Old Lab Topics

These are lab topics that either were used in our old, quarter-based General Biology Lab sequence or were used in our old, quarter-based, majors’ Biology Lab sequence but were not included in the newer, semester-based, majors’ Biology Lab sequence.
These are grouped by similarity of topics, not by when they’d logically be taught. For example, “Yeast Plate Count/Intro to Sterile Technique” would probably best be done before working on the “Coliform Bacteria” lab, even though fungi come after bacteria, taxonomically. Similarly, the “Beer’s Law/Intro to Pipetting and Spectrophotometer” lab should be done before attempting the “Photosynthetic Pigments” lab. The “Plant/Insect Collection” is best done in early Autumn Quarter/Semester — it will not work to try to collect specimens in the middle of winter!

List of Lab Topics

  1. Samples of Old Syllabi and Schedules
    1. Majors’ Lab, First Quarter Sample Syllabus
    2. Majors’ Lab, First Quarter Sample Schedule
    3. Majors’ Lab, Second Quarter Sample Syllabus
    4. Majors’ Lab, Second Quarter Sample Schedule
    5. Majors’ Lab, Third Quarter Sample Syllabus
    6. Majors’ Lab, Third Quarter Sample Schedule
    7. Non-Majors’ Lab, First Quarter Sample Syllabus
    8. Non-Majors’ Lab, First Quarter Sample Schedule
    9. Non-Majors’ Lab, Second Quarter Sample Syllabus
    10. Non-Majors’ Lab, Second Quarter Sample Schedule
    11. Non-Majors’ Lab, Third Quarter Sample Syllabus
    12. Non-Majors’ Lab, Third Quarter Sample Schedule
  2. Background Information
    1. Biology Home Page
    2. Checklist
    3. Wildflowers
    4. How to Succeed in Biology Lab
    5. Notebook How-To
    6. Writing an Abstract
    7. Majors’ Scientific Project Instructions
    8. Non-majors’ Scientific Project Instructions
    9. Graphing How-To
    10. Binoculars How-To
  3. Technique Labs
    1. Observations vs. Conclusions
    2. Biometrics — Statistical Analysis of Biological Data
    3. Accuracy and Precision of Lab Glassware – Use of Glassware, Balance
    4. Spectrophotometer Use — Beer’s Law, Methylene Blue, Use of Pipets
    5. Microscope Use — Background for Cells & Various Other Labs
    6. Bunsen Burner Use — Background for Cells & Several Other Labs
    7. Use of Dissecting Scope — Fruit Flies, Flower Dissection, Earthworm Dissection
    8. Autoclave Use — Background for Several Bacteria Labs and Yeast Plate Count
    9. Yeast Plate Count — Intro to Sterile Technique
  4. Background Biochemistry
    1. pH Testing
    2. Carbohydrates — Sugar in Soft Drinks
    3. Lipids — Mayonnaise
    4. Proteins — Effects of Environmental Conditions on Enzymes
    5. Proteins — Effects of pH on Pepsin’s Ability to Function
  5. Cell Structure and Function
    1. Cells and Organelles
    2. Fermentation — How Cells Burn Sugar for Fuel, Lab Brew
    3. Fermentation — Distillation, Determination of Percentage of Ethanol in Lab Brew
    4. Fermentation — How Cells Burn Sugar for Fuel, Root Beer
    5. Photosynthesis — Photosynthetic Pigments, Paper Chromatography, Absorption Spectra
    6. Osmosis and Diffusion
    7. Substances that Serve as Biological Antifreeze
  6. Mitosis, Meiosis, and Genetics
    1. Mitosis & Meiosis Slides, Coin Tosses, etc.
    2. Blood Typing
    3. Fruit Fly Genetics
  7. Taxonomy — Survey of Kingdoms
    1. Intro to Taxonomy
    2. Plant or Insect Collection
    3. Bacteria — Coliform Bacteria, EMB Agar
    4. Bacteria — Yogurt and Cheese
    5. Bacteria — Cellulose-Digesting Bacteria in Ruminants
    6. Protista
    7. Fungi — Survey of Divisions
    8. Plants — Lower Plants
    9. Plants — Gymnosperms
    10. Plants — Angiosperm Anatomy, Flower Dissection
    11. Animals — Annelida: Earthworm Dissection
    12. Animals — Arthropods: Eyelash Mites
    13. Animals — Arthropods: Crayfish Dissection
    14. Animals — Arthropods: Lubber Grasshopper Dissection
    15. Animals — Vertebrates: Winter Bird Feeding
  8. Ecology (Sort-of)
    1. Spontaneous Generation — Recreation of Pasteur’s Experiment
    2. Seasonal (December) — Demonstration of Frankincense and Myrrh
    3. Seasonal (Winter/Spring) — Maple Tree Tapping, Maple Syrup Production, Waffle Breakfast
    4. Seasonal (Autumn or Late Spring) — “Scavenger Hunt” for Local Species
    5. Soil Analysis
    6. Insect Scavengers — Comparison of Field vs. Woodland Areas
    7. Worm Bins — Recycling Food Scraps
    8. Organisms Used — Scientific Names and Families
  9. Human Anatomy and Physiology
    1. Histology — Types of Epithelial and Connective Tissues
    2. Nutrition — Growing Sprouts at Home
    3. Nutrition — “Healthy” Salad and Stir-Fry with Home-Grown Sprouts
    4. Nutrition — Vitamin C in Foods, Excreted by the Body
    5. Nutrition — Healthy Pizza
    6. Nutrition — Complementary Protein
    7. Skeletal and Muscular Systems — Bones and Muscles
    8. Nervous System — Visual Reaction Time
    9. Circulatory System — Blood Pressure and Pulse, Post-Exercise Recovery Rate
    10. Reproductive System — Histology and Anatomy Models
    11. Cat Anatomy — “Tour” of Pre-Dissected Cats
    12. Human Anatomy — “Tour” of the Models of Various Body Parts
    13. Chick Embryonic Development

Copyright © 2015 by J. Stein Carter. All rights reserved.
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