Biology is an area of science that focuses on living systems. Over the years, students have explored the following topics in the Catalysts for Change workshops:
Starfish, which belong to the phylum Echniodermata and the class Asteroidea, can be found in every ocean in the world. These marine animals are generally known for their ability to regenerate lost body parts. Squid are of the phylum Molluscs, class Cephalopoda. These marine animals are very intelligent, with a large brain, and are known for an ink sac that is part of theirpredator-prey defense mechanism. In this activity, students dissect a starfish or squid to explore its anatomy (structure) and physiology (functions of the organs or parts).
The cell is the basic fundamental unit of life, and it has a defined structure consisting of many components. These components are so small and transparent that biologists must use different stains to see these organelles under a microscope. In this activity, students examine their own cheek cells by using different stains and drawing the organelles observed under the light microscope.
Organisms such as plants, algae, and some bacteria use a process called to make their own “food.” In this photosynthesis lab, students to simulate the process and measure the rate of photosynthesis by using small disks made of spinach leaves. The students measured the rate of photosynthesis under various conditions. Since, photosynthesis requires light, they tested by comparing with leaf disk in the dark inside a shoe-box. Since photosynthesis requires carbon dioxide/carbonate, they tested by comparing with leaf disk in water without baking soda. And since fertilizer improves photosynthesis, they test by comparing with leaf disk in solution that has fertilizer added to it.