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Introduction to Biology

Chat times for Summer 2018
Contact Instructor

Dr. Christe Ann McMenomy

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Lab Equipment Required

Experiments for this course

Lab assignments for this course are not optional — they are the point of the course! Students perform one major lab exercise each week to build essential lab skills.

  • Instructions for all lab activities, along with necessary equipment lists, will be available to enrolled students by the beginning of the course.
  • Each student should complete the lab activity to the best of his or her ability as soon as possible in the week period before the chat session. Several labs allow for completion using computer simulations.
  • Each student must then write up a lab report, which should contain the following sections (note that you should supply enough detail that I or any of your fellow students could duplicate your experiment or observations, assuming we can obtain the same materials you used):
    • your goal for observation, or the hypothesis you wish to test
    • a list of the materials you used
    • a description of the procedure you followed
    • a record of your observations or data, presented in an appropriate format your conclusions (i.e., did you support or disprove the hypothesis?)
    • at least one suggestion for how to alter the materials or procedure in order to improve the accuracy of your results.
  • Lab reports must be posted in the Moodle Introduction to Biology forum by 6pm EST of the evening before our chat session, so that all students have time to review each others' work.
  • Students will respond with constructive criticism about the lab procedures, as well as the lab report content and style of presentation.
  • Students should also post any questions they have about what happened in the lab and why, in the general class forum.

Lab Permission Forms

For safety reasons, both you and your parents must read the safety procedures before starting the lab sequence. Parents of minor students must sign and send a copy of the lab permission letter to me before I can accept any lab reports from their student.

Lab Equipment

Students performing basic lab assignments will not need to obtain special equipment. Basic labs will require common household items easily obtained from grocery, drug, or hardware stores.

Students wishing to obtain AP Biology lab credit should review the lab instructions. Equipment and materials purchased for the summer course will be used during the academic year course as well.


Lab equipment may be borrowed from schools or purchased. Sometimes local college bookstores or medical schools carry dissection kits; staining kits and other supplies are often available from educational toy stores and science museums. You may also want to check my growing list of mail order suppliers.