I learned that despite the urge to resist, your senses and hormones will always have an impact on your behavior! Intra and inter sexual competition is much clearer now, cyclical fluctuation’s in females changing their attraction… Human sexual behavior is simple yet complex…very interesting stuff! We all think with our brains, but a lot of times our behavior is ruled chemically…
The Chemistry/Biology Studio course is an interdisciplinary curriculum that pairs Biology 10A with Chemistry 1A. Traditionally, Chem 1A has been a prerequisite for Biology 10A, forcing students to take the class separately. This separation makes it difficult for students to make a connection between the two disciplines and unable to understand why they need both.
In the Chemistry/Biology Studio students are enrolled in both courses. The two courses will be taught collaboratively in a block, using a curriculum created by Professor Melissa Harman and Professor Valerie Foster. The goal of this new curriculum is to help students see the relationship between Biology and Chemistry and increase the retention and success for science majors.
The Chemistry/Bio Studio launched in the Spring 2013 semester at PCC. Below are the thoughts, photos and postings of the original 29 students and 2 professors during the pilot semester of the Chem/Bio Studio.
Well, today was our final and afterwards everyone said their goodbyes and good luck wishes! It is sad knowing that I probably won’t see 90% of the people in the class anymore, because we’ve kind of grown onto each other. Spending hours together everyday and studying together, as well as hanging out over the weekends or after tests, we have all really become close. Not only that, but I’ve learned so much from this class, and not just biology and chemistry. Our professors taught us valuable problem solving skills, and I have also learned many other life things from my classmates. I will really miss being close to everyone like this in a class, and I’m pretty sure something like this will never happen again. It was a fun semester, and one that I will always remember! Goodbye :]!
The sexual selection project was very interesting and fun to research. In our experiment we decided to investigate the value that different groups hold on personality and physical traits. My group and I found a lot of research stating that men and women value what their partner looks like more than their character. From our research we found that our idea was not completely true.
This was a really cool result to find, because humans have such vast cognitive abilities that I had imagined it would be impossible to not consider what a persons character is like. I would love to research the further, since humans sexual selection is far more complex than any other.
The sexual selection project was probably the greatest learning experience I’ve had all semester. The three most important things that it taught me was: how to write a research paper, how to survey people, and how to turn raw data into useful data that communicates a result. One of the most challenging parts of the project (besides writing the paper) was surveying people and constantly getting denied.
This sexual selection project has been quite an eye opener. The main lessons that I were able to learn from this project had a lot to do with the overall process and data collection.
First, it is very difficult sometimes to find subjects for surveys within different age groups, especially at higher ages.It is best to plan ahead as to where each sample group will be obtained.
Second, sometimes the data collected can have no use and/or the data really needed was not collected. It is always nice to execute a pilot to see how well things work out.
Third, and probably my favorite and most fun, it is VERY awkward for two guys to stand outside the girls’ restroom and survey girls as they go in or out of the restroom. It was already too late by the time we realized where we were standing… Nothing happened except feeling SUPER awkward.
It was the first time I was doing a project like this! I usually did not have to collect raw data by surveying people etc. Therefore, it was a good experience. It was actually quite fun going around the school area and even some public places to ask them several questions (and get rejected) about our project haha.
One thing I learnt is that sometimes our results do not correlate with our hypothesis. This was what happened to my group initially. Then, we had to brainstorm for another surveying idea to see if our hypothesis really is not supported or if our method of testing was wrong. After our second trial, we got better results which correlated with our hypothesis
The second thing I learnt is that within a group, not everyone has the same ideas, and it is usually hard to communicate especially if some of us aren’t willing to give in. Therefore, at some points of the project, I was pretty frustrated but had to keep my cool so that the project proceeds smoothly 😀
Lastly, I also learned how to write research papers better. Thankfully there was a draft we had to do and a peer review as I know where i went wrong and I was able to correct it before the final submission. There are just so many points to write down and it is hard to arrange them in the right order so that our paper will be written smoothly. Plus, the rubric given to us also helped me a lot in terms of what to write and what not to write in my papers.
The sexual selection paper is quite interesting, from finding an evolutionary based mate selection choice to designing and analyzing the data. My group and I had an idea of what we were going to do, but I do not think we had imagined how hard setting up a survey that was quick, clear, and able to produce data that we needed. So learning how to do so was an interesting process of revisions and tests. Another thing was how humans try to resist the urge of judging some one by appearance and shallow traits, but in the end it is those traits that people are most attracted to.
The optimal diet has been a long unit of study this semester and included many fun moments and stressful days. I can’t exactly pinpoint certain moments that were particularly better, but just overall activities that seem to stick in my head.
My first favorite learning experience of this unit would be the enzyme lab. It allowed for my group to not only get creative with designing a lab, but taught me to learn from mistakes and improve on an experiment. I mean, its hard not to when our group ended up needing to do 5 trials since the first 3 failed. Although I totally ended up hating the lab after finally finishing, looking back at it I can finally appreciate the experience and how much it helped me learn.
My second favorite learning moment from the optimal diet unit would have to be the VO2max lab. Normally, I can only learn so much from doing lab experiments. However, when the tides turn and I literally become the guinea pig to be tested upon, things really somehow made sense. It also was accompanied by many hilarious moments including student vs professor foot races and professor vs machine moments.
The third and probably most favorite learning experience would definitely be the diet case study project. This project was full of hardships that I honestly can admit would have been pretty impossible to overcome if it weren’t for my group. It also allowed for me to get a glimpse of a real world application of the material we cover in class, and may have led me to rethink of my own diet and how it may actually affect my health.
Overall, this unit and this class in general has been pretty amazing. Although this class has made me lose more sleep than anything ever before and even had me working on a lab report on my 21st birthday (sadface), I am happy I got the chance to be part of this program.
Hope you’ve all enjoyed our much needed 3 day weekend. Reflecting on what we’ve learned so far, made me feel guilty eating all of these yummy Easter candies. I have a new appreciation for how hard our metabolism works and much more respect for eating healthy. Most of us take our good health for granted, but I have learned, with great emphasis- the complexity of it all–a lot of work goes into digestion. So, with a new perspective and respect for food, I am grateful for the lessons learned See’s candies will be short one customer this year!
Out of all my experiences with the optimal diet project that we did, there are 3 that stand out the most to me. The first was actually when we received our “patient.” It was enlightening to brainstorm with my fellow group members about what was happening with our patient based on only the given information. This made me feel like some sort of doctor :D, but I think working in a group like that and combining all of our ideas and learning new facts from my friends was a great experience. Second, was when we had to find primary literature sources for the treatment. Since our patient did not have any disease, it was incredibly difficult to find primary sources that only talked about building muscle. We had to think a little until we decided to just google muscle growth or some other related term, and go to the main article that the website cites. This was another great learning opportunity! Lastly, I think of course the final diet “test” was an extremely helpful learning opportunity. We had to diagnose a patient and come up with the treatment on our own. I learned some strategies from my other classmates when we discussed our previous patients in class. However, it took some thinking to connect the information we were getting, as there was a minimal amount of talking between group members this time. Overall, this diet case study project helped us all to connect new information with old given info.
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.
Well… it’s not really an anomally. It’s just that…. I think I saw the world fattest sparrows!!!
They were almost like tennis balls. It was a miracle that they could still fly. They were so cute.
Their diet consists of McDonalds… might explain the size a bit.
Ironically, there are a lot of signs saying not to feed the birds…
I couldn’t help but take pictures.
Today I went to the natural history museum and the science center, mainly for a project of my brothers. I took pictures of many taxidermy-ed animals with my siblings and wandered through the dinosaur halls of the museum. Some of them smelled really strange…
It was a little sad though, because there were cubs, and children among the animals which means that they are technically, dead children…
After the museum, we went to the science center, which was much brighter. I fell in love with the leopard and the horned sharks. Very pretty.
I even touched one!!!
No, I’m fibbing. I almost touched one, there was about an inch of glass between me and the fish. Though I did get to touch the sharks egg. It looks like a screw.
I wish I could upload all the pictures I took, but there’re more than 800 of them.
Our class decided to implement a 4 day healthy diet and exercise plan. We decided that it would be great to do all of this as a class. So Bio10A and Chem1A students unite! 9 students, 8am, hiking at Eaton Canyon! Let’s do this!
Believe it or not, we are halfway through the semester. Reflecting back on the first 8 weeks of our course, I recalled this great moment during our solubility investigation. Usually I do not approve of phones in lab. However, this (pictured) was a great use of a phone / flashlight app to determine whether or not a precipitate was formed during a solubility trial. You all have shown us many times how creative you are. Although I’m relieved to have this week (Spring Break!) to catch up on what’s been a taxing and at times hectic semester for me, I’m looking forward to the second half of the semester and to teaching this course again in the Fall. Enthusiastic students with such large and unique personalities have made this class great and eased much of the nervousness I had about teaching this course for the first time. Thanks, guys!
James and Brady making polymers (Borax + glue + glow in the dark paint + glitter) with some local middle school students during PCC Science Day 2013.
It’s the first day of Spring Break and 8 PLC students volunteered at PCC Science Day for children from local middle schools. In this picture our PCC students are hard at work preparing the monomer solutions for the Polymer Workshop they led with Dr. Harman (me). Betsey, Phillip, Joyce, Brady, Catherine, Amanda, Daniel, and James: thank you very much! The day would not have been a success with out you. (I very sincerely mean that!)
If Daniel had mentioned that he was a former high school track star, this race may have never happened. Believe it or not, this race was all in the name of science and the VO2 max experiment… and smack talk.
The class runs outside to witness a foot race… an epic battle between teacher and student(s) is about to commence.
Amanda takes a break to relax with Mochi during the infamous critter lab.
… in case you couldn’t tell from his face!
Life in school seems to just be full of never ending study sessions. Post exam study session for PCR lab. Thank goodness for french fries and friends (misery just loves company J/k sorta :P)!
Jonathan and Daniel are so awed by of Ama’s pipetting that they’ve stopped to think about it.
Jonathan and Daniel are so awed by of Ama’s pipetting that they’ve stopped to think about it.
One of our awesome SI leaders, Paul, participating in the translation game. Who knew that sequencing hemoglobin could be this fun?!
What chemical processes in the small intestine occur or do not occur in a lactose intolerant person that cause diarrhea?
From the LASSI, I learned that I need to improve my strategies for time management and for anxiety. I believe that these two aspects of my study do have a strong relation to each other. Poor time management may lead to high levels of anxiety which could lead to me being unproductive, which further interferes with my time management. In order to improve myself, I believed that I needed to address both learning strategies I struggled with. In order to help with time management, I’m trying harder to look ahead on deadlines and class schedules so I can set a more rigid schedule to adhere to. To help with anxiety, I try to incorporate small chunks of break time into my schedule during which I stretch, walk around, do some breathing exercise, or brew some relaxing tea. Also to help both my anxiety and time management, I try to incorporate some extra time into my schedules which can leave me some time to work on things in case emergencies appear which can interfere with my planned schedule. I plan to test out these modified habits for a few weeks to see how well they work and make further modifications where needed.
After taking exam 1, its very easy to see that the questions on the exams require a lot of critical thinking and are much more abstract than a multiple choice and fill in the blank sort of layout. A lot of what we’ve learned and are going to be tested on for exam 2 actually require this critical thinking to simply grasp concepts. Everything we covered in Chemistry seemed to be tied to Biology and vice versa. One concept that encompasses the synthesis of Biology and Chemistry is intermolecular forces and bonding theories within our cells. One question I can predict being on Exam 2 is one in regards to emulsions. Emulsions are the combination of two substances that usually cannot be combined. A question in regards to emulsions could sound something like:
How do our cells achieve emulsion and what forces are responsible for allowing two immiscible substances to be mixed? Which macromolecule is needed in our cells to make this possible? Draw a picture illustrating an emulsion.
We’ve been talking a lot about how the body can move and break down macromolecules and how this relates to chemistry. A good question to ask would be:
A woman damages her gallbladder after surviving a car accident. A week after treatment she notices her stool is foamy, she is losing weight, and general discomfort after meals. What treatment would you suggest for her illness?
A person that is lactose intolerant lacks the enzyme lactase rendering him unable to digest lactose in milk, evaluate what happens when a lactose intolerant individual ingest dairy products. Compare the process to one in a lactose persistent individual. Refer to Chemistry when necessary.
5 seconds later James threw a hissing cockroach at Prof. Foster……
Do digestive enzymes react with quinoa?
Our neighboring group stuffing their faces during lab… and then Amanda just being Amanda
… investigating the affects of different substances on protein denaturation. Yum!
Investigating the affect of hot tea on the denaturation of enzymes.
Winners of the Whipped Cream Challenge: Gabriella, Wendy, Sharon, and Melissa, for creating the most voluminous whipped cream.
Mission: To make the most voluminous whipped cream.
— Understand intermolecular forces and apply to biological systems.
— Investigate the affects of several variables on the quality and stability of emulsions.
— Practice the scientific method.
Students learned about emulsions and why they are important to biological organisms. We had a contest to see who could produce the most voluminous whipped cream which is an emulsion. In addition we investigated how different variables affected volume.
… that studying electron cloud geometries could be THIS fun!
… developing a general solubility rule!
Midterms? Are you kidding me?!!! It’s that wonderful time of the year when you start the ball rolling and these exams just keep coming.
Chem1A/Bio10A midterm was this past week. I studied for the exam over the weekend. I went to SI hours, went over my notes, and read the book. I also finished the study guides.
Despite my preparations, I can’t help but feel unprepared. I don’t know?! If anything I can always look to this first exam as motivation to do well in others.
In preparation for the first exam I went with to study groups with my classmates consistently. Almost everyday for a week we, meaning Amanda, Catherine, Jonathan, and sometimes Shannon and Daniel, studied together. At one time, the study group went from around 7 in the morning on a Saturday to around 8 at night. We covered quite a bit and continued to memorize equations and practice mathematical concepts… of which few were on the test.
Hi guys, preparing for test is very stressful. Very time consuming and I have no clue on where to start. So basically, I print out every files and worksheet from PCC Canvas, from there I start by doing them one by one. Without a doubt, there are tons of stuffs that I don’t know but luckily i have a friend named Stephanie who is really good at it to help me out… Thank god. Doing works like this really bite you in the bum and taking a break is very important for me. I see taking a break as a reward system thingie for myself after studying for some time, but sometimes I take this reward for granted and forgot that i have to study, hahaha. The point is, you doesn’t have to keep stressing out yourself with your study, but you can refresh your mind with a little break and that way studying can be FUN!!!
When I was preparing for the exam, I was rather motivated as it was the 1st exam of the semester and I was hoping to ace it! I studied pretty hard for both subjects. For Biology, I tried answering all the questions that was posted on canvas and memorized them. For some questions, I didn’t even really understand the content Therefore, during the test, it was hard for me to answer some Biology questions as I couldn’t understand it. As for Chemistry, I studied the quizzes and the notes thoroughly. However, I was surprised to see that the Chemistry questions were rather different than what was given on the quizzes. Sadly, I found it quite a challenge too. So overall, I think I did really badly. Hope to do better in the next few exams! =(
I actually tried to read the chemistry book to study, and less review on the notes that I took. That was a terrible idea, I simply stared at the pages without actually absorbing anything. I did not organize my study time well. What I should have done was take read in small increments while looking at my notes, and redoing corresponding problems given on that section.
I also learned to self-study before attending a study group, to take in the extensive information first then filter it for greater understanding and making larger connections.
It helps to form a study group because other members may ask questions that you would otherwise don’t know that you don’t know. Study sessions are always fun! But they need to be focused for it to be a good one because they can get very sidetracked…
Nothing in the test surprised me, everything was covered which makes me even more guilty because the bad grades that I receive will be fully on me, and my lack of focused studying. The questions asked on the test were the same but disguised in a different costume, so i had to be very familiar with it to complete the question. For the next test I have to be smarter about studying, about learning important materials and predict the types of questions that will be asked. Looking at everyday things through chemistry/ biology can be helpful too, it might lead to more questions but it reminds you of what you already learned. Although it was not a great first exam, it is good to make mistakes early on, then you know what you have to do, and ace all the rest of your exams 😀
I think my preparation for the first exam is ok. I read the book, reviewed my notes, and finished the worksheet. But I still surprised by the exam. For the chemistry part, sometimes I can’t match certain term with its definition. It happened in both quiz and exam. I heard other students talk about the effective nuclear charge after exam. Some actual Zeff is smaller than predicted because of the shielding, the others are bigger because in further distance the shielding becomes less effective. I was surprised because I didn’t see any questions asking about this. Misunderstanding or misread the question is the biggest problem for me for right now. I am an ESL student, so language is my biggest weakness. If the question isn’t straight forward, it likes a reading comprehension or vocabulary question for me. I need to be more familiar with the terms. For the biology part, my review covered most parts. But for the ice water question, I didn’t have enough notes and it was long time ago, so I didn’t prepare well. Overall, I think I should prepare for the exam based on book and notes.
Well I didn’t look like that but the board behind the cat was what the board I used looked like (somewhat). :] The Studio was a great place to study in and my other fellow studyers–that is a word I hope–Nelson and Ashly stayed until late night. Group studying is the best :D! I feel explaining concepts and what not to each other is the best way to learn things because if my friends don’t understand what I’m saying I think our professors won’t either! The millions of boards in that room really make it an awesome place to study provided no one accidentally burns down the place. We were the last to leave that night and nothing happened so good…good.
I began Chem 1A/Bio 10A this week and the first thing I did was run home and tell my cat about it. I told him about the projects I have to do for the class, such as teaching assignments presented to fellow classmates and maintain my own tumblr account, which I’m completely new to. I told him about my new eportfolio. I showed him both my Chem and Bio book (very BIG books). I could tell he felt overwhelmed with all this information and when I asked what he thought he began to let out a big yawn. This is a picture I took of him mid-yawn. (It is not odd for me to have a camera in hand while conversing, I love to take A LOT of pictures.) Even though this was a yawn, I find there is a fierceness quality in it. I believe it captures my feeling towards this class. I may feel overwhelmed now (maybe more later), but I am confident in succeeding. I plan to work hard and use all that is given to me wisely. I am convinced that with my professors, my fellow classmates, and all the other resources put in place I will accomplish success. I am happy and thankful for this opportunity to learn and achieve something that is completely new.
As you could tell I enjoy talking to cats, and there is a very simple answer if your a dog lover and are asking yourself why. Simply because I have 14 of them! About two years ago, I found a cute little kitten and suddenly it was two generations of cats later. It was unbelievable, however I enjoy them because I am a huge animal lover (I have a dog too!).
Thank you for taking the time to read my post. And just so you know, I don’t really talk to cats, that much.
Hi, My name is Anthony Chen. Over the last summer was my first return in 10years to visit my family’s native home GuangZhou China. The last time i visited i remember taxis everywhere, it was very rural and is now industrialized. It was amazing to see the change through the years. Having one of the latest registration dates for a continuing student the image describes how i feel getting into the class.
Hi, I am Melissa Dyandra. I feel so lucky and excited to be able to enroll Chem and Bio joint class as I heard from everybody, including counselors, that Chem 1A class is so difficult to get because of the limited space. Moreover, this semester is my second semester in Pasadena City College and it makes getting chemistry class harder for me. However, I am very lucky that I got a registration priority, so I could register early and most of the classes were still open. Besides getting the registration priority, I have another luck. There is Chem and Bio joint class for the first time in PCC and this program makes my plan goes well, although there is a new policy that the prerequisite of Bio 10A is Chem 1A. I said I am very lucky over and over again, and honestly it is what I feel now.
Let’s change the topic. Something interesting about me, I think I am very curious of everything that occurs around me. I want to know a little and unimportant thing that people around me are talking about. My friends say that when my excessive curiosity appears, my first expression is so funny, but I never realize what kind of expression I have. Sometimes, I feel my curiosity is annoying not only for myself but also for other people, although it is often useful and helpful for me.
What better way to express my feelings than have Mr. Bean do it
But I really am quite excited about this class, especially after this first week. Hope things continue to be this fun and interesting.
Oh, right something interesting about me is… I like to look at hilarious dog GIFs when I’m bored.
Here, have a taste.
I was a stubborn baby, I refused to get out of my mother’s womb for two weeks, and they had to get me out of there (C-section). I am fluent in three of the top 15 most spoken language in the world.
This picture best describes my first impression of the paired program of Chem 1A and Bio 10A.
I’m taking this as a good sign…all our students were on time to class which started at 7:15 AM. After a comparison of chemistry and biology, students worked at various water stations for a chemistry review. Understanding the chemical properties of water is necessary to understand why it essential to life on this planet!
The only interesting thing about me that I can think of would have to be that my interest in the medical field, primarily oncology started when I was twelve and experienced losing my mother due to her fight with breast cancer. Before that I was leaning more towards veterinary medicine, however afterwards oncology imtrigued me a great deal.
Yesterday’s class introduction into this paired learning class has me totally stoked just because both of the professors are both leading both of these difficult classes. Also the resources that are available to us seem totally awesome! There are like three flat screen tvs and the SI instructors sound extremely helpful.
I would be lying if I said i’m not feeling extremely nervous for Biology 10A and Chem 1A with Dr. Foster and Harman. But at the same time I am more than excited to take this next step into my academic journey! Its gonna be a lot of fun!