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Other Classroom Activities

These activities were developed by STARS staff to accompany previous inservice sessions and symposia.

DNA Extraction from Fruit

A simple activity for extraction of DNA from any soft fruit. It does not require a centrifuge or other equipment. This activity was contributed by Loretta Loykasek of Burleson High School. 
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What Effects Does Exercise Have on You?

This activity was developed by the American Physiological Society as part of a unit on the physiology of exercise. Students take pulse and blood pressure readings before and after step exercise to determine mean arterial pressure (MAP) and stroke volume.
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Responses to Static Exercise

Designed to accompany the above activity, this demonstration illustrates some of the differences in cardiovascular response during static exercise as compared to dynamic exercise.
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Chromosome Analysis: Banding Patterns and Structural Aberrations

This activity allows students to compare banding patterns of ideograms from four primates (human, gorilla, chimpanzee, and orangutan) to determine which types of chromosomal aberrations (deletions, translocations, etc.) may have taken place to give rise to the differences seen between species.
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Field Epidemiology: Investigation of an Unknown Disease

Through the use of a real-life example, this activity will expose students to some of the techniques used in field epidemiology studies. It could be used as a discussion activity with middle school science or biology students, or as an individual activity for higher-level courses such as Pre-AP and AP Biology or Medical Microbiology.
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Protein Folding Demonstration

Demonstrates how polypeptides may become folded through interactions between the side chains of amino acids. This activity could be used in first-year biology, anatomy and physiology, or AP Biology classes as a supplement to a lesson on amino acid and protein structure. You will need a large, open space so that students can act out the process of protein folding.
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Homeostasis and Mechanisms of Weight Regulation

In this activity students will investigate how negative feedback mechanisms function to maintain homeostatic balance using a recently discovered system involved in body weight regulation as a model. This activity would be most appropriate for use in courses in anatomy and physiology or AP Biology. These files contain a lot of graphics, hence their large size.
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Determination of Body Fat Using Imaging Techniques

In this activity, students will investigate how images produced by computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can be used to estimate an individual’s body fat content. This activity would be appropriate for use in courses in anatomy and physiology, biology, and health and would be appropriate for an interdisciplinary activity between math (geometry) and science. These files include some large images.
View and Print PDF file (735K)

Osmosis Demonstration Lab

A basic lab activity requiring minimal equipment in which students can observe change in mass of potato cores when subjected to various osmotic environments and can observe plasmolysis in the aquatic plant Elodea.
View and Print PDF file (115KB)