Zelda L. Kravitz
Purpose. This unit on the chemistry of the cell is being developed in order to aid the students with limited backgrounds in verbal skills, reading skills, and writing skills to understand:
1. How he or she carries substances within themselves which seriously can aid or hamper future generations.
2. How they have been affected by past generations. The assumption is that by breaking down the information into very simple factors, the child will better understand his contributions and the problems he brings to the development of a new life at his age. Perhaps by better understanding the complexity of the situation, he may defer reproduction until such time as he is better able to assume responsibility.
This unit is meant for students who have little background in genetics, and could be a part of a general science class, a biology class, a sex-education class, a physiology class, a chemistry class, or a health education class. Explorations in the laboratory to explain the Concepts is urged, and suggestions to serve as a guide have been included in the lesson plans.
1. Develop the concept of the cell, its various parts and functions.
2. Develop the concept of how cell information is passed from parent to offspring through the process of cell division and fertilization.
3. Develop respect for the other sex and the part each has in reproduction.
4. Develop an awareness to current research as daily reported on radio, TV, and in publications (even the poor ones).
5. Develop the skill of not only thinking about concrete facts but of utilizing reasoning, analyzing and inter-relating.
In this unit emphasis will be placed on basic principles and the way they have been derived from experimental observation. You will become a scientist as you study the material within this unit. You will learn some of the effects that science and technology has had on our environment, specifically in the area of the cell—the basic unit of living things which contains genetic information from past generations. At the end of this unit you will be acquainted with only a small fraction of that which is known about the science of cell biology and genetics. You will realize, however, that all of the things that you do not know, some of which nobody knows as yet, are not unknowable. It is hoped that furthermore, you will realize that explorations of new frontiers in any science is an activity full of excitement and satisfaction.
It is expected that by the end of this unit each student will have:
1. Gained a better understanding, through the discovery method of the facts and principles of inheritance.
2. Come to appreciate the need to understand the basic processes by which cells divide and transfer their genetic information.
3. Learn to recognize and distinguish possible inherited traits.
4. Come to appreciate the importance of science and technology in today’s world.
Nearly every phase of our lives is affected by the result of scientific activity. In the last two centuries, during which man has taken a scientific approach to the understanding and control of his environment, the conditions of his life have changed more than in all the preceding hundreds of thousands of years. The influence of science on man’s life will become greater in the future. In view of this, it is imperative that all of us have some understanding of what scientific activity is and how it is carried on, and how it will affect mankind. The study of cell biology and genetics is one way to become familiar with these things.
Cell biology deals with the functions of parts of the animal cell. Genetics is the study of genes, their function and organization within the chromosomes; and the process by which sets of genes are passed on by individuals from one generation to those of the next. How genes function is best studied by the chemical approach.