BIO220 Exam 4

The JC policy is that class runs as scheduled unless school is cancelled, so unless JC officially cancels school we will have the exam tomorrow at 11am, no exceptions.

If class is cancelled we will have the test on Tuesday at 9:00 am and then run the talks between Tuesday lab period (10:30-12:30) and Thursday class time (11:00-12:30).

BIO220 Exam 1

I talked about this in class on both Thursday last week and the Thursday the week before, but I am still getting questions about this on my email. The first exam for BIO220 is on Thursday the 28th. This is one day later than the syllabus due to the day lost to Convocation. It will cover Chapters 1, 2, and 4… Plus the material on Nature of science in the PowerPoint slides.

Beginning Videos for Chemistry

In BIO220 we assume that you have had a functional grasp of Chemistry, hence the phrase “strong background in biology is recommended” (which requires chemistry) is in the catalog description.  While chemistry isn’t the point of this course, it is inevitably interwoven in any course that touches on molecular biology (Units 2-4 in this class).  The Pathways system is not supposed to let you take BIO220 right out of the gate, but it seems to miss that more often than I would like. However, I only have about a lecture and a half to get through basic chemistry review, so below are a couple of videos to help those who may be struggling.

Basic Atomic Structure (Khan Academy)

Basic Bonding (Khan Academy, you can skip metallic bonding)

Basic Biomolecules (Amoeba Sisters)

Properties of Water (Amoeba Sisters)

Fall 2017 at JC

My son and I with aspirations of a great term approaching.

It is that time of the year when we are all excited and ready to rack up the 4.0 grades, the start of term.

This year is a little bit different for me.  Due to staff retirements and the new HLC (Higher Learning Commission) requirements for highly qualified faculty, I have shifted around my schedule a little.  I will be teaching CEM131 (Introductory Chemistry), CEM241 (Organic Chemistry I), and BIO220 (Introductory Microbiology).  This goes back to my graduate degree in Microbiology and specialization in Bioorganic Chemistry (chemists who take to many biology classes and realize bacteria are better at organic chemistry than me).

Important Dates:

REFUND/DROP NO W BY:  9/14/2017

DROP WITH W BY: 9/15/2017


Thoughts for Week of April 10th

CEM131: We will be finishing up the Gases chapter this week and starting on Solutions.  The Hardness of Water lab is this week’s lab fun.

BIO220: We will continue with Eukarya pathogens and start Unknowns.  I have posted the current grades, please review missing materials.

BIO161:  We will finish Protostomes on Tuesday and then the Exam on Thursday.  The lab will either be the field hike or dissection, depending on weather.

Musings for the week of April 3rd

General Notes: We are past the last HQV date, so I cannot drop you from the course.  However, if you do not participate (as outlined in the syllabus), you will receive a grade of 0.0 (E) for failure to participate if you do not withdraw before the term deadline.  Several people have received emails this week alerting them to this eventuality.

CEM131: Exam day today, I know, I love it too (come on, only two problems NEED a calculator). Hopefully it wasn’t too traumatic and I plan on getting them graded by Wednesday.  Overall the class is going well and we will start Chapter 7 (Gases) on Wednesday.  The lab will be Lab 11 (Molar Mass of Butane) on Wednesday.

On the labs last week I gave you a plus/minus error of one on the hydration number for Copper (II) Sulfate.  The actual value was five (5) water molecules for each formula unit of Copper (II) Sulfate, so 4-6 were acceptable. Any value above or below that cost you a point (every group was within two), due to sloppy lab technique (resulting in a poor determination).

BIO220: Exam Day on Tuesday, I hope you worked through the Genetics problems… well if you didn’t, I’ll know soon enough.  We also have lab on Tuesday where we will do the second Gram Stain test and the Second Streak Plate Evaluation.  Thursday we will start in Chapter 12, please read through the Fungi section.

I’m finishing up the labs right now, and I must say that I am rather unimpressed with the depth of short answer responses and the quality of mathematical calculations (forgetting to calculate original concentrations from diluted values, medians, etc.).  When I ask you to do some research and compare the behavior of three different microbes in a system, “they are different so they respond differently” is a pretty crappy answer.

BIO161: You guys don’t have an exam this week, but you do owe me a formal lab.  The class will be working on Chapter 34 (Protostomes) this week.  You should be at least through the introduction of the chapter by Tuesday.  We are on track for the next exam to be on schedule (4/13).

The overall grades have been updated and include all materials to this point (yes, even the lab quiz).  Speaking of the lab quiz, the overall median was 17/25 and the high was 22/25, that gave a curve of +2 (took the median to ~74%).