Assignment #5 - Grant Proposal

Title: The little things in life to observe in science

Goals of my project:  The goal of my project is for my ninth grade students to become better familiar with how to operate a microscope.  It is skill that is required for them to be sufficient in.  The living environment regents is a not exam with a practical but it does require students to answer questions pertaining to their lab experiences using microscopes.  Another goal of this project is for the educator (myself) to become more familiar with how to incorporate advanced technology in the biology lab. 


The following biology microscope slides are included in this set:

               Allium (onion) root tip, l.s.
              Amoeba proteus, w.m.
              Ascaris (Roundworm) mitosis, sec.
              Bacteria, three types (coccus, rod, spiral), smear
              Diatoms, marine, w.m.
              Earthworm, c.s.
              Euglena, w.m.
              Fern Life History, four  specimens
              Ficus (dicot) leaf, c.s.
              Frog blood, smear
              Frog ovary, c.s.
              Frog sperm, smear
              Human blood, Wright's stain, smear
              Human skin with hair follicle, section
              Hydra, c.s.
              Moss Life History, four specimens
              Muscle, three types (striated, smooth, cardiac), section
              Neuron, motor, smear
              Paramecium, conjugation,             
              Paramecium, fission, w.m.
              Planaria (flatworm), w.m.
              Ranunculus (Buttercup) roots       
              Ranunculus (Buttercup) stem,         
              Spirogyra (green algae), w.m.
              Volvox (green algae),

Procedure:  After collecting the above materials, they will be setup in the lab for my ninth grade biology students.  Students will go to the lab once every time in a cycle of six days for ninety minutes.  The unit on microscopes will last for approximately four lab cycles, or approximately five weeks in the months of September/October of 2013. The project will, therefore, be carried out using one of the school building’s science labs. 

What will students do with the resources that I have requested?: The school already contains 40 fully functional microscopes that ninth grade students can use.  Each of the 40 students will receive a Biology Microscope Slide Set with all the slides mentioned above.  Students will follow a Prentice Hall Laboratory Manual for Biology: The Study of Life.  The slide set accommodates for four to five labs found in the manual that students already have. These five labs will basically encompass what students will learn in this unit.   

The purpose of the television and digital microscope with the video camera is to guide students who are struggling on how to operate the microscope. The television along with the video camera serves as a visual aid for students in understanding how to properly use a microscope and focus key specimens from the kit they received.  Visual aids are an excellent way for students to truly comprehend what they are looking at under the lens. 

If I setup the slides in a stepwise fashion using the television, students can view the television to ensure that whatever they focus is correct.  This also saves ample time because now I do not have to check every student’s microscope individually.  This will also lessen the amount of redundant questions; students can just view the flat screen with the focused specimen that is desired at that given time. 

Also, students will be given time (2-5 minutes each during the lab period) if they would like to come up to the microscope attached with the camera.  They will get to not only use it, but they will also have the opportunity to print a snapshot of what they observed under the microscope.  They can print the snapshot they take.  The printer is connected wirelessly to the video camera.  They may take what they printed in class home so they can use it to review the material.

Evalution: How will I determine if my project was a success? I would compare my students’ lab reports grades from last year.  Last year, my students did not have the above technology to facilitate in their understanding on how to operate a microscope.  If I statistically compare how my future students will do with this technology and see if grades significantly increase, then the project will be successful. 

I would also analyze how these students perform on Part D of the Living Environment Regents.  In Part D, questions pertaining to the microscope and viewings of specimens are asked in high volume.  If I see Part D grades increase from the year before, it will be evident that the project was a success.  The television along with the video camera serves as an excellent visual aid for students in understanding how to properly use a microscope. 

Plus, they obtain the skills on how to operate a microscope in a satisfactory manner.  Hands-on activities are what students are interested in.  This is important that they pick up these skills, especially for future medical students.

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