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Jun Liang
Assistant Professor
Science Department
Borough of Manhattan Community College / City University of New York
Counting Keratinocytes: Measuring Length in the Metric System

This case study was developed for teaching metric length measurement in a non-majors biology laboratory setting. The case is suitable for lower-level non-major undergraduate or upper-level high school students. The case develops comprehension of the metric system, unit conversion, proper length measurement, precision, proportion, sample size, and determination of actual cell size from a histology image. Facility with these fundamental concepts and skills generally enhances the understanding of science. The case consists of three sections. Starting with an introduction to the metric system, students then move on to solve unit conversion questions and proportion problems. These activities build the foundation for the last part in which students determine actual cell size from a human skin tissue image. Students should complete the case in a sequential order, as complexity increases incrementally. The case engages students by having them measure their own height with a metric ruler and on that basis determine the number of cells needed to extend from “head to toe.”

Why Is He Different from Both Parents?: The Genetics of ABO Blood Types

This case study was developed to teach the topic of human ABO blood type and genetic inheritance in biology courses at the lower undergraduate level or upper high school level. It is suitable for entry level biology, genetics, and physiology courses. The case narrative tells the story of Kevin, a teenager who is puzzled by the fact that neither of his parents can donate blood to him. He and his best friend ask their biology teacher for help, and she explains human ABO blood types at the molecular and genetic level to solve the mystery. The case consists of three sections, which can be used sequentially or separately. After completing the case study, students will understand the molecular basis of ABO blood types and how genes control the phenotype and genotype of an individual. They will also have a better understanding of how human ABO blood type is inherited from generation to generation.