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    Teaching Tools and Strategies
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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...
    Lesson
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    Exploring the City of Biofilms: An Engaging Analogy-Based Activity for Students to Learn Biofilms
    Multicellular biofilms constructed by microbes are key aspects of microbiology with significant implications in various fields, including medicine, environmental science, and biotechnology. While bacteria spend nearly all their lives in biofilms,...

    Courses: MicrobiologyMicrobiology

    Teaching Tools and Strategies
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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...
    Teaching Tools and Strategies
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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...
    Teaching Tools and Strategies
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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...
    Lesson
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    Simulating Cortical Rotation, Axis Induction, and Experimental Embryology in Amphibian Embryos Using Clay Models
    The study of development requires learners to understand spatially complex concepts like embryo anatomy. Embryo anatomy is dynamic over time, and it is often manipulated by researchers in experiments that are fundamental to the field. This spatial...
    Teaching Tools and Strategies
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    Sanger Sequencing by Hand: Using Paper Clips to Demonstrate Chain Termination
    Sanger sequencing is commonly taught with a hands-on approach. Sanger sequencing involves chain termination by dideoxynucleotides, because they are missing the oxygen on the 3’ carbon atom, which is required for the addition of subsequent...

    Courses: GeneticsGenetics

    Lesson
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    266

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    A Muscular Dystrophy Case Study Illustrating the Phenotypic Effects of Mutation
    Mutations in genes can lead to a variety of phenotypes, including various human diseases. Students often understand that a particular mutation in a single gene causes a disease phenotype, but it is more challenging to illustrate complex genetic...
    Teaching Tools and Strategies
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    A Pandemic Pivot: Podcast as an Active Engagement Tool in the Classroom and Beyond
    Higher education in STEM undoubtedly integrates the use of technology as a primary mode for content delivery to undergraduate students. This became especially salient throughout the shift to online education during the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite...
    Lesson
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    Responsible and Ethical Conduct of Research: Instruction on Plagiarism
    Helping students understand where they should provide citations in research manuscripts is an essential aspect of training them in the responsible and ethical conduct of research. This Lesson comprises about 35 minutes of in-class work to help...
    Lesson
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    A Student-Led Hearing on the Use of HeLa Cells in Research
    In this role-playing case study, students will learn about the HeLa cell line and its origins while examining multiple perspectives surrounding the cell line and its uses. The goal of this case study is for students to use guided questions to...
    Teaching Tools and Strategies
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    Drawing flowcharts of lab protocols helps students prepare for biology labs
    With the publishing of the Vision and Change report, we know it is best practice to include authentic research experiences in our undergraduate science lab classes. One big challenge in teaching so-called "wet lab" classes is figuring...
    Lesson
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    A Fun Introductory Command Line Lesson: Next Generation Sequencing Quality Analysis with Emoji!
    Radical innovations in DNA sequencing technology over the past decade have created an increased need for computational bioinformatics analyses in the 21st century STEM workforce. Recent evidence however demonstrates that there are significant...

    Courses: BioinformaticsBioinformatics

    Teaching Tools and Strategies
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    Preparing Student Study Guides through Peer Collaboration in the Technological Era
    Incorporating active learning exercises into large lecture courses is particularly challenging, especially when it comes to examination preparation materials. Traditionally, study guides are used as a tool to guide student learning and review...
    Lesson
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    Breaking Bricks: A Hands-On Model of Enzyme Kinetics and Inhibition
    Enzyme kinetics and the impacts of inhibitors on the enzyme's maximal velocity and ability to bind substrates are important topics in cell biology and biochemistry. However, these topics can be difficult for students to grasp when instructed...
    Lesson
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    Squirreling Around for Science: Observing Sciurid Rodents to Investigate Animal Behavior
    Hands-on research experiences are important opportunities for students to learn about the nature of inquiry and gain confidence in solving problems. Here, we present an inquiry-based lesson plan that investigates the foraging behavior of sciurid...
    Lesson
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    A Quick and Simple Natural Selection Role Play
    Teaching evolution remains a challenging task in biology education. Students enter the classroom with stubborn misconceptions and many traditional examples of the process of evolution may not resonate with students. This short role play activity...
    Lesson
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    Data Analysis Recitation Activities Support Better Understanding in SEA-PHAGES CURE
    Course-based undergraduate research experiences (CUREs) are widely known to improve student learning outcomes in the sciences. Undergraduate students have a particularly difficult time interpreting the scientific data that they generate in these...
    Teaching Tools and Strategies
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    Lateral Transfer Maps as a Metacognitive Tool in First Year STEM Courses
    We introduce the Lateral Transfer Map (LTM), a tool for students to actively and visually explore the transfer of ideas, skills, and concepts across concurrent coursework. The LTM is an extension of a concept map, replacing interconnected concepts...
    Lesson
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    Using Musical Instruments to Model Negative Feedback in the Hypothalamo-Pituitary-Target Gland Axes
    Homeostasis and negative feedback are crucial, yet difficult, concepts for undergraduates, particularly in the context of the hypothalamo-pituitary axes. This interactive activity was designed to (1) reveal how negative feedback can restore...