Welcome to the...Biology: Exploring Life Community Web siteHome

What is Biology: Exploring Life?
Take a Look
NSF Evaluation
Our Community
For Parents
Contact Us
Useful Links
What is BIOLOGY Exploring Life?
Laboratory Program Philosophy

The BIOLOGY Exploring Life Laboratory Program consists of 72 labs.

  • 72 full-length Investigative Labs (2 per chapter) — all 72 investigative labs are presented in a print Laboratory Manual (student and teachers' edition). These labs can all be completed in one or two lab sessions and offer your students a diverse laboratory experience that will spark their interest in science. The selection includes a mix of classic labs with innovative twists plus cutting-edge lab techniques. The featured lab for each chapter (36 labs) will have a Lab Online Companion on the BIOLOGY Exploring Life Web site to clarify the procedures and the concepts behind the lab. The 72 labs fall into five lab-type categories:

      Observation Labs: Here students perform a procedure and observe a phenomenon or process that they've learned about in class. (e.g. Berry Full of DNA)

      Inquiry Labs: Performing an experiment to answer a question (e.g. Termite Tracking)

      True Experiments: Students design an experiment to test a hypothesis. For some labs the data is qualitative, for some quantitative. (e.g. Photo Finish)

      Modeling Labs: Students construct a model to demonstrate a biological function (e.g. What Gives Vision Precision?)

      A Day in the Life Labs: In these labs, students assume the role of a professional biologist, asking the questions, performing the techniques, and gaining the perspective of that scientist's daily job. (e.g. You are a Pathologist)

  • Guided Research Labs — all delivered online. The Guided Research Labs are thoughtful and more in-depth labs for students to stretch their scientific reasoning. These labs are designed to work at two levels — an introductory level that is more traditional and used to introduce a technique that can become the basis for further student inquiry and a second level where students are guided to investigate their own questions. By design, the first level can be done within a typical class period and, if the teacher opts for the second level, the guided inquiry will take 3–4 class periods.

The BIOLOGY Exploring Life Laboratory Program will stand apart from other biology lab programs for three key reasons:

  1. The high quality and originality of the labs.
    Diane Sweeney, the BIOLOGY Exploring Life lab developer, has painstakingly built each lab with a careful eye to the realities of the high school biology classroom today. These are straight-on high school biology topics with a new twist. Diane's extensive teaching experience and lab inventiveness are evident throughout. Labs are selected and developed with an eye toward inventive, fun themes that will interest students. Brad Williamson, the BIOLOGY Exploring Life textbook coauthor, carefully developed the Guided Research Labs to offer an optional, extended inquiry experience.

  2. Labs that work.
    Teachers can depend on the reliability of all BIOLOGY Exploring Life labs as they have been through numerous rounds of testing. First, Diane tests all labs in her garage/kitchen lab. She works hard to make them goof-proof and as inexpensive as possible. Then the labs are put to the real test in the hands of students and teachers. Each lab is tested by high school teachers and students to ensure clarity, quality, and workability. The labs are then revised to reflect this important input. Thorough teacher support material will alert teachers to common pitfalls and innovative support ideas. Alternate materials and quick preparation tips make it easy for teachers to do many of the labs from readily available materials. More experienced teachers will enjoy the fresh approach and the opportunity to try labs they have never seen before.

  3. The advantage of online delivery.
    BIOLOGY Exploring Life adopters can leverage the advantages of a Lab Online Companion for 36 labs. Through the use of animation, video, and simulation techniques, students prepare for the lab before arriving in class and extend their understanding of the science behind the lab. The Lab Online Companion will make it clear to the student exactly what they are accomplishing and how they are going to do it. The BIOLOGY Exploring Life team believes that online activities should complement, not replace, real lab and field experiences. When used in conjunction with the actual hands-on lab, the Lab Online Companion provides background and practice to make the students' lab experience more safe, fun, and rewarding.

Return to What is BIOLOGY Exploring Life?

                                                      Copyright © 2002, by Pearson Education, Inc., publishing as Prentice Hall. All Rights Reserved.