Sunday, December 30, 2018

Getting to winter break.

As December was winding down, biotechnology students continued making progress in their lab investigations of our world.  Biology students have been learning about cell energy, the cell cycle, and genetics.  Chemistry students have been diving deeper into chemical bonding. Genetics students have been learning about  the dogma of molecular biology.

Choosing spinach leaves for photosynthesis experiment.

Waiting for data collection from light reactions.

Successful gel load!

Steady two-handed loading technique.

Analyzing DNA gel on transilluminator.


Sunday, November 25, 2018

Whidbey Island Tree Farm Fieldtrip to Monitor Long-Term Ecological Study Sites in the Forest

Every year in the fall and sometimes in the spring, we take 26 students up to an ecological study site on Whidbey Island, donated by the DeBell family, to learn about forest growth and ecological succession, the effects of re-forestation, and carbon sequestration of hardwood and softwood forests.  Students participate in several field studies, working together to collect data and then later to analyze and present data to each other. During the trips, we first work on community building by introducing students to each other.  They come from three different classes of biotech academy students. (Biology, chemistry, and genetics cohorts may all participate.)  Students cook meals together and eat together.  In the fall, we also have the opportunity to harvest apples to make fresh apple cider and feed the cows.  This fall trip was cold, but sunny.  The rain held back until Saturday morning when students were busy analyzing and presenting data.  It was another successful trip!
Getting to know you-Playing screaming toes!

Hanging out with the cows.

Tree identification on site.

Collecting data from WIT 1.

Capturing macroinvertebrates with the beating sheet.

Taking temperature 2 meters above ground level.

Rotting tree bed?  Might be a new interior design thing.

Oregon salamander found at WIT 1 and released.

Tree huggers, hugging the Western red cedar mother tree.

Alder forest on the way to the WIT sites.

Successful plankton tow from pond.

Posing and fishing from the dock.

Using the manual cider press to make the best cider ever!

And the Saturday morning data crunch.

Identifying critters from the study sites.

Presenters explaining how to measure the volume of a tree.

The ferry ride home in the rain. Flashing BT signs to represent!

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

School has Started and Students are Learning Science Habits of Mind

We're a good month into the school year and Biotechnology Academy students are learning by doing.  In biology, both 9th and 10th grade cohorts are learning how to investigate phenomena, design experiments, and work together collaboratively.  In genetics, both 11th and 12th grade cohorts are re-learning the biological basis of heredity.  They have been reviewing protein chemistry and learning about cellular and molecular biology. We are having fun interacting with each other while re-learning science habits of mind.

Genetics students learning about GoopeyGoo

Spooling DNA!

Teamwork testing organic compounds 

Biotech Mug Posing

The science of p H testing!

Collaborating to learn about qualities of substances.

Science and play-re-learning about observing.

Staining HeLa cells.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Ballard Biotech Represents at the BioExpo and Imagine Tomorrow!

On Friday, May 18,  Biotechnology Genetics students presented their capstone projects at the 18th annual Student BioExpo at Shoreline Community College.  They did an excellent job presenting their work and received several accolades from the judges. The BioExpo is a science fair where students can enter in several different categories ranging from Drama/Dance and Lab Research to Creative Writing and Molecular Modeling.  All projects are judged for their scientific content and for creativity in each category.  Twenty schools from the state of Washington participated. 
All of the students represented Ballard with poise and grace.  Our students exceled in several categories.   In the following categories, our students received special recognition.
Creative Writing: First Place- Cecilia Mustelin for “Hashimoto’s-A Journey to the Center of the Thyroid”
Multi-Media:  Honorable Mention- Maddie Musafia-Corwin ,Sophie Muza, Haley Stroud, and for “Cystic Fibrosis : A Struggle to Breathe”;  3rd Place-Amika Smalley and Riley Travis for “Parvo: A Deadly Virus for Your Dog.”
Music:  Honorable Mention: Gabe Airth, Alec Sigmar, Daniel Windus, and Justin Wolkenstein-Giuliano, for “Breathe”; 3rd  Place-Sarah Jane Hayward and Natalie Zweig for “Forget me Not”
Global Health:  Honorable Mention: Erica Bandy and Aless D’Alosio for “ If You’re Happy and You Know It”;2nd Place: Francesca Evangelista and Max Ulibarri for “The Truth Behind Sickle Cell Disease.”
Web Design: 3rd Place: Samantha Stewart for “The Truth Behind GMOs.”
Art: Honorable Mention: Lucy Harvey-Smith for “Dystrophic Epidermolysis Bulosa.”
Molecular Modeling: Honorable Mention: Fiona Doherty for “ PKU, All Lit UP”; 3rd Place: Quinn Wieder-Rawson for “Molecular Mechanism of Green Fluorescent Protein”:  1st Place: Finn Burke for “Dystrophin: Step by Step.”
People’s Choice:  Sophia Drezner, Annabelle Fryer, Hadley Schaub, and Paige Thomsen: “Melanoma Melody-A Rap”

At the Imagine Tomorrow Competition at WSU on May18-20, the biology/biotechnology students presented their projects.

Six teams from the Biotechnology Academy attended the 11th Annual Imagine Tomorrow problem- solving competition in Pullman, Washington on the WSU campus.  Ballard represented our Ballard community well with multiple awards. Over 400 students competed from four different states.  Here is how our Beaverific students performed:

  • Brynne Stinebrickner, Kristen Steely, Sydney Crowe, Clara Mooney  received  Advisors’ favorite award overall with their project Recyclable Rainwear made from Tyvek©.
  • Leonardo Hale, Oscar Hoekman, Colin Moore,  Nate Peterson, and Aiden Wilkson  received second place in aerospace and transportation challenge in the multi-approach category with their project Oil Spills: Don’t Clog Your Gills!
  • Lydia Urrutia, Claire Burreson, LuLu Bassett, and Paige Bouvatte received first place in aerospace and transportation challenge in the multi-approach category with their project: Charge to Go

Science Rules!

Green Florescent Protein modeler wins 3rd place!

Educating about Zika virus.

Melanoma Melody Rappers.

Multimedia informing about XP.

Competitors supporting competitors.

Global health entry on sickle cell.

Ladies advocating breast cancer awareness.

Biotech boy band.

Imagine Tomorrow!  Rainwear from Tyvek.

Imagine Tomorrow. Got Milk Plastic?

Imagine Tomorrow. How to remove all that carbon dioxide?

Charge To Go! 

Alone Home.  Designing energy efficient housing.

Oil Spills: Don't Clog Your Gills!

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Spring Forward! Biology and Genetics Students are Investigating Anatomy and Physiology

Biotech students have been investigating human anatomy and physiology.  In biology, students have been dissecting Sus scrofa as a model organism to understand mammalian anatomy.  And in genetics, students have been learning about immunology and oncology.  Students have learned their own blood types and they have been investigating the arms of the immune system.

All the while, both cohorts have been preparing for their capstone events. In biology, six teams have moved forward to the Imagine Tomorrow competition at WSU.  In genetics, students have been preparing for their capstone project, the BioExpo.  Stay tuned!

Thumbs up!  Ready for Lab Work!

Examining Blood Smears

Just a few drops.

Blood coach!

Biology Students Performing Dissection

Assisting dissection

Surgical Teamwork

Making connections to human anatomy