Student contest

One of our winning entries....

Teaching Old MacDonald

Westwood High School, Austin, TX

I am a Junior at Westwood High School and I am truly amazed with everything I have learned in my biology class. My teacher, Mrs. Killough, teaches the class as though we are the scientists and lets us figure out how to run the labs ourselves. One thing I have learned in class is that biology is the study of life and life is always progressing and changing. I have seen this through specific gene mutations to the adaptions animals and humans make to the changing environment or to their surroundings. In this song Old MacDonald has switched from one profession of raising animals to being a farmer and planting crops. He was unaware of the proper way to grow peas and crops in general. When I wrote this we had just learned about photosynthesis and were beginning the study of genetics with Mendel and his peas. Mendel's studies were amazing at that time, and later with the help of other scientists and Mendel's data they figured out the process of genetics. Old MacDonald was helped out by Mrs. Killough's Biology Class and learned how to plant peas successfully. I hope to one day be a doctor, either a surgeon or specialize in sports medicine, and help others live happy, healthy, and productive lives.

Teaching Old MacDonald

(To the tune of "Old MacDonald Had a Farm" and spoken parts are as in "Old King Cole")

Spoken: Old MacDonald had become a very old man, a very old man was he.
He could not take care of animals anymore, so he began growing peas.
Old MacDonald wasn't a very smart man, a very stupid man was he.
He lived in a hot, dry stip of land with his peas planted under a tree.
Old MacDonald was about to go bankrupt, no money in the bank had he.
So he called Mrs. Killough's Biology Class, and right away they came to see.
Now Mrs. Killough's Class was very smart, a very intelligent group were they.
They told Old MacDonald all about photosynthesis and this is what they had to say:

Photosynthesis begins in the chloroplasts
Light absorbed by chlorophyll.
The chloroplasts split H2O, into H and O.
With a H for sugar, and an O for the atmosphere, here a H, there an O,
everywhere both of these.
CO2 enters by the leaves, and O2 exits by the stromata.

ADP plus phosphate Equals ATP.
ATP and NADPH are produced by phosphorylation.
With an ATP for energy, and a NADPH for reducing power,
here an ATP, there a NADPH,
everywhere both of these.
The Calvin Cycle makes sugar, by using each of these.

Carbons come from CO2
And exit cycle as sugar.
It spends ATP for energy, and NADPH for sugar.
With an ATP to convert CO2 into carbohydrate,
and a NADPH to make sugar,
here an ATP, there a NADPH,
everywhere both of these.
The Calvin Cycle makes sugar, by using each of these.

Rubisco protein found in chloroplasts
An enzyme that catalyzes.
With ATP and NADPH, G3P is formed.
With 1 cycle first, 2nd cycle next, here a 3rd cycle,
there a sugar is directly made,
everywhere CO2.
And the cycle then begins again.

Spoken: Now Old MacDonald became very wise, a very smart man was he.
His peas needed sunlight, so he removed them from under the tree.
Old MacDonald became a prosperous man, a wealthy farmer was he.
He thanked Mrs. Killough's Biology Class
and thought what a great teacher Mrs. Killough must be.