Biology this year starts off with understanding the basic building block of life, the cell. Seventh graders learn all the cell parts, discover plant cells and animal cells (their own cheeks) under a microscope, and then they learn how a membrane works. Students also learn why we produce carbon dioxide through cellular respiration and plants use that to produce oxygen in photosynthesis.
Students have discovered this through hands-on labs – seeing iodine move across a membrane to turn corn starch black by modeling diffusion and seeing a balloon fill up with carbon dioxide as yeast cells perform cellular respiration. All these functions are vital to a cell’s survival.