UNIT TITLEExploring the Molecules of Life:  A Perspective Using Chime

Unit goal:    The goal of this unit is to introduce beginning biology students to the basics of molecular structure needed for general biology.  The use of Chime, molecular structure rendering freeware, enhances the visualization of the chemical structures of the major groups of biologically important compounds.  We also try to link important chemical concepts from general and organic chemistry to the biological molecules.

Grade Level (K-16):    High school  or college

General Subject Area(s):    General biology, elementary biochemistry, general chemistry

Minimum time required for the unit:    20 hours

Concepts learned across all unit modules:    Molecular structure of major biological compounds, their behavior due to their structure, polar and non-polar interactions, hydrogen bonding

Standards addressed by unit modules:   

1.    National Science Education Standards for content standards (9-12)

             content standard A science as inquiry

           content standard B in physical sciences

           content standard C in biological science         

2.    National Educational Technology Standards

           standard 3 - technology productivity tools

           standard 5 - technology research tools

3.    Praxis II

            chemistry content knowledge

           biology part 1 & 2 content knowledge

4.    Maryland High School Core Learning Goals

           goal 1 - skills and process

           goal 3 - biological science

Technology needed in unit modules (computer software, scanners, CD-ROM's, digital video, handheld computers, etc.):  Internet, Chime, and Excel  (could be done using a browser and having the files on CD without a live Internet connection)

Chime, available free from MDL Information Systems, is molecular structure rendering software or freeware that operates in a browser (best in Netscape).  You will need Chime installed as a plug-in in your browser to use this unit.

Technology-enhanced instructional strategies employed

Examples of technology-enhanced instructional strategies: technology-enriched problem-based learning, computer-based simulations/games/role-playing, Web-based learning, electronic portfolio development, telecollaboration and teleresearch, technology-enhanced demonstrations/experiments, etc.)

Web-based learning using Chime to enhance molecular structure visualization

Title of Each Module:

    Exploring the Molecules of Life:  Water, an Essential Ingredient

    Exploring the Molecules of Life:  Carbohydrates

    Exploring the Molecules of Life:  Lipids

    Exploring the Molecules of Life:  Proteins

    Exploring the Molecules of Life:  Nucleotides

    Exploring the Molecules of Life:  Enzymes

Unit Culminating Activity:

     Exploring the Molecules of Life:  Performance Assessment

Unit Author:

Abena Asamoah, Corri Cap, and Scott Sinex from Prince George's Community College

Mike Lorete from the University of Maryland at College Park


MODULE #1

Module Title: Exploring the Molecules of Life:  Water, an Essential Ingredient

Estimated time to complete: 2-3 hours/module

Module objectives:  examines the structure and behavior of the water molecule, how water functions as a solvent for other materials that dissolve in it

Concept(s) learned in this module:  structure of water molecule, hydration, polarity, hydrogen bonding, solubility

Standards addressed in this module (Praxis, K-12)National Science Education Standards, National Educational Technology Standards, Praxis II, and Maryland High School Core Learning Goals (see introduction above for details)

Technology-enhanced instructional strategies utilized in this module:

    Web-based learning using Chime

Components

Brief description of module activities

Student Grouping*

Materials/ Technology

Engagement

2-3 questions

Individual or paired Computer

Internet

Chime

Exploration

introduction of molecular structures with Chime and properties with explanation

Explanation

Extension

follow-up questions using Chime structures

Evaluation

*Student grouping: Individual, paired, small group, whole class, etc.

Expected module outcomes: to understand the structure and behavior of water, why substances dissolve in water, and introduce hydrogen bonding

Performance-based assessment of module outcomes: examines the behavior of alcohol solubility compared to hydrocarbons in water, evaluates the use of similarity of structure to explain behavior

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MODULE #2

Module Title:   Exploring the Molecules of Life:  Carbohydrates

Estimated time to complete: 2-3 hours/module

Module objectives:  examines the structure and behavior of carbohydrates

Concept(s) learned in this module: structures of monosaccharides, disaccharides, and polysaccharides, the formation and hydrolysis of disaccharides, and polysaccharides

Standards addressed in this module (Praxis, K-12):   National Science Education Standards, National Educational Technology Standards, Praxis II, and Maryland High School Core Learning Goals (see introduction above for details)

Technology-enhanced instructional strategies utilized in this module:

    Web-based learning using Chime

Components

Brief description of module activities

Student Grouping*

Materials/ Technology

Engagement

2-3 questions

Individual or paired Computer

Internet

Chime

Exploration

introduction of molecular structures with Chime and properties with explanation

Explanation

Extension

follow-up questions using Chime structures

Evaluation

*Student grouping: Individual, paired, small group, whole class, etc.

Expected module outcomes: to understand the structure and behavior of carbohydrates and how they are formed and react

Performance-based assessment of module outcomes:  examines the properties of solubility and sweetness based on structure

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MODULE #3

Module Title:  Exploring the Molecules of Life:  Lipids

Estimated time to complete: 2-3 hours/module

Module objectives:  examines the structure and behavior of lipids

Concept(s) learned in this module: structure of lipids, solubility, saturated and undersaturated fatty acids

Standards addressed in this module (Praxis, K-12):   National Science Education Standards, National Educational Technology Standards, Praxis II, and Maryland High School Core Learning Goals (see introduction above for details)

Technology-enhanced instructional strategies utilized in this module:

    Web-based learning using Chime

Components

Brief description of module activities

Student Grouping*

Materials/ Technology

Engagement

2-3 questions

Individual or paired Computer

Internet

Chime

Exploration

introduction of molecular structures with Chime and properties with explanation

Explanation

Extension

follow-up questions using Chime structures

Evaluation

*Student grouping: Individual, paired, small group, whole class, etc.

Expected module outcomes:  to understand the structure and behavior of fatty acids and the formation of lipids and their structure and behavior

Performance-based assessment of module outcomes:  evaluates the use of similarities in chemical structure to explain behavior using Olestra, a fat substitute

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MODULE #4

Module Title:  Exploring the Molecules of Life:  Proteins

Estimated time to complete: 2-3 hours/module

Module objectives:  examines the structure and behavior of proteins

Concept(s) learned in this module: behavior of amino acids, formation of proteins, the structure of proteins and levels of structure in proteins, hydrogen bonding

Standards addressed in this module (Praxis, K-12):   National Science Education Standards, National Educational Technology Standards, Praxis II, and Maryland High School Core Learning Goals (see introduction above for details)

Technology-enhanced instructional strategies utilized in this module:

    Web-based learning using Chime

Components

Brief description of module activities

Student Grouping*

Materials/ Technology

Engagement

2-3 questions

Individual or paired Computer

Internet

Chime

Excel

Exploration

introduction of molecular structures with Chime and properties with explanation

Explanation

Extension

follow-up questions using Chime structures

Evaluation

*Student grouping: Individual, paired, small group, whole class, etc.

Expected module outcomes: to understand the structure and behavior of amino acids, the formation of proteins and their structure and behavior

Performance-based assessment of module outcomes:  relates length of amino acid chain to mass mass

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MODULE #5

Module Title:   Exploring the Molecules of Life:  Nucleotides

Estimated time to complete: 2-3 hours/module

Module objectives:  examines the structure and behavior of nucleotides

Concept(s) learned in this module: formation and structure of nucleotides, hydrogen bonding

Standards addressed in this module (Praxis, K-12):   National Science Education Standards, National Educational Technology Standards, Praxis II, and Maryland High School Core Learning Goals (see introduction above for details)

Technology-enhanced instructional strategies utilized in this module:

    Web-based learning using Chime

Components

Brief description of module activities

Student Grouping*

Materials/ Technology

Engagement

2-3 questions

Individual or paired Computer

Internet

Chime

Exploration

introduction of molecular structures with Chime and properties with explanation

Explanation

Extension

follow-up questions using Chime structures

Evaluation

*Student grouping: Individual, paired, small group, whole class, etc.

Expected module outcomes:  to understand the structure and behavior of nucleotides

Performance-based assessment of module outcomes:  examines sequencing of bases and the importance of sequencing in both nucleotides and proteins

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MODULE #6

Module Title:  Exploring the Molecules of Life:  Enzymes

Estimated time to complete: 2-3 hours/module

Module objectives:  examines the structure and behavior of enzymes

Concept(s) learned in this module:  structure and behavior  of enzymes, classification, and enzyme kinetics (rate of enzyme reactions)

Standards addressed in this module (Praxis, K-12):   National Science Education Standards, National Educational Technology Standards, Praxis II, and Maryland High School Core Learning Goals (see introduction above for details)

Technology-enhanced instructional strategies utilized in this module:

    Web-based learning using Chime

Components

Brief description of module activities

Student Grouping*

Materials/ Technology

Engagement

2-3 questions

Individual or paired Computer

Internet

Chime

Excel

Exploration

introduction of molecular structures with Chime and properties with explanation

Explanation

Extension

follow-up questions using Chime structures

Evaluation

*Student grouping: Individual, paired, small group, whole class, etc.

Expected module outcomes: to understand enzyme structure and behavior, their classification and how they influence  reaction rates or enzyme kinetics

 

Performance-based assessment of module outcomes: evaluate enzyme kinetics data

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MODULE #7

Module Title:  Exploring the Molecules of Life: Performance Assessment

Estimated time to complete: 2-3 hours/module

Module objectives: to assess the content of modules 1-6 of what has been learned and to test the understanding of relationships between carbohydrates, lipids, proteins, enzymes, and nucleotides

Concept(s) learned in this module:  combination of concepts covered in modules 1-6, use of similarity of chemical structure to explain behavior 

Standards addressed in this module (Praxis, K-12):   National Science Education Standards, National Educational Technology Standards, Praxis II, and Maryland High School Core Learning Goals (see introduction above for details)

Technology-enhanced instructional strategies utilized in this module:

    Web-based learning using Chime

Components

Brief description of module activities

Student Grouping*

Materials/ Technology

Evaluation

Assesses concepts from modules 1 to 6 plus the ability to extend knowledge to new situations Individual  Computer

Internet

Chime

*Student grouping: Individual, paired, small group, whole class, etc.

Expected module outcomes:  assessment of student knowledge from previous modules with the combination of concepts

Performance-based assessment of module outcomes: assessment of knowledge of molecular structure of biologically important molecules

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