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Advanced Middle School Science: Cell Biology

Sarah Tedesco
Average rating:4.9Number of reviews:(98)
This course will guide a curious Biology-loving student through advanced topics such as cell signaling and membrane transport... while maintaining a casual and engaging learning environment!

Class experience

US Grade 5 - 8
Intermediate - Advanced Level
This class is taught in English.
At the end of Unit 1, students should be able to... 
- Describe the events surrounding the discovery of the first cell. 
- Describe the structure and purpose of 4 biomolecules: nucleic acids, proteins, lipids, carbohydrates. 
- Describe the structure of DNA.
- Identify DNA bases and how they pair together with base pair rules.
- Identify parts of the cell: nucleus, nucleolus, rough ER, smooth ER, ribosome, Golgi apparatus, cytosol, lysosomes, vacuoles, plasma membrane, cytoskeleton, among others.

At the end of Unit 2, students should be able to...
- Describe how the membrane is structured, and explain the meaning behind the term "phospholipid bilayer." 
- Identify different channels in the membrane, such as ion and aquaporins. 
- Explain how the membrane is a fluid model that constantly moves. 
- Identify both active and passive forms of transport across the membrane.

At the end of Unit 3, students should be able to...
- Describe how cells divide using cell organelles discussed in Unit 1.
- Give an overview of the cell cycle. 
- Describe 3 types of cell signaling: autocrine, paracrine, endocrine
- Identify unique cells in the body and what makes them unique.
- Explain cell-induced apoptosis and cell responses to foreign invaders (T-cells)
- Describe relative sizes of cells, viruses, and bacteria.
I am a graduate student at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute pursuing a Master's of Engineering (M.Eng.) in Biomedical Engineering. I currently hold a Bachelor's Degree in Biomedical Engineering with a concentration in Biomaterials. During my degree, I've been required to take Cellular Biology courses with intensive laboratory portions. In addition, I've taken courses in Biomaterials and in Physiology. 

I've been an online teacher for 6 years, and I've been teaching Cellular Biology at middle and high school levels for more than 2 of those years. This course is a continuation or a more advanced version of another Outschool class "All About Cells" that I ran with groups of 6-18 students at a time. I've also taught the same material in private sessions and in small groups.
Homework Offered
The homework in this course comes from the workbook I'll send out at the beginning of the course. All assignments are meant to be brief (< 20 minutes), simple, and meaningful. Additional work can be given to students who request it, but I try to keep extra work to a minimum. Homework assignments run off of an "honor system," and students do not need to turn anything in. However, they may do so if they wish to receive feedback or ask questions.
0 - 1 hours per week outside of class
Assessments Offered
Grades Offered
This course comes with a workbook for each unit. Students should print these workbooks, as they contain all of the homework assignments for the course as well as a couple in-class activities.

Students can bring their workbooks to class each day if they prefer to complete the homework assignments early or take notes. Sometimes, we go over previous homework assignments and students can check their work. There is no "note-taking" requirement. 

If students are required to bring their workbooks one day, I will notify them ahead of time.
In addition to the Outschool classroom, this class uses:
This course discusses biomolecules like protein, fats, and carbohydrates. If speaking about these dietary nutrients is uncomfortable for your learner, this course may not be for them. 

Although this course discusses mitosis in depth, there is absolutely no mention of meiosis or any sexual reproduction mechanisms.

This courses discusses cellular responses to viruses and bacteria. If your learner is uncomfortable talking about viruses or if this is frightening for them, this course may not be for them.

There is a possibility that vaccines are brought up as we discuss immune cells. In my classes, vaccines are viewed as a medical success and I speak of them as such. If you have problems with this point of view, this course may not be for your learner.
The curriculum for this course is my own, but my knowledge is mostly sourced from a textbook entitled The World of the Cell by Jeff Hardin and his colleagues. 

Less complex topics can also be sourced by most AP Biology textbooks, such as the ones by Campbell.
Average rating:4.9Number of reviews:(98)
Hi, there! Welcome to my profile and thank you for visiting! 

👋 Who are you? What is your background?

My name is Sarah Tedesco and I am a 23-year-old Ph.D. student from Long Island, New York. I am a first year Ph.D. student in Cellular Biology... 
Group Class


weekly or $250 for 11 classes
1x per week, 11 weeks
60 min

Completed by 2 learners
Live video meetings
Ages: 13-15
2-18 learners per class

This class is no longer offered
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