- Colin Purrington has created a blog page for Designing Conference Posters which has a lot of information about good layouts for scientific posters, as well as useful tips and templates. He also posted an example of a bad scientific poster, which is a nice one to discuss with students.
- This slideshow has three examples of scientific posters – the good, the bad and the ugly.
- A Powerpoint Template for a scientific poster from VicPhysics Teacher’s Network.
- Free poster templates here
Unit 4: Area of Study 3 in the VCE Biology Study Design provides details of the practical investigation that students are required to complete, worth one third of the school assessed coursework for Semester 2.
On the completion of this unit the student should be able to design and undertake a practical investigation related to cellular processes and/or biological change and continuity over time, and present methodologies, findings and conclusions in a scientific poster.
There are a great number of practical investigations suitable for students, however, careful consideration of the materials and equipment available and the time taken to achieve useful results is prudent. The following resources provide lists of practical investigations that may be of interest:
- Deadly Extended Experimental Investigation Ideas from Dr Richard Walding
- Ecological investigations in the field from Into Biology (Student projects – investigations with plants)
- Bugwise investigations from the Australian Museum
- Biology experiments to download
- Practical Biology from the Nuffield Foundation
When you have decided which investigation you are interested in and after discussion with your teacher, submit a proposal that includes the following information:
- Your name
- Title (up to ten words about the experiment)
- Hypothesis (what exactly are you testing?)
- Materials required (consumables)
- Equipment required (experimental tools, glassware etc)
- Estimated time for conducting the experiment and collecting results
- References (Where did you get the idea from and what other information do you need?)
Welcome to the step up week for Year 12 Biology in 2017. This post is to let you know about some of the resources that are available for your studies. It is a new course for Unit 3 and 4 next year and we will be using the Heinemann textbook (3rd edition). You will also need a copy of the Heinemann Student Workbook for practical activities and revision questions.
The Hawkesdale Biology Quizlet page is where you can access learning activities for each Chapter to assist you with key terms and definitions. Please sign up to Quizlet and join the class.
Andrew Douch is a very experienced VCE Biology teacher who produces free weekly podcasts (Douchy’s Biology Podcasts) that are worth listening to. He also has a popular Facebook page where you can ask questions.
Mr Barlow has produced four apps, one for each Biology unit, which are available on iTunes. You may find these useful for revision.
Unit 3 – Area of Study 1 – How do cellular processes work?
Outcome 1: On completion of this unit the student should be able to explain the dynamic nature of the cell in terms of key cellular processes including regulation, photosynthesis and cellular respiration, and analyse factors that affect the rate of biochemical reactions.
Unit 3 – Area of Study 2 – How do cells communicate?
Outcome 2: On completion of this unit the student should be able to apply a stimulus-response model to explain how cells communicate with each other, outline human responses to invading pathogens, distinguish between the different ways that immunity may be acquired, and explain how malfunctions of the immune system cause disease.
Unit 4 – Area of Study 1 – How are species related?
Outcome 1: On completion of this unit the student should be able to analyse evidence for evolutionary change, explain how relatedness between species is determined, and elaborate on the consequences of biological change in human evolution.
Unit 4 – Area of Study 2 – How do humans impact on biological processes?
Outcome 2: On completion of this unit the student should be able to describe how tools and techniques can be used to manipulate DNA, explain how biological knowledge is applied to biotechnical applications, and analyse the interrelationship between scientific knowledge and its applications in society.
Unit 4 – Area of Study 3 – Practical Investigation
Outcome 3: On the completion of this unit the student should be able to design and undertake an investigation related to cellular processes and/or biological change and continuity over time, and present methodologies, findings and conclusions in a scientific poster.
My class have identified three areas in each of Unit 3 and Unit 4 that they would like to do more work on before the exams:
Unit 3: Signatures of Life
- Photosynthesis – Light dependent and light independent reactions
- Respiration – Aerobic and anaerobic
- Immunity – Active/Passive, Natural/Induced
Unit 4: Continuity and Change
One of the earliest defining human traits, bipedalism — the ability to walk on two legs — evolved over 4 million years ago. Other important human characteristics — such as a large and complex brain, the ability to make and use tools, and the capacity for language — developed more recently. Many advanced traits — including complex symbolic expression, art, and elaborate cultural diversity — emerged mainly during the past 100,000 years.
Since Darwin first proposed that humans and apes had a common ancestor, our understanding of human evolution has improved due to fossil finds, analysis of our closest living and extinct relatives, studies of geographic distribution and DNA analysis. Although the image above is often used to represent human evolution, the process is not the simple linear procession that is shown. Your task is to write an essay of at least eight paragraphs that explains why this image is suitable, but also why it is an inaccurate representation of human evolution.
- Introduction – what will the following paragraphs explain?
- Outline primate family tree, including lemurs, monkeys, apes, hominins and Homo sapiens.
- Where do Australopithecus sp., Homo erectus, Homo habilis, Homo neanderthalensis and Homo heidelbergensis fit in?
- Discuss bipedalism – location of foramen magnum, shape of spine and ratio of arm to body length.
- Discuss skull shape, brow ridges, sagittal and nuchal crests, prognathous jaw and facial sloping.
- Discuss cranial capacity and relationship to body mass and intelligence.
- What is the evidence that human evolution is not a linear progression, but a many-branched family tree?
- Conclusion – what are the main characteristics that can be identified in the image and why is the image an inaccurate representation of human evolution.
Introduction to Human Evolution from the Smithsonian
This fruit is from a genetically modified papaya plant, bred to reduce the risk of disease. How are genetically modified organisms created? (YouTube video, 5.31min)
While genetic techniques have certainly provided health benefits to our society (disease diagnosis and therapies, production of insulin and increased production of more nutritious and disease resistant foods), there are also community concerns about the ways that these technologies are being used and the future consequences. ABC Splash have some short videos that outline some of the issues of genetic technologies:
Video Source (YouTube, 54.42 min)
- What vestigial organ, a remnant from our primate ancestors, is apparent in humans?
- Which species does the video refer to as our “distant cousins”?
- Name three characteristics that we share with these monkeys.
- Notharctus tenebrosus is a fossil that scientists believe to be a common ancestor of humans – how old is this fossil?
- What feature of this fossil’s hand is important for climbing and gripping objects?
- How was colour vision an important evolutionary advantage in early primates?
- What genetic mutation occurred to allow primates to see in colour like humans?
- What sense diminished as humans evolved high-colour vision? What evidence is there for this?
- ‘Lucy’ is a 3.2 million year old fossil from Ethiopia – why is this fossil significant?
- What advantages does this particular characteristic give the species?
- What disadvantages does bipedalism have for modern humans?
- What characteristic of stone-age man is an indication that human ancestors had the ability for complex thought, together with highly developed hand-eye co-ordination?
- In what test do 3 month old monkeys out-perform human babies?
- What fundamental brain architecture do all vertebrates, including sharks and humans, share?
The Hardy-Weinberg Principle is a mathematical law that predicts allelic frequencies, making several assumptions:
- Large population
- Random mating
- No immigration
- No emigration
- No natural selection
In nature, these assumptions are extremely unlikely to occur, but it is the deviation from the expected distribution of alleles (according to the HW Principle) that informs us about the action of these natural conditions.
- Introduction to the Hardy-Weinberg Principle (YouTube, 4.39 min)
- The Hardy-Weinberg Principle – watch your p’s and q’s! (YouTube, 12.15 min)
Please complete Activity 13.2 (page 141) Looking at Allele Frequencies – Parts A and B.
- What is the theory of evolution? (YouTube, 2.59 min)
- What is evolution? from Stated Clearly (YouTube, 8.52 min)
“The theory of evolution by natural selection, first formulated in Charles Darwin’s book “On the Origin of Species” in 1859, is the process by which organisms change over time as a result of changes in heritable physical or behavioral traits.”
- What is natural selection? from Stated Clearly (YouTube, 9.19 min)
“Natural selection is the process whereby organisms better adapted to their environment tend to survive and produce more offspring. The theory of its action was first fully expounded by Charles Darwin, and it is now regarded as be the main process that brings about evolution.”
What is the evidence for evolution? from Stated Clearly (YouTube, 11.21min)
- Fossil evidence – organisms have changed over time and some have become extinct
- Comparative morphology (anatomy) – there are similarities between some organisms that suggest a common ancestor
- DNA evidence – Similar species have more genes in common than dissimilar species, suggesting a common ancestor; Chimpanzees and humans have 99% of their DNA in common
- Distribution of species (biogeography) shows that islands have unique species, due to an original inhabitant becoming adapted to its’ environment over many generations, by natural selection
- Similarities of embryos suggest that all vertebrates have a common ancestry
Welcome back and thanks for your patience while I have been on study leave. There are only two weeks left before the Unit 3/4 Biology exam on Friday 30th October, so you should have already done the following:
- Written out a clear and concise set of study notes, outlining the main concepts in each Area of Study.
- Completed practice exams (available at the VCAA website) and identified areas where you need to do further revision.
- Joined the Elevate Education #elevatebio Video Series at http://bio.elevateeducation.com/
- You may also like to join the Study.com site for a five-day free trial and access their Immunology resources.
Some students have mentioned that they are having most difficulty remembering the cells involved and sequence of events of the cell cycle and immunology. These quick videos and other resources may assist with your revision: