Sunday, August 23, 2015


Biology students will be viewing a 36-minute IMAX video in class on Monday, August 24th, and completing a worksheet based on part of the video. The film, 'Cosmic Voyage', was made in 1996 for the Smithsonian Institute and was clearly inspired by a classic science education film called 'Powers of Ten', originally produced in 1977 by the husband-and-wife team of Rae and Charles Eames.

'Cosmic Voyage' approaches the idea of using the metric system, which is based on powers of ten, to explore the question: "What is really large, and really small?" The film first zooms out from an acrobat's ring in St. Mark's Square in Venice, the place where Galileo first trained his telescope on the heavens.

Through 23 powers of ten, we leave first the Earth, then our solar system, then the Milky Way Galaxy behind, until we reach the limit of modern astronomy, where we can see images from about 13 billion years past.

Reversing course, the video then zooms in on drop of water in the Dutch town of Delft, where Antonie Van Leuuwenhoek first trained his early microscope to discover the hidden world of microbes.

As we zoom in on a paramecium, we penetrate its cell nucleus, then zoom in on a molecule of DNA.

Within that molecule is a carbon atom, and the world within that atom is mostly empty space! Within the atom, the atomic nucleus contains virtually all of an atom's mass, made of particles called protons and neutrons. These, in turn, are formed from even smaller particles called quarks.

The film continues with a discussion of the search for a fundamental theory in physics through the use of particle accelerators like Fermilab, along with an overview of the likely "recent" events that led to our sun, our solar system, the Earth and life itself.

Here, presented on YouTube, is the first segment (Chapter 1) of the film who wish to review the material or share it with others. As the narrator (Morgan Freeman) intones, 'we are all travelers on a voyage of discovery!' Chapter 2, and Chapter 3 can be assessed at YouTube directly or by clicking on the hyperlinks 


Students:  in this post you will find links to download all of the Power Point Notes given in the first week of instruction.   

You will use these Notes to complete the Lecture Guide given in class on Friday.   The purpose of the Lecture Guide is not only for you to make sure you have all the given material in your Interactive Notebook, but to answer questions that apply the Notes.

You can download the first set of Notes, called "Introduction to Biology", HERE.    

If you haven't done this yet, Students, it's pretty important that you do.  For example, these Notes cover the Course Contract that every student and parent/guardian should've completed and returned last week:  

The Notes also lay out the structure for the learning environment:  the three Classroom Rules, along with VARIOUS POLICIES AND PROCEDURES:

The Notes emphasize the importance of practicing Lab Safety in a science classroom, including the '3-D's':  things that, should they occur, would lead to an instructor taking immediate action:

The Notes also start providing the guidelines on how to keep your INTERACTIVE NOTEBOOK. Learning how to do this and keeping your Notebook faithfully is an important part of your course grade:

Just as important is how you answer questions in Mr. Hatfield's classes.  In many cases, students learn more from HOW they go about answering questions in science than from memorizing answers. To promote this kind of learning, Mr. Hatfield often has specific assignments from the textbook, called RA (REQUIRED ASSIGNMENTS), and the Power Point Notes explains how these assignments should be approached:

But what if you don't have Power Point on your home computer or mobile device?

The answer is surprisingly simple:  Fresno Unified has a policy that allows each student to download copies of Microsoft Office to their devices, for FREE.   Just go here:

Sunday, August 16, 2015


Students,  this is the first of many posts that will appear on this blog that will contain important information for the 2015-2016 year in Mr. Hatfield's Biology classes.   

If you are in Mr. Hatfield's class, you will be asked to fill out and return a Course Contract similar to what you see below:

More detailed information on the Course Contract and other classroom policies are always available on the first tab ("Course Guidelines"), or you may click here.

Here you will also find the Syllabus for our first Unit, on the Nature of Science.   You should've received a copy of this, three-hole punched, in class.  But, for your convenience (and for your parents), here is a graphic image of the Syllabus:

 Click on it and you can make it larger and print it out, if you like.