Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Powers of Ten

This classic film shows the power of "adding a zero." It starts off looking at a one meter square picnic scene near the shore of Lake Michigan. The camera pulls back to reveal 10 square meters, than 100, then 1000 then 10,000 etc... until the viewer is at the edge of the known universe many millions of light-years away from Earth. Then the viewer gets pulled back into the picnic scene... finally into the man's skin, into a blood vessel and eventually into a carbon atom in the man's DNA.

You can watch the film at this link.

This movie is introducing our basic chemistry unit. In order for us to understand the universe and the living things in it (Bio, after all, means life) we must understand the matter of which they're made. Since all living things are made up of atoms and molecules we need to understand how these basic building blocks of matter interact.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Origins: How Life Began Movie

You can re-watch the movie, "Origins: How life Began" at http://video.pbs.org/video/1978170520/ 
The PBS.org site will show you a couple of ads before the movie starts, but the complete movie will play once the commercials are over.

Answer the following questions about the movie.

Use the movie “Origins, How Life Began” to answer the following questions. If you need more room, use the back of the paper. Use full sentences.

1. What happened when another planet the size of Mars slammed into the early Earth?

2. According to a 17th century “recipe” for life that includes a dirty garment and wheat, what will form in 21 days?

3. Describe the Earth as it existed about 4 billion years ago.

4. When do scientists think that life first began on Earth?

5. What are “snottites?”  What are they made of? Why do scientists need to wear gas masks when searching for snottites?

6. What four chemical elements are in most life forms?

7. How did Stanley Miller try to simulate the formation of early life?

8. How could the ingredients of life have come to Earth from space?

9. How did scientist Jennifer Blank prove that amino acids could have survived the heat and pressure of smashing into the Earth on a meteor?

10. How do the bacteria (really archaea) that live deep underground survive? How often do these underground bacteria reproduce?

11. What is a “stromatalite?”

12. How long did bacteria dominate the Earth before more complex organisms developed?”

13. Write a 1 – 3 paragraph review of this movie. What do you think about this movie and the information you learned from it? How does it make you feel about life on Earth?