Friday, January 15, 2016

VIDEO: The DNA Double Helix Discovery

Students in class today were shown the video below, from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, which describes the background of Watson and Crick's discovery of DNA's structure.  
This video compliments the 100-point assignment 'A Twist of Fate', based on a Time magazine article written by Michael Lemonick, written on the 50th anniversary of their discovery.  Lemonick's original article can be found here.

That assignment ("A Twist of Fate") has been adapted, with Mr. Lemonick's permission, to form the basis of a 5,000 word assignment in which students will evaluate the process of scientific discovery, and how Watson and Crick both collaborated and competed (!) with other scientists en route to unraveling 'the secret of life.'

That assignment ("A Twist of Fate") can be found as a PDF file HERE.

Friday, January 8, 2016


Students, I hope you enjoyed your winter break.   

The nature of the spring semester is that there will be several smaller holidays, many of them three-day weekends in January and February.   

To help you plan ahead, I have identified those days in your Unit 5 syllabus, below:

Please notice that we're going to continue to do TEXT COLLABORATION: 

That is, all of you will be expected to READ THE TEXT IN CLASS and (working in groups) SUBMIT PACKETS BASED ON THE TEXT. Students who fail to do this will lose points, and not be eligible to submit the EXTRA CREDIT 'RA' HOMEWORK ASSIGNMENTS. 

So, your success this semester will really have a lot to do with READING THE TEXT, AND RESPONDING TO THE TEXT.

We will begin Unit 5 (and 2016!) with a special 50-point assignment called 'Reviewing the Fall Semester'.   You can obtain that assignment as a PDF file here.

To help review, I am embedding the Power Point Notes on the Cell Cycle below: