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    Bacteria to Brains in Backyard Coyotes: An Interdisciplinary Pedagogical Case Study
    Our interdisciplinary pedagogical case study explores the differences between rural and urban coyotes at the levels of organismal and community ecology. The focus is on how coyotes’ gut microbiomes could affect their behavior via...
    dietanimal behaviorimmune systemmicrobiomeNervous systemgut-brain axisImmunoReachdysbiosisCoyoteCytokines
    Lesson
    1190

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    53

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    Snail Races: An Inquiry-Based Approach to Learn Invasive Species Ecology
    Inquiry-based lessons allow learning that is hands-on and student-driven, fostering engagement and retention of knowledge in any discipline. Here, we use this learning framework to engage students in exploring the effects of biotic and abiotic...

    Courses: EcologyEcology

    ecologyenvironmentInvasive SpeciesScience CommunicationScientific InquiryDispersal
    Teaching Tools and Strategies
    3602

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    522

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    Science “Fails”: A Bank of Historical Examples for Learning From Failure in Science
    Learning from failure is critically important to the processes of scientific inquiry, discovery, and invention. However, students are not routinely taught how to reflect on, learn from, and ultimately embrace failure, and relatively few curricular...
    metacognitionScience process skillsLearning from failurepower and privilegestudent wellbeing
    Lesson
    538

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    76

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    Evaluating Representation in Science Through a Peer-Reviewed Research Study
    The demographic representation of scientists featured in biology curricular materials do not match that of the undergraduate biology student population or of the U.S. population. In this lesson, we promote awareness of inequity in science through...
    societyRepresentationSTEM equity
    Teaching Tools and Strategies
    1491

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    145

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    An Interactive Protocol for In-Classroom DNA Extraction
    Using commonly available materials, this tool allows students to extract DNA, exploring DNA chemistry and the principles of experimental design and execution. We take a “Choose Your Own Adventure” approach encouraging students to...
    geneticsDNAbiochemical structure and function
    Lesson
    533

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    60

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    My Fish Tank: An Active Learning Activity for Bacterial Nitrogen Metabolism
    This active learning activity introduces students to the second part of the nitrogen cycle, nitrification. In terrestrial and aquatic environments, bacteria from the Nitrosomonas and Nitrobacter genera oxidize ammonia first to nitrite (via a...
    nitrogen cyclenitrificationnitrifying bacteria
    Teaching Tools and Strategies
    3093

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    72

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    Enhancing the Microscopy Skills of Non-Science Majors and Nursing Microbiology Students: Promoting the Practice of Observing Multiple Fields of View Using Blood Smear Slides
    One of the challenges in teaching microscopy is having students scan multiple fields of view at high power magnification. Many times, students will feel this unnecessary, especially when presented with slides that show only one structure or a...
    Microscopy SkillsBlood SmearsBlood Disorders
    Lesson
    695

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    305

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    Why Do I Need a Lab Notebook? Teaching Responsible Conduct of Research with CURE Lab Notebooks
    There are few instructional tools about data acquisition and management available for undergraduate students. I created this lesson as a Fellow of the Ethics Network for Course-Based Opportunities in Undergraduate Research (ENCOUR) to fill this...
    lab notebookresponsible conduct of researchdata acquisition/ management
    Lesson
    695

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    149

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    Population Ecology of the Northern Spotted Owl
    The mathematical modeling of populations utilizing field-collected demographic data is an important component of lab curricula in a variety of undergraduate biology lab courses. During the global pandemic brought about by the SARS-CoV-2 virus in...
    demographyCommunity Ecologypopulation ecologyconservation biologylife tables
    Teaching Tools and Strategies
    2359

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    325

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    The Flight Physics Concept Inventory: Reliably Evaluating Aerodynamic Lift, Drag and Associated (Naïve) Concepts of Flight in Class and In-Game
    Students often struggle to transfer conceptual understanding from isolated instruction to a coherent mental model. This is especially true for the context of flight physics, fluid dynamics, or the concepts of aerodynamic lift, drag, stall, center...
    active learninggamificationmisconceptionsaerodynamicsfluid dynamicsResearch-based assessment instrumentConceptual SurveyPRE-/POST-test
    Teaching Tools and Strategies
    5154

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    109

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    Walkabout: An Easy to Use, Experiential Learning Activity for Applying Abstract Concepts to the Real-World
    Students can have difficulty recognizing examples of course concepts in the real-world. They particularly struggle with phenomena that are ambiguously defined, have mimics, or are hard to distinguish from other phenomena. Students can better...
    data gatheringgreen technologyobservations
    Lesson
    615

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    111

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    Learning How to Make “Good Enough” Estimations
    The ability to estimate physical quantities is a useful skill that can help develop critical thinking and scientific literacy. This lesson provides an accessible way to teach students how to estimate physical quantities by focusing on three key...
    MeasurementestimationcommunicationProblem Solvinggroup workUnit conversion
    Lesson
    1211

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    120

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    Defining and Understanding Pathogenic Disease: An Engaging Activity that Connects Students' Lived Experiences with their Academic Studies
    Contagious diseases are unavoidable realities of life. Thus, understanding pathogens and their respective diseases is important in many biological subfields including evolution, ecology, health sciences, microbiology, and others. While all college...
    infectious diseasePathogenspathogenic disease
    Lesson
    1410

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    404

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    A Simple Method for Predicting a Molecule's Biological Properties From Its Polarity
    The distinction between very polar and less polar substances is a foundation of biochemistry, cell biology, and physiology; it surfaces in multiple concept inventories and elaborations of biological core concepts. However, in our experience, most...
    Diffusionsolubilitycovalent bondshydrophilichydrophobicpartition coefficientplasma membranepolarity
    Lesson
    1959

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    324

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    Go Extinct! An Award-Winning Evolution Game That Teaches Tree-Thinking as Students Pursue the Winning Strategy
    Evolutionary trees communicate both the diversity and unity of life, a central and important scientific concept, as highlighted by the Vision and Change undergraduate biology education movement. Evolutionary trees and cladograms are diagrams...

    Courses: EvolutionEvolution

    phylogeneticsnatural historyBiodiversitycladogramCommon ancestorEvolutionary treeLand vertebratesMonophyletic cladeTetrapods
    Lesson
    2038

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    361

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    Distances in the Universe: An Inquiry Lab Sequence Taught in West Africa and North America
    Astronomy evokes deep curiosity for many people, making it a beautiful topic for supporting students to learn scientific practices and develop as scientists. We present an inquiry-based lab sequence about distances in the Universe, which we have...

    Courses: AstronomyAstronomy

    InquiryAstronomy labParallaxInverse-square law for lightCosmic distance ladderAsking investigable questions
    Lesson
    1166

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    239

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    Real World Scenarios in Non-Majors Biology
    Students in non-majors’ biology courses may not choose careers that require biology content knowledge; however, all will encounter science in their lives. We redesigned a non-majors introductory biology course to support students in...
    geneticsVaccinesScientific ProcessGMOsviruses
    Lesson
    2093

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    325

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    Honoring the Complexity of Genetics: Exploring the Role of Genes and the Environment Using Real World Examples
    Historically, undergraduate genetics courses have disproportionately focused on the impact of genes on phenotypes, rather than multifactorial concepts which consider how a combination of genes, the environment, and gene-by-environment interactions...
    genesenvironmentMendelQuantitative traitsMultifactorialGene by environment interactions
    Lesson
    1587

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    217

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    Debating Conservation: Developing Critical Thinking Skills in Introductory Biology Classes
    Role-playing activities in the classroom promote students’ critical thinking, research, and communication skills. We present an activity where students debate a current controversy in conservation. In our case study, students debate the...
    Restorationtrophic cascadeecosystem function
    Lesson
    2324

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    84

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    Film as a Powerful Tool for Increasing Awareness of the Importance of Belonging in STEM
    People of color in STEM fields can face a variety of challenges with belonging due to structural, cultural, psychological, and institutional barriers. The professional development sessions described in this lesson involved using film as well as...
    steminclusionfilmbelonging