With the genetics unit in the rearview mirror, the grade 11 biology class moved ahead to its second online learning unit, microbiology. The unit began with a look at the anatomy and morphology of eukaryotic and prokaryotic cells. The structure and functions of eukaryotic cells was a review for the class as we had gone over that material in the past, but the form and function of bacterial and viral cells was new for everyone. Next we learned about how each of the aforementioned cells reproduce themselves and then proceeded to learn about their life cycles.
We ended the unit by focussing on various types of symbiotic relationships and the dynamics of each. The unit itself being a fitting topic for the world we currently find ourselves living in, we spent the last class of the unit discussing bacterial and viral infections, their similarities and differences, and how to treat and prevent both types. To demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of the unit, students worked on a mini research project identifying and discussing the various impacts microorganisms have on their environments and the ethical issues related to their use in biotechnology.