employ prior knowledge in formulating a biological research question or hypothesis.
• Students will be able to distinguish a research question from a testable hypothesis.
• Students will recognize that the following are essential elements in experimental design: identifying gaps in prior knowledge, picking an appropriate approach (ex. experimental tools and controls) for testing a hypothesis, and reproducibility and repeatability.
• Students will be able to identify appropriate experimental tools, approaches and controls to use in testing a hypothesis.
• Students will be able to accurately explain why an experimental approach they have selected is a good choice for testing a particular hypothesis.
• Students will be able to discuss whether experimental outcomes support or fail to support a particular hypothesis, and in the case of the latter, discuss possible reasons why.
• ### Coevolution or not? Crossbills, squirrels and pinecones

Learning Objectives
1. Define coevolution.
2. Identify types of evidence that would help determine whether two species are currently in a coevolutionary relationship.
3. Interpret graphs.
4. Evaluate evidence about whether two species are coevolving and use evidence to make a scientific argument.
5. Describe what evidence of a coevolutionary relationship might look like.
6. Distinguish between coadaptation and coevolution.
• ### The Case of the Missing Strawberries: RFLP analysis

Learning Objectives
Students will be able to:
• Describe the relationship of cells, chromosomes, and DNA.
• Isolate DNA from strawberries.
• Digest DNA with restriction enzymes.
• Perform gel electrophoresis.
• Design an experiment to compare DNAs by RFLP analysis.
• Predict results of RFLP analysis.
• Interpret results of RFLP analysis.
• Use appropriate safety procedures in the lab.
• ### Teaching epidemiology and principles of infectious disease using popular media and the case of Typhoid Mary

Learning Objectives
Students will be able to:
• Describe the reservoirs of infection in humans.
• Distinguish portals of entry and exit.
• Describe how each of the following contributes to bacterial virulence: adhesins, extracellular enzymes, toxins, and antiphagocytic factors.
• Define and distinguish etiology and epidemiology.
• Describe the five typical stages of infectious disease and depict the stages in graphical form.
• Contrast contact, vehicle and vector transmission, biological and mechanical vectors and identify the mode of transmission in a given scenario.
• Differentiate endemic, sporadic, epidemic, and pandemic disease.
• Distinguish descriptive, analytical, and experimental epidemiology.
• Compare and contrast social, economic, and cultural factors impacting health care in the early 1900s and today.
• ### Plotting Cranial and Spinal Nerve Pathways in a Human Anatomy Lab

Learning Objectives
• Identify and describe the functions of cranial and spinal nerves
• Identify cranial and spinal nerve origination points and what structures they innervate
• Trace the routes that cranial and spinal nerves take throughout the body
• ### Modeling the Research Process: Authentic human physiology research in a large non-majors course

Learning Objectives
Students will be able to:
• Formulate testable hypotheses
• Design an experimental procedure to test their hypothesis
• Make scientific observations
• Analyze and interpret data
• Communicate results visually and orally
• ### Using computational molecular modeling software to demonstrate how DNA mutations cause phenotypes

Learning Objectives
Students successfully completing this lesson will:
1. Practice basic molecular biology laboratory skills such as DNA isolation, PCR, and gel electrophoresis.
2. Gather and analyze quantitative and qualitative scientific data and present it in figures.
3. Use bioinformatics to analyze DNA sequences and obtain protein sequences for molecular modeling.
4. Make and analyze three-dimensional (3-D) protein models using molecular modeling software.
5. Write a laboratory report using the collected data to explain how mutations in the DNA cause changes in protein structure/function which lead to mutant phenotypes.
• ### Dilution and Pipetting Lesson Using Food Dyes

Learning Objectives
• Students can use the formula c1v1=c2v2 to calculate dilutions.
• Students can accurately set and use a micropipette.
• Students are able to prepare complex solutions such as enzyme reactions.
• ### Teaching Genetic Linkage and Recombination through Mapping with Molecular Markers

Learning Objectives
Students will be able to:
• Explain how recombination can lead to new combinations of linked alleles.
• Explain how molecular markers (such as microsatellites) can be used to map the location of genes/loci, including what crosses would be informative and why.
• Explain how banding patterns on an electrophoresis gel represent the segregation of alleles during meiosis.
• Predict how recombination frequency between two linked loci affects the genotype frequencies of the products of meiosis compared to loci that are unlinked (or very tightly linked).
• Analyze data from a cross (phenotypes and/or genotypes) to determine if the cross involves linked genes.
• Calculate the map distance between linked genes using data from genetic crosses, such as gel electrophoresis banding patterns.
• Justify conclusions about genetic linkage by describing the information in the data that allows you to determine genes are linked.
• ### Why do Some People Inherit a Predisposition to Cancer? A small group activity on cancer genetics

Learning Objectives
At the end of this activity, we expect students will be able to:
1. Use family pedigrees and additional genetic information to determine inheritance patterns for hereditary forms of cancer
2. Explain why a person with or without cancer can pass on a mutant allele to the next generation and how that impacts probability calculations
3. Distinguish between proto-oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes
• ### Homologous chromosomes? Exploring human sex chromosomes, sex determination and sex reversal using bioinformatics...

Learning Objectives
Students successfully completing this lesson will:
• Practice navigating an online bioinformatics resource and identify evidence relevant to solving investigation questions
• Contrast the array of genes expected on homologous autosomal chromosomes pairs with the array of genes expected on sex chromosome pairs
• Use bioinformatics evidence to defend the definition of homologous chromosomes
• Define chromosomal sex and defend the definition using experimental data
• Investigate the genetic basis of human chromosomal sex determination
• Identify at least two genetic mutations can lead to sex reversal
• ### A Hands-on Introduction to Hidden Markov Models

Learning Objectives
• Students will be able to process unannotated genomic data using ab initio gene finders as well as other inputs.
• Students will be able to defend the proposed gene annotation.
• Students will reflect on the other uses for HMMs.
• ### Using Synthetic Biology and pClone Red for Authentic Research on Promoter Function: Genetics (analyzing mutant...

Learning Objectives
• Describe how cells can produce proteins at the right time and correct amount.
• Diagram a bacterial promoter with −35 and −10 elements and the transcription start site.
• Describe how mutational analysis can be used to study promoter sequence requirements.
• Develop a promoter mutation hypothesis and design an experiment to test it.
• Successfully and safely manipulate DNA and Escherichia coli for ligation and transformation experiments.
• Design an experiment to verify a mutated promoter has been cloned into a destination vector.
• Design an experiment to measure the strength of a promoter.
• Analyze data showing reporter protein produced and use the data to assess promoter strength.
• Define type IIs restriction enzymes.
• Distinguish between type II and type IIs restriction enzymes.
• Explain how Golden Gate Assembly (GGA) works.
• Measure the relative strength of a promoter compared to a standard promoter.
• ### Using Synthetic Biology and pClone Red for Authentic Research on Promoter Function: Introductory Biology (identifying...

Learning Objectives
• Describe how cells can produce proteins at the right time and correct amount.
• Diagram how a repressor works to reduce transcription.
• Diagram how an activator works to increase transcription.
• Identify a new promoter from literature and design a method to clone it and test its function.
• Successfully and safely manipulate DNA and Escherichia coli for ligation and transformation experiments.
• Design an experiment to verify a new promoter has been cloned into a destination vector.
• Design an experiment to measure the strength of a promoter.
• Analyze data showing reporter protein produced and use the data to assess promoter strength.
• Define type IIs restriction enzymes.
• Distinguish between type II and type IIs restriction enzymes.
• Explain how Golden Gate Assembly (GGA) works.
• Measure the relative strength of a promoter compared to a standard promoter.
• ### Using Undergraduate Molecular Biology Labs to Discover Targets of miRNAs in Humans

Learning Objectives
• Use biological databases to generate and compare lists of predicted miR targets, and obtain the mRNA sequence of their selected candidate gene
• Use bioinformatics tools to design and optimize primer sets for qPCR
• ### Authentic Ecological Inquiries Using BearCam Archives

Learning Objectives
Students will be able to:
• conduct an authentic ecological inquiry including
• generate a testable hypothesis based on observations,
• collect and analyze data following the design, and
• interpret results and draw conclusions based on the evidence.
• write a research report with appropriate structure and style.
• evaluate the quality of inquiry reports using a rubric.
• conduct peer review to evaluate and provide feedback to others' work.
• revise the inquiry report based on peer feedback and self-assessment.
• ### Antibiotic Resistance Genes Detection in Environmental Samples

Learning Objectives
After completing this laboratory series, students will be able to:
• apply the scientific method in formulating a hypothesis, designing a controlled experiment using appropriate molecular biology techniques, and analyzing experimental results;
• conduct a molecular biology experiment and explain the principles behind methodologies, such as accurate use of micropipettes, PCR (polymerase chain reaction), and gel electrophoresis;
• determine the presence of antibiotic-resistance genes in environmental samples by analyzing PCR products using gel electrophoresis;
• explain mechanisms of microbial antibiotic resistance;
• contribute data to the Antibiotic Resistance Genes Network;
• define and apply key concepts of antibiotic resistance and gene identification via PCR fragment size.
• ### Promoting Climate Change Literacy for Non-majors: Implementation of an atmospheric carbon dioxide modeling activity as...

Learning Objectives
• Students will be able to manipulate and produce data and graphs.
• Students will be able to design a simple mathematical model of atmospheric CO2 that can be used to make predictions.
• Students will be able to conduct simulations, analyze, interpret, and draw conclusions about atmospheric CO2 levels from their own computer generated simulated data.

• ### Priority Setting in Public Health: A lesson in ethics and hard choices

Learning Objectives
At the end of this unit, students will be able to:
• Define the central distinction between public health and medicine
• Apply objectives of public health and individual medical care in a particular situation to identify potential areas of conflict in priority setting
• Apply moral theories of utilitarianism and deontology to a particular situation to identify the course of action proponents of each theory would see as morally justified
• Identify the range of morally justifiable actions that might be available to a health professional in a particular setting
• Choose from among a range of possible actions in a particular health situation and articulate the ethical principles that would justify that choice.
• ### An Introduction to Eukaryotic Genome Analysis in Non-model Species for Undergraduates: A tutorial from the Genome...

Learning Objectives
At the end of the activity, students will be able to:
• Explain the steps involved in genome assembly, annotation, and variant detection to other students and instructors.
• Create meaningful visualizations of their data using the integrated genome viewer.
• Use the Linux command line and web-based tools to answer research questions.
• Produce annotated genomes and call variants from raw sequencing reads in non-model species.
• ### Bad Science: Exploring the unethical research behind a putative memory supplement

Learning Objectives
Students will be able to:
• create criteria for evaluating information that is touted as scientific.
• apply those criteria to evaluate the claim that Prevagen® enhances memory.
• identify the misleading tactics used on the Prevagen® website and in their self-published reporting.
• decide whether to recommend taking Prevagen® and explain their decisions.
• ### Teaching the Biological Relevance of Chemical Kinetics Using Cold-Blooded Animal Biology

Learning Objectives
Students will be able to:
• Predict the effect of reaction temperature on the rate of a chemical reaction
• Interpret a graph plotted between rate of a chemical reaction and temperature
• Discuss chemical kinetics utilizing case studies of cold-blooded animals
• ### You and Your Oral Microflora: Introducing non-biology majors to their “forgotten organ”

Learning Objectives
Students will be able to:
• Explain both beneficial and detrimental roles of microbes in human health.
• Compare and contrast DNA replication as it occurs inside a cell versus in a test tube
• Identify an unknown sequence of DNA by performing a BLAST search
• Navigate sources of scientific information to assess the accuracy of their experimental techniques
• ### Dynamic Daphnia: An inquiry-based research experience in ecology that teaches the scientific process to first-year...

Learning Objectives
Students will be able to:
• Construct written predictions about 1 factor experiments.
• Interpret simple (2 variables) figures.
• Construct simple (2 variables) figures from data.
• Design simple 1 factor experiments with appropriate controls.
• Demonstrate proper use of standard laboratory items, including a two-stop pipette, stereomicroscope, and laboratory notebook.
• Calculate means and standard deviations.
• Given some scaffolding (instructions), select the correct statistical test for a data set, be able to run a t-test, ANOVA, chi-squared test, and linear regression in Microsoft Excel, and be able to correctly interpret their results.
• Construct and present a scientific poster.
• ### A Kinesthetic Modeling Activity to Teach PCR Fundamentals

Learning Objectives
Students will be able to:
• Draw or model the first three cycles of PCR, including the correct directionality (5’- and 3’-ends) of the primers and single-stranded PCR products.
• Diagram how single-stranded products from the first cycle of PCR are used as templates for subsequent PCR cycles.
• Demonstrate which parts of the primers will anneal to the original DNA template and subsequent PCR products.
• Model and demonstrate when the primer restriction enzyme sites are incorporated into double-stranded PCR products.
• Calculate the number of desired-length PCR products and long PCR products for each amplification cycle.
• Demonstrate how the incorporation of primer restriction enzyme sites into PCR products is a useful tool for subsequent cloning of the product into a vector.

Learning Objectives
Topics within Playon Words are grouped into “mini-games.” The Learning Objectives for each mini-game are as follows: Sentence Sensei
• Identify the best sentence variant from a list of options
• Identify and eliminate needless words
• Identify where and when to use different types of punctuation marks
• Identify and correct common grammar mistakes
Organization Optimizer
• Organize sentences in a logical order
• Describe the components of different sections of a scientific paper
• Identify the section of a scientific paper where a given sentence belongs
• Eliminate sentences which do not belong in a given writing sample
Science Officer Training
• Classify statements as scientific or non-scientific
• Identify which statements support a particular hypothesis or position
• Classify provided sentences (e.g. hypotheses vs. predictions, problems vs. experiments, results vs. discussion)
Reference Referee
• Compare and contrast different types (e.g. primary literature, review articles, popular literature etc.) and sources (PubMed, Web of Science, Google Scholar etc.) of scientific information
• Identify locations in texts where citations are needed
• Identify citations and/or references that are incorrect or missing key information
• Identify information that does not belong in the reference list (e.g. vendor information)
• ### Why Meiosis Matters: The case of the fatherless snake

Learning Objectives
Students will be able to:
• Compare and contrast the process and outcomes of mitosis & meiosis
• Predict consequences of abnormal meiosis including
• The potential genotype and/or phenotypes of offspring produced when meiosis does not occur properly
• The stage(s) of meiosis that could have been abnormal given an offspring’s genotype and/or phenotype
• ### Cutthroat trout in Colorado: A case study connecting evolution and conservation

Learning Objectives
Students will be able to:
• interpret figures such as maps, phylogenies, STRUCTURE plots, and networks for species delimitation
• identify sources of uncertainty and disagreement in real data sets
• propose research to address or remedy uncertainty
• construct an evidence-based argument for the management of a rare taxon
• ### Does it pose a threat? Investigating the impact of Bt corn on monarch butterflies

Learning Objectives
Students will be able to:
• Apply genetics concepts to a relevant case study of Bt corn and monarch butterflies
• Read figures and text from primary literature
• Identify claims presented in scientific studies
• Evaluate data presented in scientific studies
• Critically reason using data
• Evaluate the consequences of GM technology on non-target organisms
• Communicate scientific data orally
• ### Using Yeast to Make Scientists: A Six-Week Student-Driven Research Project for the Cell Biology Laboratory

Learning Objectives
• Learn about basic S. cerevisiae biology
• Use sterile technique
• Perform a yeast viability assay
• Use a spectrophotometer to measure growth of S. cerevisiae
• Perform a literature search
• Calculate concentrations of chemicals appropriate for S. cerevisiae
• Generate S. cerevisiae growth curves
• Troubleshoot experimental difficulties
• Perform statistical analysis
• Present findings to an audience