AP Biology Portfolio
Big Idea 1: Evolution
This artifact I picked was a homework assignment given to the class. This assignment demonstrates evolution because it is covering the topic of Hardy Weinberg. The Hardy Weinberg principle states that frequencies of alleles and genotypes in a population remain constant from generation to generation, provided that only Mendelian segregation and recombination of alleles are at work. When you see things remain constant or change from generation to generation of a specific species, this is the evolution of that species. From this assignment I learned how to use the Hardy Weinberg formula and identify frequencies of different alleles and genomes. I haven't really improved in this particular section because I've always loved the idea of evolution and the Hardy Weinberg problems came pretty easy to me. But, I would, however, say that my knowledge of evolution has grown massively.
This artifact is actually very interesting. I picked it because well, Charles Darwin is the father of evolution. It is a video that we were instructed to watch over Spring Break and do a worksheet that went along with it. When I watched this video, it actually took me a few times because it was long and well, no. But after I watched it, I realized that we are all going to die. That made me sad. I learned way tomany specific things for me to type out on here, but one important thing that I think I learned is that even though we are all unique (all meaning every organism on this planet....and on other planets), we are all still identical via our DNA. It took me a while to identify some of Darwin's principle ideas because I would get them mixed up with very similar ideas. He was also very specific which was another reason his concepts were difficult to understand. I've improved by studying and going over his ideas over and over and over again. I still get them mixed up but I am also more knowledgable about what each one means.
Big Idea 2: Cellular Processes - Energy and Communication
This is example of an example of a previous question on an AP Biology exam. With this worksheet we went over each section and made an interactive skit in class to help us further understand the concept. I picked this worksheet not only because it is my favorite AP question that we've had but also because it shows an excellent example of cell communication. This specific question was one of the most challenging to understand. I didn't understand the process and what was attaching or shifting. I now know how to explain this diagram, in my own words. From this diagram, I learned that a lot of work goes into the signaling and communication of a cell. It isn't just, break down food. It's take in proteins, leave out wastes, attach to enzymes to break down waste, etc etc.
This artifact was a lab that we did a while back. We focused on the intake of oxygen and the release of glucose in spinach disks. This lab applied to this big idea because it showed an organism using energy to remain in homeostasis. You see the spinach disks release energy. From this assignment I learned how to apply the formula of photosynthesis to a lab. The formula of photosynthesis is 2H2O + CO2 + light ---> carbohydrate (CH2O) + O2 + H2O. I picked this lab for my artifact because I feel like this was the lab that took us the longest and was the most frustrating, but we had the most fun and learned the most. It was difficult for me to understand the whole process of photosynthesis, basically only because of the formula. I found that this lab helped because we had to apply what we learned to the lab and if you didn't figure it out you couldn't complete the lab.
Big Idea 3: Genetics and Information Transfer
This artifact was a homework/class work packet that we completed when discussing Transcription and Translation. I picked this as an artifact because it was actually difficult for me to understand this process even though it came easily to a lot of my other classmates. This packet applies to this big idea because it is showing the process of the transcription and translation of DNA to RNA to make proteins. This is a very important part of genetics because without the information transfer of DNA you wouldn't have any genes. This assignment shows that even though I had trouble in the beginning with these two concepts, I was able to complete the assignment with accuracy. I would definitely say that I learned how to explain each step (Initiation, Elongation, and Termination). I'm still working on the diagrams because they are so complex, but it's a work in progress.
This assignment was really fun! We were to draw a strand of DNA and go to stations around the classroom and answer questions related to DNA. I picked this assignment because I had a lot of fun with this. I definitely saw an improvement because I completed this assignment without the use of any notes or references. DNA, was a hard concept for me to understand and this was very simple for me. This assignment fits under this big idea because this idea speaks about genetics and DNA is the basis of genetics and what makes up every organism on this planet.
Big Idea 4: Interactions
This was a project that we did over winter break. We picked a disease and had to research the signaling of the normal gene and the effected gene. I didn't really like this activity because I didn't feel like I learned anything. I only did it because it was an assignment that had to be completed. I picked this assignment to go under this big idea because it applied to the topic. In this assignment you saw different systems in the body interact with one another and create mutations or changes to the body. I learned that different things even in the same area of the body go through different signal passages and interactions with the body. I also learned that some different mutations go through the same signaling and similar interactions.
It sucks that we didn't actually get to do this lab physically because I think it would have been more interactive and we could have really been able to see the change in bacteria. But, doing the online interaction was fun as well because you could see the plasmid moving into the cell and how the cell has been transformed. Based on my score above, this assignment demonstrates that I was able to complete my lab and understand most of the basic concepts with bacterial interactions. From this, I learned how to identify the different organizations that bacteria would be set up in inside of a dish, and I also learned the process of a plasmid moving into a bacteria. This activity fits this big idea because you were able to see the interactions the plasmids had with its surroundings and then with the cell itself.
Coming to a close of AP Biology and my Junior year of high school, I am very glad I took this class. There were so many times I just wanted to give up and drop the class, but that wouldn't have proved anything. I took Biology as an incoming 9th grader and I loved it. AP Biology is NOT Biology. Everything is much more complex and specific and detailed and AP! this year as one of the few AP Biology students I am very glad I had a better insight into Biology and what is apart of it. Although, I still don't completely understand EVERYTHING, I now know that's okay...this gives me more research to do. I appreciate the patience that Mrs. Johnson and Ms. Lesley gave, because without it I would have failed this course. I am very proud of my accomplishment in this class this year. I've learned that I do have the ability to work with others and it is improving every time I do. I found that going to my classmates for something I didn't understand was a lot more helpful than just trying to figure it out on my own as I usually would. I'm not sure why, but organization and time management were such a problem for me this year...with AP Biology specifically. I feel like if I didn't understand or like the concept then it would take me longer to complete the assignment. I was really upset that only 4 students took the AP test. Even though me didn't get through the whole book, we got through enough that I understood 80-90% of what was on the test. Proud isn't even the word I would use to describe how I feel about myself and this class. There were some days I was tired or just didn't want to try, but most days I was up until 2 AM making sure I understood the concepts and making sure I get at least a B on our next quiz. When I look at my future, I now know that I DO NOT what to be a Biologist. Not because I don't think I won't be good at it, I just don't think I would be my happiest with it. I am now looking at it as a major for college because I'm not sure Anthropology is the direction I want to take, or maybe I'm listening to too many other adults. This course has opened my eyes to new possibilities in the science field because we didn't only talk about Biology. As silly as it sounds, I wish we could have had more work over the summer because I think we would have gotten through and understood more concepts (not saying like 10 chapters, but maybe 5 or 6)....I'm sure my classmates don't agree. THE SCHOOL YEAR IS OVER. I am so glad I took this class and the test and I was still able to end the year the way I entered...with an A. Thank you Mrs. Johnson, you did a great job!