biogeochemoology Dr. Petelle
North Cobb High School biology teacher
You will find below:
1) A list of upcoming assignments and due dates
2) The introductory biology 101 information sheet
3) Research Project Information with timetable
4) Lab Report Format Sheet
5) Lab Report Example

   1/27  test
   1/27  science fair research proposal
   1/29 radish seed lab report
   2/6 chem test
   2/10 t-test; catalase lab report
   2/11 systems project
   2/13 cell project;
   2/20 logbook check
   2/24 diffusion homework sheet
   2/25 systems project
   2/27 research paper - draft 1
   2/28 cell test
   3/3  Materials and Methods for SciFair paper - draft 1
   3/11 systems project

Welcome to Biology 101!!  You will be learning about living things, including humans, in Biology.  Since you will be learning about your own body, this course should prove to be of interest to you.  The following information will help you perform well in this class.
HOMEWORK - The purpose of homework assignments is to help you gain familiarity with the information we are about to cover or to reinforce that which we have already covered.  Most of the time, homework and class assignments will be graded for completion rather than accuracy.  However, I will occasionally and without prior notice grade for accuracy.  Some weeks there may be more and other weeks there may be less homework.  Use those weeks when there is less to organize your notes and to study.  Invariably, the students who do good work on their homework are the ones who do well on tests.   Homework must be placed on the front desk before the tardy bell rings!  Always use complete sentences!
LAB WORK - When engaged in any activities, half of your grade will be based upon cooperation, ability to follow instructions, and behavior.  Conduct yourself in a mature fashion while doing activities.  Lab report formats will be explained for each lab.  However, you will receive a lab report format sheet that you should keep throughout the year as it explains how to write most of your lab reports.
QUIZZES - Quizzes will be given frequently and are usually “open note” (not open book).  Therefore, it is very important that you take good notes in class.  You may also use old homeworks, labs, etc on quizzes, so it is a very good idea to keep all old assignments.  You may use YOUR notes and old assignments - NOT someone else’s.
TESTS - Tests are never open book or open note, so you must study very carefully for tests.  Test questions come predominantly from lecture material and labs, so study from your notes and use your textbook to help you understand your notes.  Tests will be given on  Tuesday, Thursday, or  Friday.  Anything covered in class, lab, or for homework is testable.  This includes off-the-subject questions and comments students make in class.  You are in an Honors-level class; tests will be difficult.
PROJECTS - Projects are long-term assignments that require independent work outside of the classroom.  You will complete a Science Research project this semester.  You will receive handouts related to the project.  Don’t lose them.
              TESTS            - 25%
              LABS             - 20%
              PROJECTS          - 20%
              FINAL EXAM        - 10%
                  COUNTY TESTS       -  10%
NOTEBOOKS - Keep a well-organized notebook.  A 3-ring binder will probably work best.  Keep this information handout at the front.  Then include sections for the following: class notes, returned tests, returned quizzes and assignments, lab data and lab reports.  The returned material can be used for studying for tests and the final exam and also provides evidence you can show me if I make a mistake entering your grades in the computer.
STUDY TIPS - In order to do well in this class and to prepare yourself for college work, I recommend the following study strategies: Take good notes in class.  It is not nece        ssary to write down every word you hear in a lecture.  Instead, write down the major points that are made and the examples used to amplify the points.  Don’t worry about spelling in your notes, unless the instructor specifically spells a word for you.  If, instead of a lecture, you are doing a class activity, take notes that tell you what you did, how you did it, and why you did it.  Every day after school, find in your textbook the topic that was covered in class.  Read that section of the textbook and take notes from it.  After doing that, make a third set of notes that incorporates the notes from class and the notes from the text.  By doing this, you will be reinforcing what you learned.  Use the third set of notes as your primary study notes.  If you follow the technique outlined here you will be well-prepared for tests and you will not to do very much last minute cramming for tests.
TARDIES - The tardy policy is uniform throughout the school and I do enforce it.  Make it easy on both of us.  BE IN YOUR DESK READY TO WORK WHEN THE TARDY BELL RINGS.  I will count you tardy if you are looking for paper and writing utensil after the tardy bell rings.  Be prepared for class when the tardy bell rings.  You can always find writing paper of some sort in the cabinet at the front of the room.  Do not ask me for paper or pen.
ABSENCES - Work missed due to an unexcused absence can not be made up.  Excused absences allow for work to be made up within a reasonable time period, but for your benefit, make up the work as quickly as possible.  YOU are responsible for obtaining missed notes and assignments.  If you are absent the day of a test or the day a project or lab report is due, YOU MUST TAKE THE TEST OR HAND IN THE ASSIGNMENT THE DAY YOU RETURN!!!  There are no exceptions to this.  Not having your book at home is not an excuse for not taking a test or completing a project.  You should not be waiting until the last day to study for a test or work on a project anyhow!  See page 18 of your student handbook concerning make-up work.
LATE WORK - Late work will be penalized 25 points per day late.  A common and unacceptable excuse is: “my printer broke” or “my printer ran out of ink”.  If, in fact, you have that problem, you can certainly get to school early and print out your homework on a printer at school.  An even better alternative is to paste your homework into an email message and email me your homework BEFORE the time it is due.  Do NOT send the homework as an attached file. 
BEHAVIOR - you are mature enough to know how to behave in class.  You will learn more and class will run more smoothly if you behave appropriately.  A couple reminders:
- do not talk out of turn.  Raise your hand for questions and answers.
- do not laugh at the questions others ask.
- do not eat, drink, or chew gum in class
- do not start getting ready to leave class until I tell you to
- do not ask questions about your grades or missed work during class.  Ask before or after class.
The following behaviors are particularly egregious and, if repeated often will result in a call to your parents:
1) not following directions the first time they are given
2) disrespectful to me, other students, or other teachers.  This includes crude or profane language.
3) tardies/absences
4) lack of preparation for class (no paper or writing utensils, materials not on desk, not in desk when tardy bell rings)
5) personal grooming in class
RESTROOM VISITS - you will be given 5 restroom passes to use at your discretion throughout the semester.  They can be used only to go to the restrooms in the science wing on the second floor.  If I catch you using them to visit friends in the hall or bathroom, you will relinquish remaining passes.  If you have a medical condition that requires more frequent use of the restroom, please bring a note from your parents.
RECYCLING - please recycle all writing-type paper in the bin provided.  Please flatten it rather than crumpling it.  We can also recycle used ink jet cartridges, aluminum cans, plastic bottles, magazines, and newspaper.
HELP - If you are struggling, ask for help.  See me after school.  Get help early in the semester!.  Do not wait until it is too late or until you are in a state of panic.  Once you start panicking, it is much harder for you to be positive and understand the material.
NEATNESS - if I can’t read it or it is not in a logical order or is not in complete sentences, you get a zero.  Most of you now have computers or easy access to them.  Typed homework always looks better and is easier for me to read.  I encourage you to type homework assignments as often as possible.  I also encourage you to type on both sides of paper to conserve paper.

Progress report dates: 2/26, 3/21, 4/18, 5/9, 6/2.


One of the projects you are required to complete for Biology 101 is a science fair project.  Different parts of the project will be due at various times throughout the semester and you will be awarded grades for each individual part completed.  A timeline is a part of this handout.  DO NOT lose it as it contains all the important dates you need to know for this semester.  In addition, write these dates in your school planner.

The research Project requires that you complete the following components:
1. An approved research plan.  In it, you describe EXACTLY how you are going to do your experiment.  The research plan must be approved by your instructor and parents before you can begin.  See the attached sheet that describes how to write a research plan and the RESEARCH PLAN GRADING RUBRIC. 
2. A logbook.  A logbook is a record of everything you do related to your research project.  You keep track of what you did on what dates.  You record all the data you collect in the logbook on the dates you collected it.  Research notes you collect from books, magazines, and encyclopedias or from people you have consulted with are recorded in your logbook on the appropriate date.  Any library or internet information you collect is recorded in the logbook.  Be sure to include complete source information so you can write citations in your bibliography. 
3. Draft (rough) versions and a final typed version of a science paper, written in the format of a lab report, that discusses your research project topic. 
4. An abstract.  An abstract is a summary of the project in less than 250 words.  The abstract must include: a title (all capital letters), a statement of the hypothesis you were investigating, purpose, results, and conclusions.  You might also include unsolved aspects of the study or new problems identified by the research. 
5. A visual display to be presented to the class.  The display includes a poster presentation of the experiment together with the items above.  Your display must stand up on its own on a table top.  If you desire, you can purchase a standard backboard from an office supply store.  The display must have the following neat  headings: TITLE, ABSTRACT, HYPOTHESIS and/or PURPOSE, PROCEDURE, RESULTS, CONCLUSIONS, BIBLIOGRAPHY or REFERENCES.  You MUST have photographs of your project on the display.  Along with the backboard, you must display your logbook and written report.
6. An oral presentation describing your experiment.  You will set up your display in front of class and explain your PURPOSE, PROCEDURE, RESULTS, AND CONCLUSIONS.  You will answer questions about your research that your teacher  and colleagues will ask you. 

Take Pictures of your experiment at regular intervals
Do not miss any deadlines. Not only will it hurt your grade, but you will miss getting feedback from your teacher.
Challenge yourself. Make this the best project you have ever done.


FEB 6 - revised research plan due.  Staple old version to new version (new on top).
- logbook check in class

FEB 13 - turn in signed permission form
- turn in logbook.  The following MUST be present by now: dated entries that include your original 3 ideas, a description of your first plan, modifications to your revised plan, library research notes with complete citation information

FEB 27 - turn in your research paper (this will become the Introduction and Bibliography of your final paper).  It must be a minimum of 3 pages length and must have a minimum of 3 references.  One of the references must be from a primary source (a science journal).  There must be parenthetical documentation for all statements of fact in your paper.  The Bibliography must include COMPLETE citation information for each author cited parenthetically. 

MAR 3 - turn in your Materials and Methods section.  Remember to use past tense and passive voice.
- turn in your logbook.  There should be much more information now, particularly library research information and details about how you set up your experiment.
- note that photographs are due March 11

MAR 11 - turn in your revised research paper with your old version stapled to the back
- turn in your revised Materials and Methods
- turn in photographs of your experimental set

MAR 28 - turn in data and logbook.  Every single measurement you take should be written down in your logbook.  However, separately, I want to see a summary of your data on a sheet of paper

APR 18 - turn in your finished results in final form; include statistical analysis
- turn in your Discussion section

MAY 2 - turn in the final version of your paper with all previous versions

MAY 12 - turn in your backboard and logbook.  Oral presentations begin.

Title - Place the title at the top, center of page 1.  The title must be descriptive - it must give the reader a good idea of what topics will be covered.  “Bean Experiments” is a very bad title;  all the potential reader knows is that the scientist did experiments with beans.  A better title might be “The Effect of Phosphorus Fertilizers on Seed Production by Bean Plants”.  This title gives the potential reader a much better idea of what the experiment was about.
Introduction - Skip a line after the Title and write and underline “Introduction”.  State the hypothesis for your experiment.  Use these words: “The hypothesis for the experiment was...”.  In the next THREE paragraphs, DISCUSS fully three different pieces of information that justify your hypothesis.  You must provide parenthetical documentation of all your information (in parentheses, give the author’s name and the date of publication; the complete reference goes at the end of the paper in the Bibliography).  
Materials and Methods - again, underline the section title.  Describe exactly how the experiment was conducted.  Write in past tense only.  Do NOT write this section like a list of instructions.  You explain what you did, not how someone else should do the experiment.  This section should be so detailed and so well-written that the reader can do exactly what you did simply from reading your Materials and Methods section.  The results of an experiment are not considered valid unless another scientist can repeat you experiment and get similar results.  Obviously, another scientist must be able to read your M&M section and repeat your experiment.
Results - underline the section title.  Give the results using an appropriate format: graph, chart, text, drawings, etc.  Include any descriptive statistics such as the average or standard deviation.  Include the results of any statistical analysis such as a t-test.  Be sure to include ALL pertinent observations, measurements, calculations, etc.  ALL class data must be included in the Results section in chart form.
Discussion - underline the section title.  Include all of the following: 1) explicitly state all conclusions you can draw from your results; state whether the experiment supported or did not support your hypothesis (do NOT say that the hypothesis PROVED your hypothesis.  One experiment NEVER proves an hypothesis).  Begin the first paragraph with “It was concluded from the experiment that ...”.   2) evaluate the results; explain why you think the experiment turned out the way it did; explain why the manipulated variable had the effect it did on the experiment.  The second paragraph should begin “The experiment turned out the way it did because...”.  3) DISCUSS problems with your experiment.  How would you do the experiment differently to make it better?  The third paragraph should begin “The experiment had the following problems ...”.  After explaining the problems, you should write “These problems could be fixed by...”  4) list future experiments you would suggest as follow-ups to the experiment you described.   The fourth paragraph should begin “Logical future experiments would include...”.  Do NOT simply re-state the improved versions of your experiment from section 3 of the Discussion.
The Discussion section MUST be at least 4 paragraphs in length.

Bibliography - you must include COMPLETE bibliographic references for each source used in the preparation of your paper.

Format for a magazine entry:
Author name with complete last name and first initial.  Publication date.  Article title.  Magazine name.  Volume number: page numbers.
Petelle, M.  1984. The effect of soil non-symbiotic nitrogen fixation on plant growth. Journal of Ecology.  23:123-127.

Format for book entry:
Author name with last name and first initial.  Publication date.  Book name.  Publisher.  Location of publisher.  Page numbers used.
Petelle, M. 1975. Our friend the aphid.  The Warrior Press, Kennesaw, Ga.  pp16-18.

Format for encyclopedia entry:
Author name with last name and first initial (write “Anonymous” if the author is unknown).  Publication date.  Key word or title of section used.  Encyclopedia name.  Publisher. Location.
Anonymous.  1993. Aphids.  Encyclopedia of Insects.  Pergamon Press.  London.

Format for internet source:
NOTE: make sure you use the address at the top of the page from which you obtained your information.  The address becomes longer and more specific as you navigate through a particular website.

ADDITIONAL NOTES - DO write in the passive voice (no use of personal pronouns)
- DO use past tense throughout the paper
- DO NOT use the word “Prove”.  Use the word “support” instead.
- DO NOT start a new page for each section
- DO NOT use a title page
- DO type on both sides of the paper as long as the ink does not bleed through
- DO NOT use abbreviations or contractions
- DO NOT plagiarize.  See page 13 of your student handbook which
categories plagiarizing as a form of cheating and defines it as “using a writer’s ideas without giving due credit through documentation”.  Read the behavioral
consequences for cheating in your student handbook.
- DO use your best writing style
- DO type your papers

5) Lab Report Example
The Effect of Phosphorus Fertilizer on the Production of Green Beans

INTRODUCTION  The hypothesis for the experiment was that green bean plants receiving the highest rate of fertilizer application would grow the largest and produce the greatest weight of beans.

All living things utilize the molecule ATP as a source of energy (Miller and Levine, 1995).  ATP, adenosine triphosphate, is made up of carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, and phosphorus atoms (Lehringer, 1976).  A cell that does not receive phosphorus would not be able to make ATP and therefore it would not be able to carry out reactions that require a source of energy.  Growth and seed production must require energy.  Green bean plants must therefore need phosphorus to build ATP for the process of making beans.  It follows then that the more phosphorus, at least up to a point, that is available for bean plants, the more beans they can make.

Indeed, this general concept has been demonstrated in previous experiments.  Rodale et al (1966) grew a variety of crops to which they added superphosphate fertilizer at the rate of 50 pounds per acre.  They found that all the crops (carrots, collards, and zucchini squash) grew larger, produced greater yields of crop, and produced more seeds when they received phosphorus fertilizer at the rate of 50 lbs/acre.  They obtained this same result in subsequent years working with different crops as well (Rodale et al, 1988).

The amount of fertilizer added may affect the growth of plants.  Lowrance (1985) planted hydrangeas receiving different amounts of potassium phosphate fertilizer.  He grew plants with 0, 5, 10, or 25 pounds of fertilizer per acre. He found that the plants with the least fertilizer grew the least and produced the fewest and smallest flowers.  They failed to produce any seeds at all.  The plants receiving the most fertilizer produced the most flowers and seeds, the largest flowers, and the plants grew the tallest.

MATERIALS AND METHODS Blue giant green bean plants were planted in an open field next to the front entrance to North Cobb High School.  25 rows of seeds were planted.  Seeds were planted 3 cm deep and 15 cm apart within rows.  Each row was 25 meters long.  So there were approximately 165 plants that grew in each row.  The soil was prepared prior to planting by tilling to a depth of 30 cm.  Each row of beans received a different amount of bone meal fertilizer which is an organic phosphorus fertilizer.  5 rows were randomly selected and marked to receive no fertilizer.  5 rows received 5 kg/ha of bone meal, 5 rows received 10 kg/ha, 5 rows received 25 kg/ha, and 5 rows received 50 kg/ha.  All fertilizer was applied as a water solution sprayed at the soil surface above where the seeds were planted.  The field was irrigated once/week with one inch of water unless rain fell during that week.
Sixty days after the seeds were planted, the plants had grown and begun to produce beans.  Ten plants were randomly selected from each row.  Those plants were cut off at ground level and immediately weighed.  Next, the beans were removed from the plant and they too were weighed.
RESULTS  Although no specific records were kept, it was noted that bean  plants fertilized with 25 kg/ha of bone meal began to flower and produce beans before the other plants.  Plants receiving 50 kg/ha had leaves that were the darkest green in color.  Please see figures 1 and 2 for a summary of the results.  See Table 1 for a list of weights of all plants and beans.

DISCUSSION  It was concluded from the experiment that bean plants receiving 25 kg/ha of bone meal grew the largest (based upon weight) and produced the most beans (based upon weight).

The hypothesis suggested that the beans receiving the most fertilizer would produce the most beans and grow the most.  The hypothesis was not supported by the  experiment.  Apparently, the beans receiving 25 kg/ha of bonemeal were receiving enough phosphorus to make plenty of ATP for their purposes.  Higher rates of fertilization may have interfered with water uptake by the bean plants and therefore inhibited their growth.  In previous experiments in class (Klum, 2000), it has been shown that “cells” immersed in concentrated salt solutions lose water.  The bean plants receiving 0, 5, or 10 kg/ha of bonemeal obviously were not getting enough phosphorus because they didn’t do as well as the beans receiving 25 kg/ha of bonemeal.  Of course, these results support Odum’s (1973) subsidy-stress concept which states that for all growth factors, there is an optimum amount that stimulates growth most.  More or less of that factor will result in less growth.

There were some problems with this experiment.  When the fertilizer was applied, the wind was gusting and some fertilizer could have blown onto adjacent rows that were receiving a different amount of fertilizer.  The fertilizer should be applied on a calmer day.  When the beans were harvested, the beans were harvested in order by treatment.  All the 0 kg/ha beans were harvested first, then the 5 kg/ha beans were harvested, etc.  When all the beans were done being harvested, they were wieghed.  So some of the beans sat out longer before being weighed and therefore dehydrated more and weighed less.  Obviously, all the plants and beans should have been weighed as they were harvested.  Finally, the plan to harvest only beans found on the 60th day from planting was a bad one.  The plants receiving 25 kg/ha of bonemeal were the most mature at that time.  It could be that the other plants would have produced more over a longer period of time.  All the beans produced by the plants should have been collected throughout the entire growing season rather than just the beans produced by the 60th day.

Based on the results from this experiment, the following experiments are proposed:
1) Conduct an experiment to see more precisely what amount of fertilizer gives the best yield of beans.  Add bonemeal amounts that vary from 10-50 kg/ha.  It is now known that the best yield is somewhere between those amounts, but it may not be exactly 25 kg/ha as we found in this experiment.
2) See if water affects how well the bonemeal works.  Add 25 kg/ha of bonemeal to all the bean plants but vary the amount of water added.
3) See how bean production is affected by the type of fertilizer added.  Compare the growth of beans using phosphorus, nitrogen, and potassium fertilizers.


Klum, H. 2000. Unpublished data.
Lehringer, G.  1976.  Molecules of life: Adventures in organic chemistry.  Prentice-Hall, New York.  pp 25-26.
Lowrance, R. 1985.  The effect of phosphorus on hydrangea growth, flowering, and seed production.  Journal of Horticultural Science. 15:231-245.
Miller, R. and T. Levine.  1995.  Biology.  Houghton Mifflin, Philadelphia.  pp 31-32.
Odum, E.P. 1973.
Rodale, R., L. Boring, T. Swift. 1966. “Phosphorus”.  Encyclopedia of Organic Farming. Rodale Press, Poughkeepsie, NY.
Rodale, R., L. Boring, D. Boring. 1985. Phosphorus kicks veggie butts.  Organic Farming. 36: 112-114.

Table 1.  Weights of bean plants and bean yields (in grams) from plants receiving different amounts of bonemeal fertilizer.

Row Plant 0 kg/ha 5 kg/ha 10 kg/ha 25 kg/ha 50 kg/ha
plant/beans plant/beans plant/beans plants/beans plant/beans
1 1 10 3 11 3 12 4 15 6 10 4
1 2 9 4 12 3.5 11 1 12 5 11 5
5 10 6 0 15 5 10 2 18 6 10 3

you would include ALL the data collected in this table.  There would be 50 plant’s worth of data.  Remember there were five rows for each amount of fertilizer and there were 10 plants harvested from each row.
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Last updated  2008/09/28 09:01:19 PDTHits  494