Thursday 7th April 2016

Chloroplasts and mitochondria, the ATP-energy producing organelles in plant and animal cells respectively, are highly specialized and complex structures... what better way to understand their structure than to build models of them!

IB Bio Boys...way too excited about colouring in!
IB Bio Boys...way too excited about colouring in!

The IB Diploma is a prestigious and internationally recognized secondary qualification for students who want to engage deeply and critically with academic material across a range of subjects. The material is challenging and often significantly more detailed than one might encounter in other secondary programmes.

In an attempt to understand the complex structures of biological organelles (miniature 'organs' within plant, bacterial and animal cells), the IB Bio boys decided to build models of both chloroplasts and mitochondria.  Room 31, normally the domain of the Agricultural Science boys, was transformed into a biological paper-snipping, sticky-taping, colouring' inging kindergarten-like creativity festival!

If the results of their recent photosynthesis and respiration topic test are anything to go by, it seems to have achieved the desired effect, with the majority of the students showing their organelle knowledge with 6 and 7 grades. I have been told, in no uncertain terms, that they intend to remain 'model (building?) students' for the rest of the year as they seek understanding of the mysteries of the biological world.

More grana stacks...
Complexities of the thylakoid membrane of the chloroplast...
Grana stacks in the chloroplast...
ATP Synthase...the energy-making molecule!