Learn how to make picture notes to help you to understand how DNA controls protein production in the cell


DNA to RNA to mRNA to tRNA

What makes a successful Science Question Journal?

A question journal will help you to develop a strong scientific question about a topic that interests you in Unit 1, Genetics.

In order for your question to be at the appropriate level of difficulty for your grade you need:

  • to ask questions about the information that you are learning about in class.
     to learn how to research your question to make it answerable using the scientific method.




Start by asking questions about things that make you wonder, things that make you curious and things that you would like to learn more about.

Top questions in Science learn more…

System 001 is launched – learn more about attempts to remove garbage from the Great Pacific Garbage Patch!

Learn more about System 001

Animation of System 001

Low air quality adversely affects intelligence – the effect could be as strong as missing a year of education

A new study published this month highlights how dirty air damages cognitive function in people.  Learn more…

The impact of exposure to air pollution on cognitive performance:

The significance of the Study

“Most of the population in developing countries live in places with unsafe air. Utilizing variations in transitory and cumulative air pollution exposures for the same individuals over time in China, we provide evidence that polluted air may impede cognitive ability as people become older, especially for less educated men. Cutting annual mean concentration of particulate matter smaller than 10 μm (PM10) in China to the Environmental Protection Agency’s standard (50 μg/m3) would move people from the median to the 63rd percentile (verbal test scores) and the 58th percentile (math test scores), respectively. The damage on the aging brain by air pollution likely imposes substantial health and economic costs, considering that cognitive functioning is critical for the elderly for both running daily errands and making high-stake decisions.”

Cell phones in class: a good idea or should they be banned?

Schools in France have continued to enforce a total data ban in class for students younger than 15 years of age.  Older students have the option of using data, at the discretion of the instructor.  Learn more…

Question Journal:  Prompt #1

Texting under the table should be a thing of the past after French children returned to class Monday following a nationwide ban on mobile phones in schools.  

Is it a good idea to ban data use in class, why or why not?


How one person kicked their Cell phone use:

Question Journal:  Prompt #2

“There is something more terrible than a hell of suffering,” the French novelist Victor Hugo wrote in his book Les Misérables in 1862. “A hell of boredom.”

New research continues to point out that an important side effect of being bored is enhanced creativity.  Learn more…

How creative are you?  
What is creativity?
Who is the most creative scientist that you know about?
Who is the most creative person you know?

When you’re bored, you’re tapping into your unconscious brain, picking up long-lost memories and connecting ideas.

It is this ability to fully access our knowledge, memories, experiences, and imagination that helps lead us to those precious “lightbulb” moments when we least expect them, according to Amy Fries, author of Daydreams at Work: Wake Up Your Creative Powers.

Learn more about the Parker Solar Probe – A probe to investigate the Sun

The Parker Solar Probe will be going to the sun.  Part of this research protocol is to learn more about solar wind, why the corona of the Sun is much hotter than the surface of the Sun.


The Great Space debate – should space be privatized?

What are the implications of the privatization of space exploration?

Learn more about this debate by reading and learning using the following links:

Public Policy Initiative:   Penn State

Three Billionaires are racing to colonize space – who will win?

Bezos wants to build a colony on the moon. Musk is shooting for Mars. Who’s going to get there first? Will the tortoise beat the hare? Or will Branson pip them at the post?

Blue Origin – what is it? – why is it so secret?

USA Budget – 2019

Wines and Loses for NASA Space Exploration 2019


What to do with all the plastic straws?

Questioning the role of micro-recycling in pollution management – Please complete the following activity and include in your question portfolio 

If we all stopped using plastic straws then plastic pollution would be a thing of the past.

1) Evaluate the above hypothesis.

2) Answer the following question.  

Is it possible that to end plastic pollution by not using straws?

3)  Add a comment to express your opinion –

For example, “Just say no! – Wait, this sounds familiar.
Does the straw math make sense?”


Read more about the production of plastic using petrochemical feedstocks:

Happy Earth Day 2018 – Learn more about the #1 Threat to a healthy ecosystem

A campaign to End Plastic pollution is the theme of the 2018 Earth Day Celebrations. 

Learn more about health problems posed by plastic pollution.



After decades of producing trillions of oil-based plastic items, the negative consequences are star- tling. Plastic pollution is now recognized as a hazard to public health and the human body. Chemicals leached from some plastics used in food/beverage storage are harmful to human health. Correlations have been shown between levels of some of these chemicals, and an increased risk of problems such as chromosomal and reproductive system abnormalities, impaired brain and neurological functions, cancer, cardiovascular system damage, adult-onset diabetes, early puberty, obesity and resistance to chemotherapy.

Many plastics contain phthalates (DEHP) and the chemical BPA. If food or drink is stored in these plastics, they can be contaminated with these chemicals. If food is heated inside these containers in the microwave or if the plastic is ingested as in the case of a small child, these chemicals make their way into our food and into our bodies. Both chemicals are potentially harmful to human hormones, reproductive systems, and early childhood development.”

Happy Birthday to Glen Seaborg – the discovers of the “transuranium” elements

Glen Seaborg is credited with the discovery of the “transuranium” elements. The transuranium elements are elements in the periodic table after uranium. 

Learn more about Seaborg, the “transuranium” elements, Plutonium, and the Bomb”.

Seaborg was lead discover for plutonium, americium, curium, and berkelium; he was co-discoverer of californium, einsteinium, fermium, mendelevium, nobelium, and seaborgium. Having seaborgium named after him made him the only person to have an element named after them while they were still alive until oganesson was named after Yuri Oganessian in 2016. Seaborg jointly won a Nobel Prize in 1951 for his work.

Nuclear fission of uranium produces a fission product, neptunium (element 93).

Nuclear fission occurs when uranium is bombarded with neutrons.  The neutrons in Seaborg’s lab were produced from deuterons using the small cyclotron at Berkeley.

Learn more about the history of how some of the elements on the Periodic Table were discovered.