This course will help students understand the importance and impact of genetics in their lives. Topics will include genetic testing and prenatal diagnosis, genetic engineering, use of DNA evidence in the courts, and eugenics. Labs will include use of PCR and Gel electrophoresis in DNA fingerprinting, genetic engineering and testing for genetically modified foods.
This is a seminar course designed to explore current topics in the area of animal behavior in the context of evolutionary theory. Topics may include mate choice, parental care, group formation, or habitat selection, with emphasis on birds and mammals. Students will learn to read and critically evaluate articles from the primary literature, and will be responsible for leading class discussion on a topic of their choice.
Human Exercise: Measurements & Limits
Students will be working in groups to pose questions about human exercise, predict their outcome, measure the body’s response to exercise with various equipment and then interpret its meaning and application from the experimental output. Thus, students will be immersed in the scientific method, learning to do science and applying it to everyday exercise.
Science of Food & Cooking
This is an in-depth study course that will immerse students in a close examination of the science behind the food they eat and the methods used to prepare it. Scientific topics explored may include botany of seeds and edible plants, the chemistry of cooking at high and low temperatures, protein structure and function in yogurt production, the chemical activity of different leavening agents in cake-baking, the science of bacterial contamination and food safety, among many others. A primary learning technique will be independent student-led kitchen research projects outside of class. Students must have reliable access to a kitchen, basic cooking and baking equipment, and transportation to a grocery store for supplies, which must be purchased separately from the course fee.
Diabetes, Heart Disease, & Cancer
This in-depth study course will address one of these major diseases each week. Students will generate questions about each disease and learn answers via research, visits to treatment centers and dialogue with researchers, doctors, caregivers, insurance experts, patient advocates and government officials. The course will be an investigative inquiry-driven attempt to get the latest information on three of the biggest health challenges that face every American today. Teams of students will try to understand and present both sides of controversial issues related to these diseases. Second-term first-year students only.
Course requirements for teacher licensure in Biological Science, Grades 7-12:
State of Iowa endorsement for the teaching major follows the basic course requirements of the biology major but with the following core differences: BIO-489 will be fulfilled by EDU-490 with the additional requirements that students present their thesis in BIO¬-489 and write a thesis approved by their biology advisor. It is also recommended that students complete BIO-220 and PHI-349. For professional education courses, refer to the appropriate section listed under Teacher Education.
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