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David J. Grise

Oso Bay Educational Consulting
A Colorful Picnic with Photosynthetic Pathways and RuBisCO on the Menu 

In this interrupted case study developed for use in a flipped classroom, students read about a picnic that takes place in autumn during the peak of fall color and along the way learn about light absorption by photosynthetic pigments, why leaves turn color in the fall, atmospheric CO2 concentrations and their effect on photosynthesis, and the C3, C4, and CAM photosynthetic pathways. The case is designed to provide introductory biology students with a basic understanding of photosynthetic pathways and how environmental factors affect plants using these pathways. The activity could also be used in an advanced high school biology course covering photosynthesis. The case includes several short videos that students watch as homework before coming to class so that they are prepared to work together in class in small groups to answer the case questions.

PKU Carriers: How Many Are in Your Hometown?

In this interrupted case study, students read about a college student with phenylketonuria (PKU).  Students learn how diet affects a person with PKU and how PKU is inherited. The case is designed to introduce introductory biology students to the Hardy-Weinberg Principle. Terms of the equation are related to phenotypes and genotypes mentioned in the case. Given the number of people in the population with PKU and assuming the population is in Hardy-Weinberg Equilibrium, students estimate the number of carriers for PKU in the population. Finally, students estimate the probability that a person from this population with PKU would have a child with PKU and the probability that a person from this population without PKU would have a child with PKU.