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    An Interrupted Case Study on Urban Prairie Restoration
    Engaging students in meaningful discussions can be a challenging task for science instructors, especially in introductory courses. The story-telling approach used in case studies can increase student participation by demonstrating the relevance of...
    Lesson
    1700

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    34

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    Exploring Indigenous Viewpoints in the Undergraduate Biology Classroom: An Environmental Case Study Incorporating Hawaiian Traditional Ecological Knowledge
    Changing science education to foster greater equity and inclusion for Indigenous students will require effort from instructors and institutions. Instructors can help by including Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) in their science classrooms....
    Lesson
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    241

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    Marsh Madness: Using Video Games and a Case Study to Explore Food Webs and Ecosystem Services in Carpinteria Salt Marsh Reserve
    As the complexity and interconnectedness of our world increases, we are continually expected to be capable of complex, non-linear thinking in order to successfully tackle and solve the challenges we face in the 21st century. Tackling these...

    Courses: EcologyEcology

    LessonPlus
    1827

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    The Power of Place: A Course-Based Undergraduate Research Experience Studying Urban Ecology, Local Apple Trees and Disease Susceptibility
    Course-based Undergraduate Research Experiences (CUREs) offered early in an undergraduate student’s career have the potential to include a greater number and diversity of students than one-on-one mentored research. CUREs that use a...

    Courses: EcologyEcology

    Lesson
    835

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    333

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    In-Class Workshops to Teach Introductory Biology Students about Undergraduate Research
    Decades of evidence support the premise that undergraduate research experiences are valuable endeavors for science students; however, a lack of knowledge about research and how to get involved can preclude equitable participation. We developed two...
    Teaching Tools and Strategies
    1462

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    290

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    SCIENCE/Fiction: Modular Template for Class Design
    We present a modular scaffold for designing an introductory seminar using speculative fiction and science papers to welcome university undergraduates to the biology major. A list of twelve possible topics is included, such as Memory, Parasites,...
    Lesson
    1071

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    308

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    Where Does Elsie's Hair Color Come From? A "De-Simplified" Pedigree Lesson
    Pedigree analysis is part of most Genetics curricula, but the examples traditionally used in genetics courses present phenotypes as if they were entirely and inexorably defined by genotype. This does not reflect the current state of understanding...
    Lesson
    2570

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    54

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    An Inquiry-Based Project Added to Traditional Labs: Hands-On Fish Awareness Research in Freshwater Systems Conducted by First-Year Biology Students
    This project involves students in an inquiry-based project added to the introductory biology laboratory course for majors in fall 2019. Research has shown that student engagement in authentic research has significant positive impacts on...
    Teaching Tools and Strategies
    4280

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    758

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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
    5919

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    167

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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
    2593

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    342

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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...
    Teaching Tools and Strategies
    5251

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    127

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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...
    Lesson
    828

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    351

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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...
    Lesson
    1283

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    113

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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...
    Lesson
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    140

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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...
    Lesson
    1414

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    345

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    Who’s That Speci-Mon? Using PokémonTM to Understand Biological Terminology Using Greek and Latin Roots
    We set out to create a fun and engaging activity using recognizable fictional characters, so students get a chance to practice using Greek and Latin roots to create binomial names. Students in biology courses are faced with a plethora of...
    Lesson
    3137

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    210

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    Bringing Pasteur Back to Life: Studying the Biochemistry of Yeast Fermentation Through Discussion Groups and an At-Home Lab
    This hands-on, student-centered biochemistry lesson introduces beginner biochemistry students to the techniques of effectively reading and discussing primary literature, identifying fundamental biological concepts, and applying that knowledge to...
    Lesson
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    374

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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

    Lesson
    2419

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    355

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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...
    Lesson
    1801

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    249

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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...