7 06 2011

Welcome to the Saints AP Biology Blog!

This will be a place for us to share information, thoughts, and photos during the summer and throughout the year. Be sure to read the introductory post on how to blog safely.

I have set the blog up so that this page will remain at the top for a few weeks, to make sure everyone reads it first. Otherwise, the most recent post always floats to the top.


Blog Safety

7 06 2011

PLEASE NOTE: I have set the blog up so that this page will remain as the second post for a few weeks, to make sure everyone reads it before posting. Otherwise, the most recent post always floats to the top.

Blogging is a very public activity. Anything that is posted on the Internet stays there.FOREVER! Deleting a post simply removes it from the blog it was posted to. Copies of the post may exist scattered all over the Internet. That is why we need to be careful and follow some simple, clear, safety rules.

To protect your privacy, you need to set up your account using ONLY your first name. If you have the same first name as another classmate or your username is already used, then let’s add only your last initial (or your middle initial and last initial) to your first name, like MarkE, or MarkAE.

Do not use pictures of ourselves in our profiles. If you really want a graphic image associated with your posting use an avatar — a picture of something that represents you but is NOT of you.

Other teachers who have blogged with their classes have come up with a list of guidelines for student bloggers.

One of them, Bud Hunt, has these suggestions, among others:

  1. Students using blogs are expected to treat blogspaces as classroom spaces. Speech that is inappropriate for class is not appropriate for our blog. While we encourage you to engage in debate and conversation with other bloggers, we also expect that you will conduct yourself in a manner reflective of a representative of this school.
  2. Never EVER EVER give out or record personal information on our blog. Our blog exists as a public space on the Internet. Don’t share anything that you don’t want the world to know. For your safety, be careful what you say, too. Don’t give out your phone number or home address. This is particularly important to remember if you have a personal online journal or blog elsewhere.
  3. Again, your blog is a public space. And if you put it on the Internet, odds are really good that it will stay on the Internet. FOREVER. That means ten years from now when you are looking for a job, it might be possible for an employer to discover some really hateful and immature things you said when you were younger and more prone to foolish things. Be sure that anything you write you are proud of. It can come back to haunt you if you don’t.
  4. Never link to something you haven’t read. While it isn’t your job to police the Internet, when you link to something, you should make sure it is something that you really want to be associated with. If a link contains material that might be creepy or make some people uncomfortable, you should probably try a different source.

Look over the guidelines and add any ones you’d like to suggest in the comments section below this post. I think Bud’s suggestions are excellent — clear and easy to follow. We’ll be using these from now on as the basis for how we will create our blog posts.

What Does a Scavenger Hunt Post Look Like?

7 06 2011


You will need to publish about 50 photos. Please do NOT make a new blog entry every time you want to publish photos. Please publish all your photos in ONE or TWO blog entries. That means make a blog entry for your Summer Scavenger Hunt assignment (titling it something like “Eb’s Biology Scavenger Hunt”) and keep adding your photos to that same entry. So each time you come back to the blog, go and EDIT your original blog post.

I would suggest you number your photos or captions, so it helps you keep track of your progress.

What are we looking for?
Photos of biology concepts and brief explanations of what the concept means and how your photo illustrates the idea. These do not have to be long explanations. They can just be a few lines that clearly state what Biology Scavenger Hunt concept your photo is depicting and how it clearly satisfies that category.  Scroll down to the next blog for a few examples!

(assignment originally created by Kim Foglia at Division High School)

AP Biology Scavenger Hunt Examples

7 06 2011

(1) Basidiomycetes, or club fungi, have fruiting bodies we commonly call mushrooms.  Basidiomycetes fungi are important decomposers of wood and other plant materials.  Of all the fungi, basidiomycetes is best at decomposing the complex polymer lignin, and abundant component of wood. After a mushroom, a basidiocarp, forms, its cap supports an protects a large number of basidia or gills.  Each basidia goes through meiosis and produces basidiospores which will give rise to the next generation.

(2) Decomposition is a primary function carried out by many fungi.  Thus fungi are considered decomposers.  This means fungi are organisms that absorbs nutrients from nonliving organic material such as the bodies of dead animals, the remains of dead plants, and the waste products of living organisms and converts these organic compounds back into to inorganic forms.  These inorganic molecules are now available to producers so the cycling of matter may continue.  Without decomposition the biogeochemical cycles would cease to function and key elements would become “locked” up.

Flowering plants (angiosperms) reproduce sexually.  The female portion of the flower is known as the pistil which consists of a stigma, style, and ovary.  The plant ovary contains the female gametes known as eggs that are fertilized by the male gamete known as pollen.  Each fertilized egg becomes a seed.  Each seed contains the embryo and its food source known as the endosperm.  The (3) plant ovary surrounding the seeds often develops into a fruit.  In the picture below, each pea pod is a fruit that developed from the flower’s ovary.  In each pod is typically 4-8 peas, or seeds, that are each individual embryos that can each grow into a new plant.


The bee in the photo below is serving as a (4) pollinator.  The bee will move from flower to flower feeding on the nectar the plant has to offer.  As the bee feeds on the nectar it will rub up against the pollen produced by the flower’s stamen.  Some of the pollen will adhere to the bees body.  When the bee moves to a new flower, some of the pollen attached to its body will stick to the sticky stigma of the female’s pistil on the new flower.  This is known as cross pollination, where the pollen of one flower is used to fertilize the egg of a different flower.  Bees are a very important pollinator and there is great concern about their decreasing numbers (mainly due to pesticides)  and what impact this might have on plants, particularly food crops.