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SciPacks are self-directed online learning experiences for teachers to enhance their understanding of a particular scientific concept and its related pedagogical implications for student learning. Unlimited expert content help via email and a final assessment both facilitate and document teacher learning.
The Cell Structure and Function SciPack explores how cells, the basic building blocks of all organisms, function as systems of organelles and associated structures in a dynamic equilibrium between its internal and external environment. The focus is on topics related to Standards and Benchmarks related to the structure of various types of cells, the molecular workings inside the cell, and the role of proteins as the main structural and functional molecules of the cell. This SciPack uses the “cell as a system” concept.
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This was the first SciPack I have done, and i really liked it. I enjoyed how it had interactions along with the reading and how they have a place where you can listen to someone read it, because I get lost a lot of times when reading to myself, so having someone read it to me was really helpful. I definetly learned a lot about cells and their functins, more than I already knew. This was a great experience and I enjoyed learning through it.
Shaina Toney (Hillsboro, TN)
I really enjoyed this Scipack. I noticed that some of the objects were reviews for me while some of them seemed novel to me. The amount of information in each section in each science object is great. It is not too overwhelming, but it is very informative. I appreciated the use of graphics throughout this Scipack as well. I like that you can either listen to the material be read aloud or read it yourself. You can also pause the read aloud if you need to or go back and replay a part of it if something was confusing. I did enjoy the use of activities throughout the Scipack as well, although I did encounter a few issues. 3 or 4 of the activities would not load. The second window would pop up, but it would be black and I would have to exit out of it. I was still able to understand and complete the Scipack though!
Abbey King (Cookeville, TN)
Personally, I found this SciPack extremely informative. It was able to list and describe information regarding cells, molecules, bacteria, classifications, and much more information that links with these descriptors. There were several miniature quizzes that were available throughout the SciPack to engage the learner about recalling information that was previously described. I found the quizzes suitable for ensuring that I was able to retain the information given at specific parts throughout the SciPack. There is a plethora amount of information regarding cells and structure that was all-inclusive. This SciPack is an excellent tool for educators to learn more about the makeups of all items listed within the SciPack.
Taylor Bain (Cookeville, TN)
After the PD Indexer assignment, it showed that I had several misconceptions about Cell Structure and Function. I believe this Sci-Pack was very helpful to me in addressing those many misconceptions. The activities throughout were interesting and interactive and helped further my understanding about the topic. This Sci-Pack could serve as a great resource for those who need a refresher about Cell Structure and Function, or for some detailed information for teachers to use with K-12 aged students. Overall, I think this Sci-Pack is a great resource to be used over and over again.
I thought that this SciPack was very helpful in learning about cells. I took a Biology class last semester and this SciPack actually covered most of what we covered in the semester-long class. It was a nice review. I especially like how there are quizzes throughout the SciPack. This helped me reinforce the learning right then instead of waiting until the final assessment.
I am a second grade teacher, and I personally thought this SciPack was a great module for me to go through because I was able to recall some things I had learned in high school as well as clear up some misconceptions I had since then. For example, I was able to to learn the difference between prokaryotic cells and eukaryotes. For second grade science standards in TN, I am able to relate the information in the scipack about cells to the life science standards because we teach our students about the body parts and their functions for animals and the scipack allowed me to get a better understanding of what goes on at the microscopic level. Overall, the module ran smoothly except for when I struggled to get videos or interactive parts to load on Google Chrome. I also wish my responses saved throughout the objects so I could refer back to previous pages to help answer questions and so I could go over them before taking the assessment.
This Sci-Pack offered a broad overview of cell structure. I liked how the Sci-Pack addressed the student misconceptions, which helped me better understand key points to improve my pedagogical approach when teaching cell structure. I also enjoyed the interactive activities. I gained a foundational understanding of cell structure, so I recommend this to anyone needing a basic understanding of Cell Structure.
This SciPack offered a broad overview of information pertaining to cells. It started with the basics and gradually increased in complexity. I found that it was very applicable in preparing teachers to cover cell structure and function with students K-12. It also provided common misconceptions and made an effort to align with the standards. In all, I believe that this SciPack is beneficial for any teacher preparing to teach cells.
I am pleasantly surprised at the amount of relevant knowledge and concise information in this module. It is detailed, clear, and effective. I was expecting to have to sort through and find the most relevant information in order to complete the final assessment but all I had to do was pay attention to exactly what was given. There was minimal "fluff" to lengthen passages therefore the final assessment was a clear review of the content directly covered. Furthermore, the final assessment required some higher order thinking in the form of analogies and comparisons. Memory was heavily incorporated but the final assessment overall did a quality job of assessing newly-refreshed information.
This SciPack was a great challenge and learning opportunity. I thought that the information given was very thorough and well laid out. It was an easy read and the interactive activities that were given were a helpful tool that provided visuals to better understand the information while also keeping the reader engaged. The questions at the end weren't a surprise and were based right out of the readings. By the end, I was surprised at how much I still know about cells and the information was a great reminder!
This Scipack helped me gain a better understanding of the subject of Cell Structure and Functions. It was relevant and enjoyable. I plan to utilize this tool to review various subjects before teaching them, It is a great resource. It was very detailed and easy to use! Highly recommend!!
Breah Fisher (Cokeville, TN)
This Scipack gave such a learning experience in reviewing the things taught in High School through information and interactive modules, as well as taking those things briefly mentioned due to time constraints in school to spend care and time to make sure each part is enough to make you learn it in detail.
Learning parts of the cells really helped in this because I could remember the next day coming back what each part was for, and although using candy or some form to describe each part, going forth into using the actual terms, I and probably many cannot remember. Definitely 5 Stars!!!!!
Cells have always been one of my favorite topics in science. Whenever I envision myself teaching science, teaching cells is one of the first topics I imagine myself teaching! I felt that this Sci-Pack was extremely successful at going in depth while also effectively teaching the material. Just because the material got more complex as it went along, it did not become any more difficult to understand. The analogies, visual descriptions, pictures and interactive activities were all very beneficial. If I teach students about cells in the future, I will definitely try to teach them in the manner that I learned in this Sci-Pack. Students need to be able to relate to and interact with content in order to truly understand it and retain it!
This SciPack was very helpful to me because I am going to be a teacher. I have been through stuff like this before and have learned about it before, but this goes so much more in depth than any class I have ever been in. I really think this is helpful to me and my future students. Better content knowledge equals better learning!
I thought that going through the process of completing this SciPak was very beneficial to me because it offered a good refresher course on cells for me. I would like to teach the fourth grade, and I know that cells are addressed there, so I feel better prepared. I also like that I can go back and look at the SciPak any time and refresh my memory again. I alos really liked the virtual manipulatives in the SciPak as well as the visuals because they made it fun. I thought the assessment was a little difficult because the time limit stressed me out. Other than that, I thought it was great!
Sydney Gaspard (Nashville, TN)
This Sci Pack provides a lot of information for teachers who are new to the subject, or who want a refresher course. The analogies use in the section, "The Cellular Factory" are useful in teaching students how to remember the functions of various parts of a cell.
Jamie Walsh (Poway, CA)
I really enjoyed this Sci Pack due to the simplistic but complete overview for cell structure and function. This source is a good refresher tool or starting point for a lesson outline or information. The pictures and activities enhanced the learning experience and would also be great tools for the classroom.
Lauren M (Wheeling, WV)
I have always loved cells and this SciPack was great. I loved the refresher course so that I can share the best with my students.
Jessica Minton (Collierville, TN)
I started this Sci-Pack with just basic knowledge of cells and I really found that I did not know how much I did not know.
This Sci-Pack has proven to be invaluable to me because I have taught K-2 for 9 years and then found myself in the K-5 Science Lab teaching content that I was unfamiliar with.
I understand so much more than before and I credit the interactive nature of the Sci-Pack with helping me learn it quickly and in an engaging way.
This Sci Pack is great. I think scipacks are so easy to use in the class room.
The structure of the SciPacks really help me understand the underlying concepts that surround each topic. Initially, I was unsure of how well I'd grasp scientific concepts in a self-paced, online format, but the carefully sequenced topics, interactive activities and simulations, in addition to the voice-over explanations work well together to help deepen my understanding in the content area. Especially valuable are the pedagogical implications and common student misconceptions. I feel a lot more knowledgeable about a subject after using a SciPack, and I highly recommend SciPacks to anyone needing to learn more about scientific topics!
Naomi Beverly (Marietta, GA)
Loads of information, fun and informative interactives -- I'd do well to just let my students work through this sciPack themselves! The assessments were fairly straightforward, too, with less "tricky" questions than many of the other SciPacks
Gina Langley (Ruidoso Downs, NM)
This resource is very detailed and very practical. The presentation is very relatable for students.
Olukayode Banmeke (Riverdale, MD)
Woo! I just completed the cell structure and function sci pack! It has so much detailed, specific information that I wish I could provide to my gifted and talented students, but for all my students too. There were a lot of interactive computer animations I also felt would benefit all my students. I especially liked the section on cell surface area ratio because it involved math. This is a great reminder to me how I can make a lesson where students recognize the purpose to having small cells. Overall, I felt this sci pack was a great refresher on many important facts. I like how the information was organized because it helped remind me how to align my curriculum and to be mindful of the common preconception students might bring. The pedagogical section, it was helpful to have helpful ways to teach this unit that I feel is very abstract, but can be understood in chunks. Again, this was great for me to review and to prepare my students in understanding how to better approach teaching and learning about cells.
Monica Chavez (Kailua-Kona, HI)
This SciPack gives a good overview of what cells are and what they do. The information was straightforward and I didn't feel like there was a lot of terminology to get bogged down in. Then again, I'm speaking from the teacher side. I suspect students might feel differently. As usual, animations are helpful for showing what goes on with the cellular machinary and making the subject a bit less abstract. Definitely worth a look.
Eric Carlson (Royal City, WA)
This is one of the most challenging lessons I have taken in the course of my PD with NASA-IDEA. It is as challenging as being inside the cell itself, and understanding every detail of the smallest unit of life. This preparation of this lesson is great and despite the intricacies of the concept of the cell, it made it very comprehensive and interesting.
Ronaldo Relador (Bowie, MD)
Within cells there is an intricate network of organelles that all have unique functions.... From the beginning to the end, this SciPack did an excellent job of engaging the viewer in cellular biology. The information is presented in such a way that it clearly and concisely explains a concept that is often challenging for students to comprehend. Kudos are in order.....
Lorrie Armfield (Laurel, MD)
This Sci.Pack has everything in nut-shell for all my diverse group of learners.
I can't begin to exprees my joy at finding such a simple yet concise resource for a topic that can be difficult for students to learn and teachers to teach; so many ways to scaffold the subject matter for learning!
Duane Little (Washington, DC)
Great Review of Cells. You can certainly integrate some of the ideas to your own classroom assessment.
Dat Le (Arlington, VA)
Fantastic photos help to see into the cells. Wonderful explanations you can really dive deep into the cells structure and functions.
Leslie (Louisville, Kentucky)
Fantastic overview of basic cell biology, characteristics of life, biochemistry, classification, and protein synthesis. The order was logical and there were many animations/interactives that were helpful in reviewing the material and they could be useful for students. Highly recommended.
This unit will help in my presentation to the students, information on cells and cell structure.
Very good unit.
John Smith (, )
The Cell Structure unit was fascinating and informative; visuals very helpful. I liked it.
Barbara Fleenor (, )
After completing the PD indexer for life science, it was clear to myself that I did not know a lot of information in detail. I completed the Cell Structure and Function SciPack and it was a good review for myself about this topic. I took biology classes in high school and one in college but forgot some information, so this course helped refresh my memory of the topics. It was easy to follow and to go through. I liked how when taking the quiz, it would tell you if your answer was right or wrong and why it was wrong. I also liked that there were multiple quizzes and they were very frequent. I feel like have to quiz yourself is more beneficial than just reading about a topic. The only area that lacked in this SciPack were the graphics. They could have been more detailed or used better in the course
While I felt that the Cells SciPack covered most material thoroughly, I found several questions throughout that didn't have the answer on the page. I took extensive notes while completing the SciPack and went back to find the answer to any review questions I didn't know. Some answers simply were not there.
Terra Beth DeBord
Although I began this Scipack believing that I already knew most of everything that it would cover, I was pleasantly surprised! Not only did it go through the structure of the cell itself, but all the functions of the parts and what those parts are made of. The information given throughout the Scipack is very informative and easy to understand, other than some of the quiz questions. The only thing that I would say is that most of the information would be too much for most elementary school children in this format. Overall, it was a very beneficial and informative Scipack!
This SciPack was very helpful to me because as I got older and more time pasted since I had a true lesson over cells I learned that I did not know as much about cells as I thought I did. This SciPack was a great refresher and it also taught me more than what my high school and college classes where able to touch on.
Mckenzie Martin (Gainesboro, TN)
This SciPack was very informative and I thought I learned a lot from it. The initial grade level stated that this was meant for Elementary aged students, and I do not agree. The information I learned from this was more like my high school and college biology classes. With that being said, I do like that it pushes you to learn and if you are going into the education field I believe that this is very important for a teacher to do. This was a very helpful experience, and if I ever need to relearn a specific science concept, I will come here first! It is a great teaching and learning tool.
I like this SciPack because it includes all aspects of cells however I did not like that it was so much information. As an elementary education major, it was overwhelming. It operated easily and was easy to read. I did learn a lot however it wasn't as practical as I had hoped.
This Sci-pack was very beneficial for me because I wanted to test my knowledge and refresh my knowledge about cell structure and function. I am very interested in teaching Elementary grades and this course helped me see my strengths and weakness in this area of science. Also I believe as a teacher you could pull information from this SciPack for lesson planning. I truly enjoyed refreshing my brain about cell structure and function through this SciPack.
Overall, I thought that this Sci- Pack had a lot of useful information. The interactive parts of the module were very helpful in understanding the content. One thing, that I did not enjoy was the wording of the test questions. They were worded in a way that was sometimes difficult to understand and I feel like some were very vague. Other than that, the information was useful and in depth and I definitely learned from it.
I thought overall this SciPack was very informational. It covered many different aspects about the cell and many features of it. I thought it might not go into that much detail about each part, but it did, and made me more informed about the overall topic.
Although I had a very difficult time with this SciPack, I did enjoy it. I did not like the "Select all that apply" options, which were several of the questions. I caught myself second guessing myself numerous times on those questions. I wish there were a way, after you take the final exam, to know which questions you got wrong and what the correct answers were. Overall, this was a great review and reminded me of a lot of things I had forgotten.
I completed this sci-pack for a college course. I feel the material is appropriate for college level; however, it is advertised for elementary, middle, and high school, so i do not feel that this much depth is needed for any of those levels of understanding. It was a lot of information, but I finally passed a sic-pack assessment. Praise the Lord!
As use for the completion of a recent assignment, I felt as though the SciPack did a nice job in laying out the main concepts. Although there was a great deal of material to work though, I felt that this SciPack could be used as a valuable tool to learn about or refresh previously learned information. The only thing I would have liked to see change with this SciPack, is the ability to use interactives on my android phone - otherwise, I would give this resource the full five stars.
I think this object gives good ideas on how to provide enrichment to a regular biology class. It gives topics and examples I had never thought of. From this video I went and did some additional research on specific cell types. Its good for students to go beyond the name and function of cell parts.
For a freshman class, there needs to be more animation and interaction.
Aoko Hope (Chicago, IL)
The Cell Structure and Function SciPack doesn't delve too deeply into the subject, but coves all the basic concepts that you'd cover in a high school biology class. It serves as a good basic view of principles...
Rebecca F (Elizabeth, WV)
The SciPack: “Cell Structure and Function” is a “must take” for middle school teachers wanting a well-designed and complete unit about cellular structure and function. For elementary teachers, it is excellent content knowledge and for the high school teacher it is more basic knowledge and may need to be supplemented.The Unit is nicely developed into four objectives: 1) “The Basis of Life” (discuses; living/non-living, microscopic life, and classification), 2) “The Cellular Factory” (discusses; diversity of cells, organelles and their functions), 3) “The Molecular Machinery of Life” (discuses; importance of water and the cell, why is life based upon carbon, and macromolecules), and 4) “The Most Important Molecule” (discuses; proteins and other building blocks of life). Each of the four objectives are middle school level and nicely explained with several diagrams to illustrate topics.
Overall I thought this was a very informational scipack. However being that I am a Elementary School teacher I found it a bit overbearing because many of the information that was provided was geared to a high school teacher or higher. I know that it is meant to give teachers all the information they need but for me, it went above and beyond my expectations. However they show great pictures and provide opportunities for deeper learning. I would recommend this for all teachers but especially for those who teach upper levels.
This is great for the person who is teaching cell for the first time or the first time in a while. I went through it before writing my unit. It was really helpful in getting my thoughts organized before I started planning. It was much engaging that reading my old college cell biology book.
The Basis of Life delves into classification and the nature of life, the Cellular Factory the processes needed to maintain life, the Molecular Machinery of Life the nutritional requirements to keep cells functioning, and the Most Important Molecule discusses proteins and amino acids and their formation. The SciPack has additional technical support, and includes a section on pedagogical implications and learner outcomes, as well as a final assessment to demonstrate mastery.
I would recommend this resource for teachers who are preparing to teach cells in a life science class in middle school. Preparation for higher level courses should include more advanced preparation.
Jennifer Rahn (Delafield, WI)
I do wish this Scipack went into more details about function of the cells. I wish I had learned more but some of it was a review and a lot was about DNA. As I got past the cells halfway through the rest of the Scipack got a little more confusing.
I did not learn as much as I thought I would but I did leave with a greater understanding of the subject. There was a lot of material and it was in detail so I had difficulty keeping up with it all and remembering when it came to the final assessment. Overall I would rate it a 3.
Krystal Kochans (Tullahoma, TN)
I'll be honest. I tried 4 SciPacks and only passed one of them. I think the content goes into great detail and would be great if you were looking for deeper information on the topic. However, I am just an Elementary major and I couldn't even do some of it so I know my students wouldn't be able to. I even took notes to use during the test. Even a high school level, this material would still be too complex. I think this would be a great assignment for more advanced knowledge but not to take for a grade.
I liked the beginning on this sci pack as it focused on types of cells, parts of the cell and the function of cells. The last part of the sci pack was presented in a confusing manner as it tried to explain the purpose of proteins in the cell.
Chris Taylor (Boise, ID)
I worked in the field of Veterinary Medicine for 10 years and I know much of this information form my experience in that field. While I found the Scipack itself to be adequate I did not find the assessment up to par. The questions we worded in a somewhat confusing fashion. My board exam to become a Veterinary Technician was less difficult then this test. A serious look at the format for the test on all of these Scipacks should be considered. Once again the information contained in them was quite useful. But, when I answer all of the quiz questions correctly and am unable to ass the final test. Well, something is seriously wrong here.
This scipack was required for a college class of mine. I thought it gave a lot of information. I thought that the assessment was way above an elementary students level. I feel it is geared more towards a high school level.
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