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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
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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...
    developmentXenopusfertilizationEmbryologyinductionSymmetry breakingOrganizerCortical rotationPatterning
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    The Developmental Origins of Mythology: A Pandemic-Inspired Innovative Developmental Biology Laboratory Exercise
    From an experiential, hands-on perspective, the Developmental Biology Laboratory is easily amenable to a wide range of undergraduate-friendly experiments. Thus, pivoting to a virtual laboratory during the COVID-19 pandemic required significant...
    gastrulationaxis formationlimb developmentchimeramidline
    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

    nucleotidessequencingDNAgel electrophoresisChain Termination
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    A Modeling Exercise in Sexual Selection using a Student-Created Bird Species
    Evolution-centered lessons at the undergraduate level can often be jargon-heavy, propagate misconceptions if taught ineffectively, and be uninteresting to students who may not see the relevancy of such concepts. This activity provides a fun and...
    Evolutionfitnesssexual selectionNatural Selectionintersexual selectionmate choice
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    Meiosis Remodeled: Inclusion of New Parts to Poppit Bead Models Enhances Understanding of Meiosis
    A long-standing tradition uses strings of poppit beads of different colors to model meiosis, especially to show how segments of paired homologous chromosomes are recombined. Our use of orthodontic latex bands to model cohesion of sister...
    meiosischiasma formationchromosome recombination
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    It's a Substrate... It's a Protein...No - It's an Enzyme! Teaching Using 3D Serine Protease Physical Modeling Activities to Confront Misconceptions.
    Reported misconceptions of enzyme-substrate interactions highlight the necessity for better, targeted instructional tools and assessments. A series of active learning activities with corresponding three-dimensional (3D) physical models were...
    Protein StructureEnzymes-Substrate InteractionsNoncovalent InteractionsGeometric ComplementaryElectronicsStereochemistrySerine Proteases
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    Investigating Enzyme Structure and Function Through Model-Building and Peer Teaching in an Introductory Biology Course
    A foundational knowledge of the relationship between structure and function is critical to understanding how enzymes work. The seemingly invisible nature of these molecular interactions makes it challenging for undergraduate students to...
    structure-functionEnzymeallosteric regulationcompetitive inhibitionfeedback inhibitionnoncompetitive inhibitionproductsubstrate
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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...
    kineticsEnzymecompetitive inhibition
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    Understanding Host-Pathogen Interactions With the Use of Galleria mellonella
    The Galleria mellonella; the larvae of the Greater Wax Moth, is a safe and effective means to study host-pathogen interactions in the undergraduate setting. The use of animal models in the teaching classroom provides an opportunity to discuss...
    innate immunitybacterial pathogenesisHost-pathogen interactionsGalleria mellonellaVirulence
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    Integrating Manipulatives and Animations to Visualize Holliday Junctions
    The complex molecular architecture of Holliday junctions is often challenging for undergraduate biochemistry students to conceptualize. In particular, they have difficulty translating from two-dimensional, linear representations shown in textbooks...
    dna structureDNA damageDNA recombinationGene crossoverHolliday junction
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    Using the Cell Engineer/Detective Approach to Explore Cell Structure and Function
    As instructors of introductory biology courses for majors and non-majors, we have struggled with teaching the concept of cell structure and function in an engaging way.  However, this is a foundational concept that most biology instructors...
    cell functionCell StructureCellular diversityDynamic cellular functionOrganelle function
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    To Vaccinate or Not to Vaccinate
    To vaccinate or not to vaccinate, that is the question. Much of the recent trend in society against vaccination is that the general population does not understand 1) how vaccines work and 2) how one's vaccination status can influence others....
    pathogenELISAimmunityantibodyAntigen
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    It's a bird! It's a plane! It's biomechanics!
    Biomechanics is a discipline that draws from physics and engineering principles to understand the movement and structure of living organisms. It is highly interdisciplinary in nature and can be incorporated into general biology and ecology...
    EvolutionecologybatphysiologyAnatomybirdFlightforcesinsect
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    What do Bone and Silly Putty® have in Common?: A Lesson on Bone Viscoelasticity
    Without the use of real-life examples and models, actively instructing and engaging students in complex physiology topics related to bone biomechanics can be challenging. In our large-enrollment Human Physiology & Anatomy courses at the...
    structure-functioninjuryAnisotropyHysteresisSkeletal SystemViscoelasticity
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    Furry with a chance of evolution: Exploring genetic drift with tuco-tucos
    Genetic drift is an important mechanism of evolution, yet undergraduates often fail to understand how it leads to evolutionary change due in part to its random nature. This lesson plan describes a simulation-based activity that allows students to...

    Courses: EvolutionEvolution

    EvolutionGenetic DriftBottle neckFounder effectRandom evolutionary processes
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    Make It Stick: Teaching Gene Targeting with Ribbons and Fasteners
    Manipulating gene expression is a commonly used tool to study the effect of a single gene or the hierarchy of gene networks in many different biological disciplines. When working with mice, the most commonly used techniques to manipulate genes...
    mathematical modelhomologous recombinationCre/loxgene targeting
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    Exploring the March to Mars Using 3D Print Models
    With the increased availability of 3D printers and open databases containing 3D print files, academic institutions are giving more thought into how such technology can be used in the classroom to further student learning. One way that 3D print...
    waterMarsmicroorganismsproperties of life
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    Sequence Similarity: An inquiry based and "under the hood" approach for incorporating molecular sequence alignment in introductory undergraduate biology courses
    Introductory bioinformatics exercises often walk students through the use of computational tools, but often provide little understanding of what a computational tool does "under the hood." A solid understanding of how a bioinformatics...
    BLASTmultiple sequence alignmentsequence similarityphylogramZika virusAlgorithmScoring Matrix
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    A Close-Up Look at PCR
    The Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) is a fundamental laboratory technique that allows for the amplification of many copies of a desired DNA target sequence. Despite its prevalence, undergraduate students often have poor comprehension about the...
    PCRDNA replication