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Lab Bio is a complementary course which runs for two periods a week in Year 6 and Year 7. The course is run through English but this is a cross-sectional course with students from all sections of the school choosing to follow this course. It is not a necessity to have fluent English to choose this course.

This course is designed by Biology teachers to complement the syllabus and topics which are a requirement of the Four Hour Biology Baccalaureate course. This course is ideally suited for students who have chosen Four Hour Biology and intend to undertake future University or college studies in a Biology or Biology related discipline. Studying Lab Bio will give this profile of student an advantage in their future studies.

Students who choose Lab Bio will do intensive hands-on experiments. One of the course aims is that students gain a broad and up-to-date experimental overview of some of the techniques used in current biological research. Examples of these include DNA extraction, gel electrophoresis and DNA fingerprinting. Students will also do experiments involving classical Biology Laboratory techniques, for example microscope techniques and staining of cells and some dissections.

Therefore it is hoped that students will be inspired and encouraged to further their interest in Biology. This experimental work will complement and hopefully help students in their Biology studies. It is hoped that several of the students  will consider applying for future studies in Third Level in such courses as the Biosciences, Medicine or Biology related further studies.

The teaching approach is one of instructing students in experimental and Laboratory techniques involving practical work and ‘hands on’ activities. Students are encouraged to work in pairs or teams at all times. Teamwork is one of the skills encouraged in this course. Skills taught include the ability to transfer knowledge obtained in their Four Hour Biology lessons into the practical procedures they use in Lab Bio. Students learn to become proficient in following written and oral instructions. Other skills that students learn include:
  • Making observations and recording results
  • Analysis and interpretation of data obtained
  • Communicating effectively in written and oral reports

Students will be provided with a protocol and instructions for each experiment. Making of observations and reporting/recording of all experiments and results are core skills in Science. Students are obliged to keep a Lab Bio file and good records of each experiment completed and results obtained in each lesson.

As stated above students are expected to keep all experimental notes complete and to review protocals after Lab lessons. All experimental work done by students within Lab lessons and during the course of the year will contribute to the Semester Mark and end of the year mark.
Students do one Lab Bio Exam (B Test) each Semester. This exam result will be the ‘B Mark’ achieved for each Semester.

This course will help to prepare students for a variety of Higher studies in the Biological Sciences. These courses include Biology, Biochemistry, Genetics, Medicine, Pharmacology, Physiotherapy and Veterinary  Science.

Principles from experimental Biology are used in every lesson. The course reflects the modern face of Biology and principles of molecular biology are emphasised and included.

The advances in the life sciences and biotechnology are moving at a rapid pace in recent years. The protocols used in the course allow the techniques of genetics and molecular biology to be transferred into activities that can be used within the classroom. For example cutting-edge techniques of genetic engineering and gene transformation can now be performed in the classroom setting.

This course is a must for any student who wants to do Biology at University level and who hopes to follow a career path in Biology.