Monthly Archives:: March 2013

Optimal Diet

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Optimal Diet

The optimal diet unit was helpful because it really allowed students to look into the science behind our food choices, exercise, and how that affects us as living organisms. Everyone’s has had frustrations with weight gain or weight loss and to see the science behind it really makes you focus on how choices affect your body in a cellular level.

3 favorite learning moments:
1. RER lab – really interesting to see the physical ability of people in class
2. Diagnosis of patients – super fun activity
3. Critter lab – adorable and interactive.


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1. The part when we had to search for the diagnosis together as a group was pretty fun as it was competitive. We were determined to be the first group to find the diagnosis and I think we were one of the first few :) I learnt how the disease affects the patient’s body in a molecular level and could apply what we learnt in Biology to it. Now then I realized that the activity on diagnosis a patient is very related to what we are learning in Chapter 11 now, which is about cell communication as the cellular response is due to the signaling molecules. I also really enjoyed the 2nd diagnosis activity we had, which was to discuss through Google docs among our group members. It was very intense as we had a very limited time. But I think we could have been given a little bit more time for the research on the molecular mechanism :) Overall, it was a fun learning experience!

2. I also enjoyed the VO2 max lab. We had the opportunity to find out our calorie intake, expenditure, body surface area etc. These are important information that I normally do not take notice of. However, by knowing my net calorie intake, I will know if I am having a balanced diet or not. As for the exercising part, the mountain climbers were really tiring :( When I did it before spring break, I felt light headedness, most probably because I seldom exercise and my stomach was empty.

3. When we were studying protein synthesis, we were given several materials (beads and a stick) to help us visualize what is happening. That made me better understand the topic as I know where the locations of the various molecules are. Therefore, I think hands-on activities are very beneficial.

4 more weeks?

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4 more weeks?

Reflect on the optimal diet unit and choose 3 of your favorite learning moments. Explain what contributed to good learning.

The optimal diet was a fun activity, applying biology to life. It was pretty mind blowing to me that while we had to research symptoms and connect them to a disease, and figure out how a specific disease or problem worked molecularly; it hit me that a doctor should know all this information without internet access. The difference in knowledge is so large, that I know those who are interested in the medical field still have a longs way to go.

Another favorite learning moment would have to be when we finally figure out how everything fits together. when all the puzzle pieces such as, mixing medication to what a specific part of your body produces, and how those chemicals affect your body suddenly goes off and it’s like “oh my gosh, everything makes sense now”. I think the optimal diet case study was one of those hit or miss things, either you get it or you don’t.

What contributed to my learning was more of just figuring out a pattern. There was a pattern to the case: It relates to diet, so that narrows things down from diseases or conditions that’s not food and diet related. Next during the test, attention to specific words the patient used was key, so knowing that the drugs she was on had no effect on her symptoms, and instead focus on persistent effects was important. After one important question then everything else seems to just fall into place.

2013 MWD Spring Green Expo – Free

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Join us for the 2013 MWD Spring Green Expo, a FREE one day sustainability event! Click here for more info!

2013 MWD Spring Green Expo

FREE one day sustainability event!

Click here for more information!

Date: May 16, 2013

When: 8:30-1:00PM

Where: 700 N Alameda Street, Los Angeles (Adjacent to Union Station)

Pasadena City College Aquaponics Volunteer Opportunity!

Posted by & filed under eSTEM, Opportunity.

Pasadena City College Aquaponics has an affinity for volunteer service. Our volunteers are working to meet the needs of their neighborhoods and the community by building aquaponics and rain capture systems that address concerns of water conservation for our area. The aquaponics group is using community outreach and education to spread the message of alternative low-cost conservation efforts. The group is built on organic
curriculum developed by student leaders and guided by Professor Erika Catanese under the direction of Dave Douglass, Ph.D.

Pasadena City College Aquaponics team is a part of the eSTEM program. We work in conjunction with a federally funded STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) program as well as the Southern California World Water Forum (WWF) College Grant Program. The WWF collaborates with The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, the U.S. Department of the Interior Bureau of Reclamation, Sanitation Districts of Los Angeles County, Water for People, and Friends of the United Nations.

In recognition of these outstanding achievements, Pasadena City College Aquaponics is proud to announce the availability of the PRESIDENT’S VOLUNTEER SERVICE AWARD, a prestigious national honor offered in recognition of volunteer commitment. Established in 2003, this new AWARD is given by the President of the United States and honors individuals, families and groups who have demonstrated a sustained commitment to volunteer service over the course of 12 months.

Pasadena City College Aquaponics has teamed with hundreds of organizations and businesses across the country to deliver this Award to our most outstanding volunteers. As a Certifying Organization of the PRESIDENT’S VOLUNTEER SERVICE AWARD, we can nominate potential recipients and distribute the Award to those who meet or exceed the AWARD criteria.

“Pasadena City College Aquaponics is extremely proud to join the President of the United States and our supporting partners in recognizing the volunteers who consistently take the time to make a difference in the lives of others,” said Professor Erika Catanese, founder of Pasadena City College Aquaponics. “Volunteers strengthen America and inspire others to get involved. We are proud to honor our volunteers who are answering the call with this AWARD.”


Children, adults, families and groups can receive the AWARD and, given their ongoing service activity, many of our volunteers may already meet the requirements. To qualify for the PRESIDENT’S VOLUNTEER SERVICE AWARD, volunteers simply submit a record of their service hours to the Aquaponics Leadership Team, and we will verify the service and deliver the AWARD.

Volunteer service hours are not limited to those performed on behalf of PCC Aquaponics. In fact, service hours can be accumulated through work on a variety of projects throughout the year. The only requirement is that the necessary hours be completed within12 months; recipients can qualify for a new AWARD each year.

“Our volunteers should strive to earn the PRESIDENT’S VOLUNTEER SERVICE AWARD every year,” said Professor Catanese. “Even if you’ve never volunteered before, the AWARD is within your reach. In fact, the strength and success of our nation depends on every one of us taking an active role in the community where we live. You can also help strengthen America by asking your friends, families and neighbors to join you in helping your community.”

The PRESIDENT’S VOLUNTEER SERVICE AWARD is issued by the President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation – created by President George W. Bush to recognize the valuable contributions volunteers make to our nation. To learn more and find out how to qualify for the AWARD, contact Olivia Zanfardino, our AWARD administrator, at or visit

To be eligible to receive the PRESIDENT’S VOLUNTEER SERVICE AWARD, applicants’ service hours must be confirmed by a registered Certifying Organization. There are three levels of the AWARD varying by hours of service completed within a 12-month period:

Kids – 14 and younger
Bronze Award 50 – 74 hours
Silver Award
75 – 99 hours
Gold Award
100 or more hours

Young Adults – Ages 15 – 25
Bronze Award 100 – 174 hours
Silver Award
175 – 249 hours
Gold Award
250 or more hours

Adults – Ages 26 and up
Bronze Award 100 – 249 hours
Silver Award
250 – 499 hours
Gold Award
500 or more hours

Families and Groups (two or more people)*
Bronze Award 200 – 499 hours
Silver Award
500 – 999 hours
Gold Award
1,000 or more hours
*Each member contributing at least 25 hours
towards the total

Individuals who have completed 4,000 or more volunteer service hours over the course of their
lifetime are eligible to receive the PRESIDENT’S CALL TO SERVICE AWARD.


Posted by & filed under eSTEM, Opportunity, Scholarship.

The mission of the President’s Latino Advisory Committee is to enhance the educational success of Latino students at PCC.

The PLAC seeks to accomplish its mission by uniting the Latino community to provide support to Latino and Latina students at PCC. The PLAC is comprised of both community members and PCC faculty and staff. The PLAC welcomes involvement from the local business and civic community.

The PLAC also raises funds for scholarships. PLAC awarded five $1,000 scholarships to qualified deserving students in 2009. The funds for the scholarships were raised from PLAC committee members, PCC faculty and staff, and local businesses and friends of PCC. The PLAC plans to establish an endowment for scholarships. Applicants from this pool will also be considered for a $250 PCC Association of Latino Employees scholarship.


Click here for the Scholarship Applicaiton


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