Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Lab #9 – The Cell and its Organelles

Lab #9 – The Cell and its Organelles


How are plant cells and animal cells both similar and different?


3 zip-loc bags
Frozen vegetables

Animal Cell
  1. Pour the gelatine mixture (cytoplasm) into the plastic bag. 
  2. Add the cauliflower/broccoli (nucleus) and mixed vegetables (organelles), but not the green beans/peas!

Plant Cell
  1. Pour the gelatine mixture (cytoplasm) into the plastic bag.
  2. Add the cauliflower/broccoli (nucleus) and mixed vegetables (organelles), including the green beans/peas (chloroplasts).
  3. Put the plastic bag cell into another plastic bag (cell wall).
Don’t forget to label your Ziploc bags (Cell Membrane) for BOTH plant and animal cells.  


Animal Cell
Plant Cell


  1. Compare/Contrast your plant and animal cells.

  1. Predict what would happen to a plant cell if it were to lose its chloroplasts.

  1. Explain the importance of the nucleus in both cells.

4.       On your gel cells, what is representing the cell membrane?  How is the cell membrane like your skin?

5.       Create your own model of an animal and/or a plant cell.  What materials would you use?  Make a list of what is going to represent the following: cytoplasm, cell membrane, nucleus, organelles, cell wall (plant cell only), chloroplasts (plant cell only).


Monday, April 24, 2017

Chapter 8 - Online Cell Exploration Computer Lab

Cells Alive!!!

Start off your Lab by watching these 2 videos!
a.  _____ are the smallest structural and functional units of ALL living things.
b. Ponder: What would happen if a cell lost its cell membrane?
c. True/False: DNA is the genetic instructions found in every cell.
d. _________ is the watery substance that contains all the cells structures.

a. Why is it a good idea to cover one's nose while sneezing?
b. About how many cells does your body have?

a. The ____is the basic unit of life. Some _________ are made up of a single cell, like bacteria, while others are made up of trillions of cells. _____ made up of cells, too.  
b. Although there are lots of different cells, most of them fit under two main types of cells: __________ cells and __________ cells.
c. Which cell part is similar to a human's skin?  Why?
d. If a cell loses it's mitochondria, what would happen to the cell and why?
e. The _________ make stuff the cells needs, like proteins.
f.  The _______ is the brains of the cell. It uses __________ to instruct the rest of the cell what to do next.
g. The cytoplasm is made up mostly of _____.
h.  When many cells of the same kind are together in a group, it's called a ______.

Build a plant cell:

Compare/Contrast the two different types of cells.  List three similarities and two differences between the two cells.  

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Chapter 8 - The Study of Living Things and their Interactions in the Environment

Chapter 8 - The Study of Living Things and their Interactions in the Environment

Living things, or organisms, have an incredible amount of diversity.  Unicellular bacteria live in our intestines whereas multicellular blue whales swim in the oceans.  No matter the differences that separate the vast array of organisms, we share some common traits.

1) Living things are organized; the smallest unit of an organism that carries on the functions of life is a cell.

The single celled yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, is used in baking bread.

Here is a picture of nearly a dozen Saccharomyces cerevisiae clumping together.  Each one of these is an organism.

The largest living reptile today is the saltwater crocodile.  An adult male can grow to the length of 9.0–5.5 m (13–18 ft) long. 

Crocodylus porosus

The saltwater crocodile is a multicellular organism made up of trillions of cells.

In this image, pig cells connect with each other to form tissue in the pig's nose.

Billions of cells working together are the basic unit of organization that gives form to the multicellular pig.

2) Living things grow and develop
Salmon eggs

Full grown adult salmon with eggs

3) Living things respond to a stimulus

4) Living things maintain homeostasis

5) Living things use energy

6) Living things reproduce

All living things need food, water and shelter

1) Living things need food

2) Living things need water

3) Living things need shelter

Organism Creation Project

You are a mad scientist that has the ability to create an organism by splicing DNA from other organisms and recombining that DNA to form a new organism. 
1)Name your organism
2)From what other organisms did you collect DNA from to create your own?  What characteristics does it still have?
3)Draw a picture of your creation
4)Write a description of your organism and link it to the traits that determine what it means to be alive: a) Living things are organized, b) Living things grow and develop, c) Living things respond, d) Living things maintain homeostasis, e) Living things use energy, f) Living things reproduce, g) Living things have a life span, h) Living things excrete wastes
5)In your description, tell us about how your organism acquires its “needs” i.e. food, water, shelter


The palmizzard is the organism that I’ve created.  I created it using the DNA from a lizard and a palm tree.  It has palm leaves growing from its back which allows it to produce its own energy with the help of radiation from the sun.  The palm leaves also provide shelter for the palmizzard; it lives on hot desert islands, so it needs protection from the sun which the palm leaves provide.  It has coconuts growing from its tail which it uses in times of self-defense.  It cannot run fast, so it needs camouflage that the palm leaves provide.  It is 4 feet in length as an adult.  The palm leaves help trap water so that when it rains, which is rarely on a desert island, the leaves collect the water for future use.  It eats insects and fruit that has fallen to the ground.  It mates twice a year and gives birth to live offspring.  If attacked, it will use its tail in self-defense and, if necessary, it will drop its coconuts to keep the animal attacking it busy as it flees.  The palmizzard excretes its waste 3-4 times a day. Its cells are a combination of plant and animal cells.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Lab #8 – Tracking Hurricanes

Lab #8 – Tracking Hurricanes

Hurricanes are classified according to the Saffir-Simpson Scale, which categorizes the storms from one to five depending on sustained wind speed, height of storm surge, and extent of damage. Some of the specifics for each hurricane category are listed in Table 1. The National Weather Service issues a hurricane watch when there is a threat of hurricane conditions within 24 to 36 hours. They issue a hurricane warning if hurricane conditions are expected within 24 hours.


How are hurricanes tracked?



Atlantic Basin Hurricane Tracking Chart found at


Part a—Historical Hurricanes

  1. Familiarize yourself with the classifications of hurricanes according to the Saffir-Simpson Scale in Table 1.
  2. Read about some major hurricanes of the past, which are described in the Data and Observations section, and watch the 2012 Hurricane Sandy Video.
  3. Use the Saffir-Simpson Scale to classify each of the historical hurricanes described in the Data and Observations section. Write the category number in the space provided next to each description.

Part B—Hurricane Tracking

  1. Use the data in Table 2 to plot the course of a hurricane. Start by plotting the storm's location on Day 1 on the Hurricane Tracking Chart in Figure 1.Mark the hurricane's location with a dot, and label it as Day 1.
  2. Considering only wind speed, classify the storm as a tropical storm or a hurricane. If the wind speed is less than 119 km/h, consider it a tropical storm. If the wind speed is 119 km/h or more, use the Saffir-Simpson Scale to decide what category describes the hurricane on this day. Write your observations in Table 2.
  3. Plot the storm's location at Day 2, label the dot, and connect the two dots with a straight line. Classify the storm as described in step 2.
  4. Consider that you are a forecaster with the National Weather Service. You must issue a hurricane warning to any land 24 hours before the center of a hurricane passes over it. Decide if you should issue a warning on Day 2. If yes, what areas would you warn? Write your observations in Table 2.
  5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 for the storm's duration.

Part A

Data and Observations

  1. ____ Hurricane Fran moved into North Carolina's southern coast in September 1996. Total damages from the hurricane exceeded $5 billion. Hurricane Fran had sustained winds of approximately 184 km/h and gusts as high as 200 km/h.
  1. ____ The Halloween Storm of 1991 has been called the "perfect storm." It packed sustained winds of 120 km/h.
  1. ____ Hurricane Bertha pounded the southeast coastline as well as the Bahamas in July 1996. The storm had winds peaking at 184 km/h.
  1. ____ When Hurricane Andrew slammed southern Florida in August 1992, it was the most costly natural disaster in United States history, with about $26 billion in damage. The storm killed 26 people and destroyed more than 25,000 homes. Its wind speeds are now thought to have reached up to 265 km/h.
 5. ____ Hurricane Celia hit Texas in August 1970, causing $1.6 billion in damage. The storm was characterized by very high winds that damaged an airport and destroyed a nearby mobile home park. Its highest estimated wind speed was around 257 km/h.
  1. ____ Hurricane Camille, which hit the Gulf Coast and then swerved east toward the Carolinas in August 1969, was the fifth most costly disaster in United States history with damages of $5.2 billion. Camille caused the death of 250 people. Its sustained wind speeds reached 320 km/h.
  1. ____ Hurricane Katrina, which devastated New Orleans in 2005 was the costliest hurricane, as well as one of the five deadliest, in the history of the United States. Among recorded Atlantic hurricanes, it was the sixth strongest overall.  Katrina made landfall Aug. 29 with top sustained wind of about 201 km/h.
8.       ____ Hurricane Irene, made its final landfall in Brooklyn, New York City in 2011.  Throughout its path, Irene caused widespread destruction and at least 56 deaths. Damage estimates throughout the United States are estimated near $15.6 billion.  Its highest winds reached 120 mph (195 km/h).
       9. ____ Hurricane Sandy affected 24 states in the U.S., including the entire eastern seaboard from Florida to Maine and west across the Appalachian Mountains to Michigan and Wisconsin, with particularly severe damage in New Jersey and New York. Its storm surge hit New York City on October 29, 2012, flooding streets, tunnels and subway lines and cutting power in and around the city. Damage in the United States amounted to $65 billion.  Its highest winds reached 115 mph (185 km/h).


Table 1

Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale

Wind Speed (km/h)
No real damage
Some roof and window damage
Some structural damage to small residences; mobile homes destroyed
Extensive building failures
greater than 249
Complete roof failure on buildings; some complete building failures

 Part B

Latitude (°N)
Longitude (°W)
Wind speed (km/h)
Type of Storm
Issue warning? Where?














  1. Which of the storms described in Part A were category five hurricanes?
  1. What information did you use to classify each of the storms?
  1. Describe the conditions that led you to issue a hurricane warning.
  1. Did the center of the storm pass over the areas to which you decided to issue warnings?
  1. When did the hurricane tracked in Part B reach the status of a category three hurricane? (Hint: The data presented in Table 3 shows one measurement for each day of the storm.
  2.  Did the hurricane that you tracked in Part B show characteristics of every category described by the Saffir-Simpson scale?
  3.   The formation of a hurricane depends on what three factors?
  4.  Reflect: A hurricane starts out as a low pressure system, why is this so?  Why would a high pressure area not turn into a hurricane?  (Hint: Think of the water cycle.)