Using NOVA Labs To Teach Biology

In this content spotlight, learn how science teacher Carolyn LaRoche uses NOVA Lab interactives, labs, and videos to teach evolution in her Biology class.

With the COViD-19 pandemic, educators were forced to find different ways to teach their students. Gone were the traditional, collaborative hands-on activities and labs we were so used to having at our disposal. Instead, education went digital and educators had to search for online materials that would offer as close to the same learning experience as in-person education as possible.

One of the resources I turned to during the pandemic was eMediaVA. I hadn’t used many digital lab resources before as I had go-to lessons I’d become accustomed to. Finding such a phenomenal set of materials so readily available has changed the way that I teach my biology students. Now that we are back in a traditional setting, I still utilize so many of the great resources eMediaVA has to offer. Currently, I am working with my students on the theory of evolution unit. The collection of resources from NOVA Labs is absolutely amazing. 

Each video, interactive activity, and lab connects to specific intended learning outcomes necessary for success in the course and on the end-of-course exam. The two-minute video Fossils: Rocking the Earth serves as an excellent segway into our discussion about fossils and the geologic timetable. The video DNA Spells Evolution enables students to make the connections between DNA at a cellular level and how it contributes to change over time. The six interactive mission labs give students the opportunity to expand their understanding of concepts such as common ancestry, reading a phylogenetic tree, and examining the various types of evidence to support the theory of evolution. We will be looking at the video Biogeography: Where Life Lives as we discuss Charles Darwin and his theory of natural selection.

eMediaVA has many curated collections to support the instruction of science education at all grade levels. If you would like to take a look at the NOVA collection I am referencing in this blog, you can find it here: NOVA Labs Evolution Collection.

Carolyn LaRoche is a science teacher in Chesapeake Public Schools and an MediaVA Teacher Ambassador.

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