Reflection: Student Led Inquiry Are You Smarter than a Worm? (Operant Conditioning in C. elegans ) Day 2 - Section 2: Explore (Day 2)

 

       During stage one (lesson 1) of this investigation, a couple of student groups inquired about substituting a visual neutral stimulus for the chemical stimulus that was being used in the class's experiment. I found this to be an extraordinary moment in student growth and inquiry. Before granting this request, I had the student groups articulate their proposed changes to the current set up and their proposed outcomes. Post discussion, students set up their associating conditions to include blue post it notes and food as opposed to salt + food. Their testing conditions (see student extension set up attachments) varied but were done so based on on each group's design and specifications. While the overarching lesson was to teach students about operant conditioning, I found these student group extensions to be powerful in demonstrating valiance in the science lab. Their classmates eagerly pooled to their workstations to learn their results by the conclusion of the lab. This additional experience acted not only as an extension to the original set up, but as a validating condition for the rest of the class as well. 

  Growing Students in Inquiry!
  Student Led Inquiry: Growing Students in Inquiry!
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Are You Smarter than a Worm? (Operant Conditioning in C. elegans ) Day 2

Unit 9: Learning, Memory and Biological Clocks
Lesson 5 of 6

Objective: Students will precisely follow a multi-step procedure that will lead to the collection, analysis and interpretation of data on operant conditioning in C. elegans to better understand human behavioral systems.

Big Idea: C elegans can be used as animal models to predict human learning behaviors as there are many parallels in the neural circuitry that can be interpreted in an interchangeable fashion.

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