Yale Center for Teaching and Learning

Spring 2016 BBS 879 Projects

Spring 2016 Scientific Teaching Fellows designed, taught, and revised a lesson based on a challenging topic in undergraduate biology education. These lessons have been designed with careful attention to inclusive teaching strategies.

You are welcome to use and adapt these classroom materials. Please be sure to acknowledge the authors when using their materials.

Group Members


Teaching Approach

Meng, Han-A, Trish, Emily

Stem Cell Therapy

After completing this lesson including case studies and group work, students will be able to:

  • Define a stem cell and understand different types
  • Explore the applications of stem cell therapies
  • Evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of the therapies

Neha Bhat, Nicole Calabro, Stefan Avey, Ed

Flow Cytometry

Data interpretation and analysis lesson where students learn flow cytometry by determining different cell populations and interpreting histograms. Learning objectives:

  • Gain an understanding of the basic concepts of flow cytometry
  • Learn how to interpret and analyze flow cytometry data through instruction and group activities
  • Identify real world applications of flow cytometry

Cali, Daniel, Karen, Keri

Hippocampus and Memory

Students will work in groups to develop a deeper understanding of memory. By the end of this learning activity, students will be able to:

  • Understand the function of the hippocampus in memory.
  • Identify the difference between declarative and procedural memory and be able to give examples for both.
  • Identify the difference between long and short-term memory and be able to give examples for both.
  • Be capable of assessing a basic medical case study and form some simple hypotheses.

Maggie, Norah, Nate, Larry

Genetic Drift & Natural Selection

This lesson uses a Mathematica modeling simulation that is scalable to processes over increasing numbers of generations and different environmental regimes (selection pressures). By modeling genetic drift students will be able to:

  • Define genetic drift and natural selection
  • Discuss differences between genetic drift and natural selection
  • Predict forces that underlie evolution

Patrick, Michael, Yang

DNA Structure

Exploring the Mystery of DNA: This 20-30 min lesson aims to teach students about the chemical structure of DNA. The primary learning objectives are for students to:

  • Identify and draw covalent bonds and hydrogen bonds
  • Assemble DNA base pairs using only hydrogen bonding as a guide
  • Polymerize a strand of DNA

Students will use paper cutouts of nucleotides to make a single DNA strand, and then polymerize a complementary strand of DNA. This activity is very hands on, and focuses on the chemical principles underlying DNA structure and not the rote memorization of base pairs.

Amanda T., Amanda L., Stefan L., Annie

Acid-Base Chemistry

Using tooth enamel as a case study. Students will learn acid-base chemistry and make predictions about tooth decay in various solutions. By the end of this lesson, students will be able to:

  • Recognize Brønsted acids and bases in a chemical reaction.
  • Be able to write chemical equations that describe acid-base reactivity.
  • Understand how acidity relates to Ka.
  • Quantitatively understand acid-base equilibria and predict the direction of such equilibria on the basis of Ka values.

Sam, Teresa, Gabriel

Protein Folding


Haritha, Rituparna, Angela

Cancer Immunotherapy

Students will use case studies to answer questions about what immunotherapies are best depending on cancer type and diagnosis. By the end of this lesson, students will:

  • Understand how cancer develops and how it is treated
  • Be able to define mechanisms of immune evasion
  • Describe immunotherapy and cases when it is or is not effective