I am afraid to ask but, High school freshman – Honors Class

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    • #10069

      I have read the read first – and I admit I am quite afraid to ask.

      My daughter was given a honors project for Biology at her very small private high school (maybe 150 students total)

      It is on molecular biology (I think)

      She was given no workbook, no information, and no idea as to where to find the answers.
      I purchased the biology book recommended by the local universtiy, Biology by Campbell Reese.
      But if we are looking directly at the answers, I am not sure that we can recognize them because I am not sure that you can just look up the answers without having read all of the chapters prior to this one.
      (Especially since she is just a high school freshman)

      Her teacher has no idea of where to find the answers, and this packet was made by one of the parents many years back, and he worked in a lab of some type.

      Not one student has stayed in the honors program in the last five years, and the ten students that are taking it now in her class are all about to drop before they finish the first packet. (probably my daughter as well)

      We are looking up the answers as best we can, however we are completely unsure if they are correct.

      We were hoping to finish the first packet, and at least get to the second one – if it is as difficult (impossible) then we will have to let her drop.

      My husband has a PHD in physics and cannot find the answers, and I cannot either.
      I am not asking for answers, possibly just some help double checking what we can find, and also some direction if anyone else has this book – possibly help like – which chapter or paragraph to find the answer in.

      Also – do you all think this is normal honors work for a freshman in high school?

      If this is, then my daughter must be getting shortchanged by going to this school, beacause this information is no where at all in her book.
      Please let me know if it is ok to post some questions and the answers that we are thinking are correct.’

      Thanks for any advice you all may give.

      Here is a sample question, one we tried to answer but are not sure it is correct.

      Base-pair substitutions involving the third base of a codon are unlikely to result in an error in the polypeptide.
      This is because

      I think it is because:
      Substitutions are restricted to introns.

      Did our research pay off, or should we try again?

      Any help is genuinely appreciated.
      Rhonda 😆

    • #85846

      By the way – we would just have her drop, however she wishes to study biology.
      She desires to become a biologist someday, and has been scouting Scripps since she was just about 14.
      She has already visited their campus – and is very serious about her goal.
      Hawaii Pacific is choice two 😆
      This has been her goal since she was in junior high, and she has a passion for biology.

      I am hoping that this is really just above her head, and not something she should be expected to know as a high school freshman.

      I do not want her to get discouraged.

      Thanks again,

    • #85847

      For the specific question you asked, look into the term "wobble base".

      Your daughter is going to need to do a lot of reading quickly. That’s good. Use Wikipedia – while it’s not a "final authority", many of the biology pages are pretty good and it can lead her toward an answer.

    • #85848

      Thank you,
      I will have her search that term now.

      I made a mistake earlier – my daughter is NOW 14.
      She has been planning to someday be a biologist since she was just around 9.

      She drags us on volunteer missions all over the globe, so she can learn.
      Our most recent one was to Sabah (Borneo area) Malayisa.

      She worked with a volunteer tree plating project there.
      She studied tons of species of insects.. not my thing but she loves it.

      She studies very hard, but there are just near impossible questions.
      I have a little bit of a anatomy background, (RMT) but I can find nothing in any of the nursing books I have around.

      We will search this one out.
      Will update when we think we have gotten this answer.

      Here is one we think we have done successfully.
      (probably wrong – but we are trying)

      The anticodon of a particular tRNA molecule is:
      She found – complementary to the corresponding mRNA codon.

      Crossing our fingers on that one too.

      It is really the first page that is the hardest. She has done several pages of the seven page packet.
      Hopefully we can muddle through the rest with a little help 🙂

      umm.. here is a link to the textbook being taught at my daughters school, anyone know if this book is too far below what she should be using as a freshman?


    • #85849

      http://www.gettextbooks.com/search/?isb … -8&src=504

      sorry – forgot the link.
      Her book is this one 🙂

    • #85851

      How does her teacher not know the answers? Seems like the teacher should at least be able to point you in the right direction, unless s/he is just being sadistic (like my chemistry professor).

    • #85852

      You’re overpaying for your education. I went to a public school and look how I turned out :D.

      BTW, both the questions you just asked can be answered in the Campbell & Reese book. It’s a good book.

    • #85853

      Thanks everyone.
      I KNOW the teacher does not know the answers.
      She is seriously lost – and is unable to help any of the 10 students.
      They are all about to drop the class.

      The packet is due in just around 2 weeks.
      They are teaching ecosystems in her class, and the packet is on molecular biolgoy.

      I am not sure why they are giving this out while teaching the other.
      The words codon, eukaryotic cells, nucleotides, etc.. do not even appear in the index of her book 🙁

      As for over paying.
      I agree, we choose this school when she was younger based upon the fact that we travel extensively. It was much easier for her to get the homework assignments and also to make up the work. I think it was ok for elementary and junior high, but I am thinking for high school, we may need to make a change.

      I appreciate the help, and even if she ends up dropping the honors, I think I will have her just start at chaper one in the Campbell textbook and do all of the work.

      Possibly I can get the professror at the university nearby to grade the work for a fee.
      This way she will at least be somewhat caught up when she begins college.
      Do not want her to give up – since this has been such a long time dream.

      Apparently – her current school text book is less than satifactory.
      One teacher that I have recently been chatting with sent me this review from
      The Textbook League:

      Pretty pathetic excuse of a book 🙁
      And pretty much what I thought when I began trying to look up answers.

      We will keep trying to answer the questions with the Campbell textbook until we run out of time. If we still cannot find enough of the answers, we will drop the class.

      Too bad I waited so long to get the book, the kids kept telling me that they were being told by the teacher that she was inquiring as to the location of the workbook that would go with this packet, unfortunately I just found out there was not going to be one.
      We have less than two weeks left to finish, and she is in honors English and Geography as well.
      Starting the Campbell book in addition, might prove to be too much.

      Anyway – thanks again everyone.
      You all are increadibly kind.

      Rhonda 🙂

    • #85862

      Here’s one suggestion, I’m pretty sure your college profs are too busy to be grading papes but you can probably catch a grad student or even an undergrad who’d be willing to tutor/grade stuff. Rates are probably better than what you’re paying the school.

    • #85864

      Consider signing her up to audit a class at a community college. She’ll get all the usual grading and testing but it won’t go on her college transcript (except as an audit). On the other hand, you could just transfer her into the community college in a high-school completion program and let her accumulate usable college credit as she finishes her diploma requirements. I transferred to a community college in my sophomore year. I never did finish the diploma. But I did finish the doctorate.

    • #85900

      Hey everyone,
      Thanks for all the help.
      Sorry for the delay in responding.
      I have an e-store and have been totally swamped with sipments.

      I will take a look into our community college.
      There is one only a couple of miles away.

      I did not know about the audit class, this is a teriffic idea!
      I would probably like to let her get her feet wet (seems like she may be a bit behind) before letting her take a grade for it, but this is a really great idea!

      I met with the drector on Monday, and she let this comment slip.
      "I dont really know, we no longer use the book that these were taken from"
      I am wondering if the kids were not getting high enough grades so they switched books.
      (monstly gymnastic students at the school)
      Honestly – none of these terms are even in her index.
      The director reluctantly gave the answer key to the biology teacher, and the teacher will revise the questions and take out the ones that have never been covered in any of their biology classes.
      They are covering ecosystems. – hope that helps explain my confusion.
      Last year they touched on mitosis and meiosis – so I am guessing that the honors paper will be dumbed down to mostly these types questions.

      My guess is that the students were not doing so well in the subject (probably due to the fact that teachers here are rotated in subjects, and are not trained in any particular subject – meaning the Latin teacher may be teaching math next year)
      Not that the teachers are not skilled, just possibly not in the subject that they end up being assigned.
      I would assume each teacher is most likely better at some subjects than others. (just as in every other profession)

      I am beginning to think that the book was changed to an easier book based on the low grades.

      am very glad that I posted this question, at least now I know what my daughter is NOT being taught, so I can find a source that will get her up to speed.



      I will put a few more of the questions here – just so you can get a more clear idea.
      After the review of the book, I am worried that the biology that she is being taught is going to leave her behind.
      This is especially troubeling to me since this is the field she wishes to work in.

      1. Base-pair substitutions involving the third base of a codon are unlikely to result in an error in the polypeptide, this is because?
      A. substitutions are corrected before transcription begins
      B. substitutions are restricted to introns
      C. the base-pairing rules are less strict for the third base of codons and anticodons
      D. a signal-recognition particle corrects coding errors
      E. transcribed errors attract snRNPs, which then simulate splicing and correction

      2. In eukaryotic cells, transcription cannot begin until?
      A. The two DNA strands have completely seperated and exposed the promoter
      B. Several transcription factors have bound together
      C. the 5′ caps are removed from the mRNA
      D. the DNA are removed from the template
      E. DNA nucleases have isolated the transcription unit

      3. Which of the following is not true of a codon?
      A. It consists of three nucleotides
      B. It may code for the same amino acid as another codon
      C. It never codes for more than one amino acid
      D. It extends from one end of a tRNA molecule
      E. It is the basic unit of the genetic code

      4. The anticodon of a particular tRNA molucle is?
      A. complementary to the corresponding mRNA codon
      B. complementary to the corresponding triplet in ?rRNA
      C. the part of tRNA that bonds to a specific amino acid
      D. changable, depending on the amino acid that attaches to the tRNA
      E. acatalytic, making the tRNA a ribosome

      5. Which of the following is not true of RNA processing?
      A. Exons are cut out before mRNA leaves the nucleus
      B. Nucleotides may be added at both ends of the RNA
      C. Ribozymes may function in RNA splicing
      D. RNA splicing can be catalyzed by spliceosomes
      E. A primary transcript is often much longer than the final RNA molecule that leaves the necleus

      6. Which of the following is true of translation in both prokaryotes and eukaryotes?
      A. Translation is couples to transcription
      B. The product of transcription is immediately ready for translation
      C. The codon UUU codes for phenylalaine
      D. ribosomes are affected by streptomycin
      E. the signal-recognition particle (SRP) binds to the first 20 amino acids of polypepties.

      Anyway – those sample questions are page 1 of the 7 page packet.
      Page 2 is basically the same type of questions.
      Page 3 is a bit easier, and my daughter was able to answer them, while the other 9 were not able to answer even one question in this packet.
      Page 4 – You are asked to draw the nontemplate (coding strand) of DNA for the template shown:
      5′ U- G-G-U-U-U-G-G-C-U-C-A 3′
      The teacher told the kids – I have an example on the wall, just copy that one.

      Question 2 on this page is
      compare and contrast its base sequence with the mRNA molecule
      Discuss the direction and base sequence.

      Question 3 – this page
      Describe three properties of RNA that allow it to perform dirverse rolls in the cell.

      Now I am no teacher, but I would assume that if you copy the example on the wall, but have no understanding of why or what it does, you are surely not going to know how to answer questions about it.

      page 5 is Give functions of following types of RNA

      My daughter breezed through this one, although the other kids – again, said they have been unable to answer even one question in the packet.

      Page 6 – Discuss the three stages of transcription (the DNA – directed synthesis of RNA) and quite a few questions in this area.
      Page 7 is more of the same as page 6

      Again – I assume that these are appropriate questions for Freshmen.

      I just thought I would post them, so that if I possibly made the questions look much simplier than then were, you all could correct me.

    • #85901

      I think these questions are fair.

    • #85902

      Ok, thanks everyone.
      Just making sure.

      Now to find a good course! 🙂
      I know she wants to work in biology, so I had better get her up to speed and quick!!!!
      Rhonda ~

    • #85926

      Chap 16 and 17 of the Campbell Biology book should cover the material in question. My book is ed. 7, ed 8 might be different.

    • #85941

      If the teachers are not trained in the subjects they are teaching, you are not getting a good return on your education investment. The questions on the test look fine, they likely come from a test bank supplied by the textbook publisher. However, you are paying for competent instruction. A good instructor should not only be able to pull questions out of test banks, but should be able to respond to student’s questions with informed and thoughtful answers, should be able to guide a discussion with questions crafted to lead students to a deeper understanding of the subject. Certainly for a natural sciences class, most instructors will need a sound academic background in the subject to be able to provide those services to students. An honors class should provide the highest level of instruction available, demanding that the students understand the basics of a subject well enough to address topics at a much higher level of cognition than "copy the base sequence written on the wall onto the answer sheet".

      Perhaps you could schedule your international travel to conform to breaks in the academic schedule and move her to a more rigorous school. From what you have told me of your daughter, this school is not demanding enough from her.

    • #86037

      Just a quick update.
      With the help of the Campbell textbook (first 300 pages) she successfully completed the honors paper.

      Now we will just have to wait to see what her grade is.

      I will say however, that in retrospect I am glad that she was given the packet.
      We would never have purchased the book by Campbell.
      She probably learned more in that one week then she would in a complete (ok maybe not complete) freshman biology class at pretty much any high school.
      Now if I can just get her to read the rest of it 😆

      Thanks for all of the advice and help.
      I will check into the audit class – I think this could be really good for her.
      Give her the feel of what the University courses might be like.
      Thanks again 😀

    • #93021

      So far, so good — teaching oneself is an important skill.

      However, a biology class should be taught by a teacher with biology background, someone able to bring the ideas into context for the students and inspire some enthusiasm for the subject. It sounds like the school is not providing that. Consider other options, like that community college. There you are likely to find a dedicated biology-teaching professional.

    • #100311

      That was a great information tatum. I wish for the success of your daughter. I know that she will understand things in this world soon. Just continue to read books and search some informative documents for her.

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