Mr. T's Science Scene

What is the difference between LE at Bay Trail and LE at the High School?

What are the characteristics of the average living environment student?

While not an end all be all list, in my years of observing LE students vs. LS students I have seen the following consistent traits:

1.  LE students ask questions- especially if they don't know

2.  LE students make use of "down time".  

     Rarely, are my LE students just "sitting".  After a test they are reading, doing other homework, working on "stuff".  

3.  LE students demonstrate above average initiative.

4.  LE students take pride in all their work.

5.  LE students take risks with their learning

6.  LE automatically work together towards a common goal

7.  LE students will talk about science inside and outside of class.

8.  LE students always do their homework, projects, and study.

What is the same between LE at Bay Trail and LE at the High School?

The curriculum is the same at both schools.  However, if you have a child at the high school and a child in 8th grade both taking LE, you may find that the sequence and the timing of the subjects within the curriculum might be different.  This is due to the above "biology experience" and the middle school schedule.

The regents exam will be given at the same time for both the HS and Bay Trail.  This has historically been at the end of June- but is subject to the whims of the State.

The pig dissection is performed at both the HS and Bay Trail though the time of the year that it is done in may be different.

What labs are required to sit for the regents examination?

There are four State labs that the student is required to do; they are Diffusion Across a Membrane (Cell unit), Beaks of Finches (Evolution unit), Making Connections (Human Body unit), and Relationships and Biodiversity (Ecology unit).  These, the pig dissection, and the other labs we will do in class will satisfy the 1200 minutes needed by the State.

It would be unfortunate for your child to miss the labs due to non-illness.  Making up a required lab is very difficult at best.

What is a fetal pig?

A fetal pig is an unborn piglet that was taken out of the female pig when it was slaughtered and processed for human consumption.  By law, a fetal pig may not be used for any food products whether for humans or other animals.  Fetal pigs are purchased by science warehouses for student dissection in anatomy and phisiology classes from middle school through college.

What is the fetal pig dissection like?

A fetal pig dissection is the cutting open and examination of the anatomy of a fetal pig.  The experience varies from student to student.  It has been my experience that those students who "freak out" a bit at the mention of the dissection portion of the class or who have anxiety over the dissection, typically find out that their imagination is much worse than the actual dissection!

We will be examining and learning about most of the internal structures of the fetal pig.  The pigs do have some liquid left over from processing.  They DO NOT bleed or "squirt".  The vascular system has been drained and filled with a red and blue latex to deliniate the systems of veins and artieries.

It is my practice to have students work in pairs.  On occassion, if there is an odd number, I may allow a group of three or a student to work on their own if they want to.

Differences between LE Bay Trail and LE High School
Aspect Bay Trail High School
Student biology experience/prior learning Very little to none. All material is "new". Students in the BT LE course have, typically, very little biology experience or education. Therefore, while the course is double accelerated, the students must learn the material much faster and with less background knowledge. 8th grade life science. Much of the LE curriculum is a repetition of the LS course. Typically, students entering the HS LE course have already had a full year's worth of biology (Life Science course) in 8th grade. This would, as a rule, allow the students to access prior learning of material they have, at the very least, learned about in 8th grade.
Student make-up Some students recommended by 7th grade teacher. Others placed in class by administration or parents. Students chosen by the administration are given a choice to take 8th LE or not. Typically, the course is the next step for all students entering 10th grade. This class is part of the graduation requirements for those students who did not take it in 8th grade.
Class Structure 60 minute classes on a three day rotation with a ~30 minute "lab time" during HOME once every three days. Depending on the child's schedule they will typically have LE two days in a row and then skip a day. Generally, students will have LE every day to varying degrees. Students will be in their LE class every day for 40 minutes with a 40 minute lab backing up to one of the classes once per week. This class is part of the graduation requirements for those students who did not take it in 8th grade.
Student Age 13 to 14 years old Maturity level will vary GREATLY no matter what age a student is. However, we see the most difficulty in organization, initiative, follow-through, and dissecting the pig with younger children. 15 to 16 years old In general (see previous comment), the maturity level of a "typical" LE student allows them to better able work through some of the hurdles we see in 8th grade.