News Letter Week 13

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Biology for students in North America is a compulsory subject, meaning they have to learn it if they wish to graduate. This can pose a few problems because despite being a subject that encompasses a wide variety of topics, students mostly associate the subject with anatomy and all the difficult vocabulary that comes with it. Now imagine trying to encourage students to learn biology in a second language!

 

Luckily for teachers, biology is a subject that can be learned effectively through many different methods. Visual learners tend to gravitate towards biology because the physicality of the content is inescapable. There are endless amounts of diagrams and charts that are tailored specifically for these types. Tactile learners probably benefit the most in a higher level biology class. Students dissect worms and even frogs and can get a feel for how to use a microscope so they can inspect the structures they learn about in class right before their eyes.

 

Biology can also be an unorthodox place to look for advancing technology. Biological structures in certain animals provide engineers with new and more efficient ways to design products. For example, scientists studied porcupine quills and noticed their structure was averse to buckling or breaking under a tensile force. By closely inspecting how the quills are made, engineers can replicate this to create larger, safer, load bearing structures. The applications of biology are endless!

 

Biology also gives students an opportunity to create models. Models serve many purposes, but the most important one is the ability to change your perspective about an object as you are creating it. Take the animal cell for example. We know what it looks like on a flat sheet of paper, but how would it look if it were the size of a dodgeball? Engaging students in this line of reasoning is better equipping them once they enter university and beyond. Second most importantly, building models is seriously fun!

The finished product from Emily and Jessica.
Emily, Jessica, Porter and Doris creating their model of a eukaryotic cell.
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