Argumentation and Explanation Module

Argumentation is a critical component of scientific research. A framework that can be used in AP Biology to understand the components of a scientific argument are:

a) Make a claim (a possible answer to a research question)

b) Provide evidence to support the claim (data)

c) Justify the evidence (how is the claim supported by the evidence presented)

Students at Cedar Shoals High School isolated three strains of bacteria from seawater during a trip to the UGA Marine Institute on Sapelo Island. These strains were used to collect the salinity data presented in this exercise. In order to have a better understanding of the biology of bacteria, students could complete the module "Bacteria Friends or Foes" prior to this argumentation exercise.

This activity is suitable for Advanced Biology as an enrichment and for Advanced Placement Biology as part of the curriculum.

The students are presented with a research question (see below) and given data to support their claim (hypothesis). Sequences of the16S rRNA gene for each strain of bacteria are also provided. With this information the students can identify the strains using BLAST and learn about the biology of the organisms they are working with.

Lab Handouts:

Argumentation and Explanation (pdf) Argumentation and Explanation (doc)  
Background (pdf) Background (doc)  
Salinity Exercise (pdf) Salinity Exercise (docx)  
Implementation Recommendations (pdf) Implementation Recommendations (docx)  
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