AP Biology Portfolio

Sonya Everett

Big Idea One: Evolution

Artifact One:  Your Inner Fish

Over the summer the AP Biology class read Neil Shubin's, Your Inner Fish. This book was about the discovery of Tiktaalik, a 375 million year old fossil that helped scientists find the interconnections between humans, animals, and their bodies from millions of years ago. This book helps explain how limbs started in our early ancestors and evolved into the limbs we have today. This represents the Big Idea of Evolution because it is about evolution. By reading this book I found a new understanding and appreciation for the scientists who devote their lives to these discoveries and the research behind them.

Artifact Two: Spring Break Assignment, Part One

Over spring break the AP Biology class watched the documentary based on Your Inner Fish by Neil Shubin. During the documentary, we were to answer questions based on the film and our understanding of the information being shown. It was cool how we got the chance to not only read the book but to also see the documentary in the same year/class. Because of this opportunity I was able to deepen my knowledge of evolution and gain "better" visuals to accompany the book. This represents the Big Idea of Evolution because is reciprocating information learned from the documentary, Your Inner Fish.

Big Idea Two: Cellular Processes

Artifact One: The Ovum Cell Project

This model I made of the female reproductive cell signifies the first half needed to reproduce and create offspring. The other half needed would be the sperm cell. Through doing this model I realized how COMPLICATED the whole idea of reproduction is and how the female reproductive cell has about three different names. This taught me that I should check with Mrs. Johnson before attempting another project idea. This model of the Ovum represents Big Idea Two because it is the start of reproduction and involved in the cellular reproduction process.

Artifact Two: Large Diagram of DNA Strand.

Here I drew out and labeled a strand of DNA. DNA which stands for Deoxyribonucleic acid, is a molecule that stores genetic information that will later develop into a living organism. DNA is in the structure of a double helix and is made up of Nucleic Acids, Carbohydrates, and Proteins. It also has a Sugar-Phosphate backbone. Through making this diagram I understood the basics of DNA and it actually helped me a ton. This model represents Big Idea Two because it shows a basic component of the cellular process.

Big Idea Three: Genetics and Information Transfer

Artifact One: Mitosis Lab

Mitosis is the process of cellular division. Through this lab I learned the difference between Mitosis and Meiosis which is that: Mitosis produces identical daughter cells while Meiosis produces four sex cells containing the genetic information from both parent cells and only deals with reproduction.  I also learned the different stages of mitosis and there are six of them. This lab represents Big Idea Three because mitosis is apart of cell division which involves the exchanging of information in order to produce more cells.

Artifact Two: Meiosis Lab

Meiosis is a type of cell division that only happens during reproduction. This process creates four daughter cells that each have half of the genetic information from the chromosomes of their parent cell. I was able to connect the process of meiosis to my model of the Ovum that I did awhile back. Because of that connection I gained a deeper understanding of the reproduction process...just what my parents wanted. This Lab represents Big Idea Three because meiosis is apart of the reproduction process which involves the exchanging of genetic information in order to produce offspring.

Big Idea Four: Interactions

Artifact One: Bacterial Transformation

Bacterial Transformation is the process when bacteria takes up foreign DNA molecules from other bacteria and replicates it. This complicated process fuels the research that is needed to create antibiotics and medications. While the diagram only confused me more while trying to learn the process of bacterial transformation, I was able to connect this Lab to another lab we had done earlier. (the name of it escapes me, but we were handling some sort of bacteria.) This artifact represents Big Idea Four because of its complexity and how it can connect with any type of bacteria and possibly create some sort of antibiotic with the help of scientists.

Artifact Two: Fruit Fly Lab

During this lab my partners and I were able to see what type of fruit, Fruit flies had a preference for. This experiment showed the various interactions the fruit flies had with the different types of fruit and also what the results were. In the end the fruit flies had a preference for Grapes, we assumed the reason behind this was because it was low in acid and was sweeter. This Lab represents Big Idea Four because it shows the complex interactions that fruit flies have with their environment and choice of food. We also learned about Endia's extreme fear of flies laying eggs in her hair.


   This year has been really difficult for me and I think if I had applied myself more I could have done much better. In the beginning of the year I started off with a lot of doubt. I was getting tired of failing each test and I thought even if I did try, which I was doing, I would still fail. I was comfortable with the fact that as a group, as a class, we weren't understanding the content. That way I didn't feel alone, stupid, and the only one who wasn't getting the material. But as they started getting it and doing better, I was stuck in place very familiar to me..confusion. I wasn't up to par at the rate we were going at and I should have been preparing myself for it. I knew what I was getting into. I should have took better notes and payed more attention, but it was so easy for me to accept defeat. To accept the fact that I would never understand like they would.

  From an early age I knew I would have to try harder than the other kids. Things didn't come easy to me so I had to apply myself in different ways so I could understand even the simplest things. I shouldn't have overestimated my ability to comprehend material. Honestly I thought I would out grow it as it being just a little learning mishap, but I didn't. It just gets so hard for me. I work myself into a depression of failure and doubt, I think I won't be able to accomplish anything. I just need to try harder. I should have done that this year. Even if I didn't get it the first time around, which is most of the time. I should have kept trying.

    Other than the fact of not living up to my potential... I learned that when I did try, it was okay. I did okay. I wasn't trying for top student or the perfect A, but I survived and that's all the matters. Despite the year getting a little crazy with a substitute teacher and all I really enjoyed this class. I enjoyed the freedom on projects which allowed me to show you what I know I'm good at. I appreciated all the time you took to reteach and reteach and reteach information to us when we simply did not understand it.

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