Students use technology and creative skills to learn biology

While Bio Honors students were learning about cells, students were asked to design a one-page advertisement or a 60-second commercial explaining why we just cannot live without a specific organelle. Students were asked to use the latest and greatest in computer technology or recording technology and were allowed to choose their favorite cell organelle. Using pictures, facts, neat designs, and catchy slogans, students shared with their classmates why their cell organelle was the most important organelle.

Bat Javkhlan ’19, left, and Tien Nguyen ’18 present their project

“It is easy for students to just memorize and learn the parts of the cells. And it’s safe to assume that my students already know how to use Powerpoint and Google slide show. However, for this project, I wanted to challenge my students to think outside the box,” explained Upper School Biology teacher Mrs. Sari Deitche. “They already use all different types of apps on their phones and tablets, so I wanted to show them how they can incorporate iMovie or PowToons or Canva in an educational way. These programs can be fun but also very useful tools in their educational growth. My students also had to learn how to advertise and ‘sell’ their cell organelle to a greater audience, making sure to grab and keep the audience’s attention.”

9th grader Kate Bonilla did her project using PowToon. “The technology was pretty interesting to use and nothing I’ve ever used before,” she said. “I liked doing it online rather than a poster board because it was more interactive. I was able to go more in depth than I would have with a traditional project.” Check out Kate’s project.

9th grader Sara Oi created a mitochondria poster using Canva. “In Canva, I was able to make it really visually organized and I also learned a new program,” she said. “You had to research even more to make sure you understood and presented in a simple and easy way to explain it to others.” Check out Sara’s project.

Other Student Projects:

Q & A with Mrs. Deitche

What interactive projects do you do throughout the year? Some of our projects involve technology, some are traditional hands-on chemical labs, and some are poster-board projects.  We change up our projects and labs throughout the year and during each chapter.

What skill sets do the students learn beyond just biology education? The students need to learn how to demonstrate their knowledge in all different capacities. At times, students are assessed via tests and quizzes, at other times through traditional labs or projects, and there are even times students are assessed through technological methods. I believe it is important for a student to be able to communicate his understanding of the topic in different ways, or at least attempt to do so. The more ways the student can express his/her understanding, the longer the information will stay with them.