Wednesday, December 14, 2011


Parents and Students:

Monday (Dec. 12th) began the final week of instruction for the Fall Semester. This is a post to give everybody one last 'heads-up' about Finals week in Biology!

First of all, 'A Twist of Fate', an important 100-point project, is due on Friday (12/16), and no late work of any kind will be accepted after Monday (12/19)

This assignment is based on a reading describing the scientific detective story that led to the discovery of DNA's structure. The reading is adapted from an article by Michael Lemonick that appeared in the Feb. 17, 2003 issue of Time. That article can be read in its entirety on-line here.

Students are expected to define terms underlined in the article, and to answer four discussion questions according to the usual guidelines: complete sentences that refer to the original question and provide supporting evidence for the student's opinion.

Secondly, students will receive a Study Guide for their 200-point Semester Final on Friday (12/16)

Students should be reviewing it and using it to identify any weaknesses, as well as working to submit any other outstanding work in the course by the end of instruction (Monday, 12/19).

Next, there will be a Study Session after-school on MONDAY (12/19).

This Study Session will take place in my classroom (N-63). It will begin at 3:15 and end at 5:30 that evening. Students who attend will not only receive valuable feedback as to what to expect on the test, but will also receive up to 40 points of extra-credit.

And, finally...Finals! Our scheduled Finals are on (12/20) Tuesday for 4th period, (12/21) Wednesday afternoon for 5th and 6th period.

There is no significant makeup period, as the above schedule shows. Students need to attend their final exam period if they want significant time for their Final. Those who fail to attend without having their parent or guardian reach a prior understanding with Mr. Hatfield will be given an 'incomplete' in the course.

Finally, the Power Point with notes on DNA and Protein Synthesis is available on-line here:

The Power Point notes are available for download here.

A PDF of the Lecture Guide based on the Power Point notes is available here.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Tuesday, December 6, 2011


Parents, Students:

Please note the critical dates for the Project ("A Twist of Fate"), the 40-point extra credit Study Session on Monday, Dec. 19th, and the sizeable point total of the Semester Final that students will take on either Tuesday or Wednesday of that same week.

Saturday, December 3, 2011


In November, our Biology classes covered material on how cells obtain, store and release energy. During that time, there were several groups of notes of various sizes for students to access.

First, this Power Point (previously given) contains an outline of photosynthesis, relating it to the 'Great Circle' of chemical reactions that all living things participate it (autotrophs and heterotrophs!), reactions which recycle the raw materials that life requires. Much of this material is covered in the first two sections of Chapter 8 in the Dragonfly Book.

The Power Point for Photosynthesis, Part I, is available here.

Photosynthesis, Part II provides much more detail about the light reactions, photosystems, the proton pumps that use the enzyme ATP synthase, the electron transport chains that help power those pumps. There is less detail about the 'dark reactions' of the Calvin cycle and other material which is not explicitly part of the state standards. This is covered in Section 8.3 of the Dragonfly Book.

You can download Photosynthesis, Part II here.

A third Power Point is somewhat brief, but has many helpful animations that help describe and explain the structure and function of ATP (adenosine triphosphate), the main energy-carrying molecule used by living things.

The fourth and final Power Point in this unit contains information about cellular respiration, including glycolysis (which takes place in the cytoplasm) and the Krebs Cycle (which takes place in the matrix of the mitochondria). The electrons produced in the Krebs Cycle move through the inner membrane, or cristae, of the mitochondria. The motion of these negatively-charged particles attracts protons (H+), and eventually a high concentration of protons within the membrane is available to drive 'proton pumps' that power an enzyme, ATP synthase, leading to the production of more ATP:

You can download the Power Point for Cellular Respiration here.


SATURDAY SCHOOL was held on Dec. 3rd, in Room N-63, between 8:45 and 11:30. Students who attended received a packet of illustrations to color and label based on materials from chapters 7-9 (cell membrane, transport, animal and plant cells, photosynthesis) as well as a diagram on DNA.

Students also received (in advance) the Final Project for the fall semester, a handout called "A Twist of Fate" based on an article that appeared in TIME magazine to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the discovery of DNA's structure. The original article can be viewed on-line here; the text has been modified to emphasize vocabulary development and will challenge students to analyze a test case of science as actually practiced by real men and women.