170 Lab


Dr. Catherine Andersen; ext. 2266; BNW 217- Tuesday and Wednesday Labs
Lenka Biardi, ext. 3196; BNW 248 - Thursday Lab and Wednesday evening Lab
Dr. Phyllis Braun; ext. 2111; BNW 213 - Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday Labs
Bridget Fine; ext. 2034; BNW 252 - Monday Lab
Dr. Brian Walker; ext. 3464; BNW 216 - Monday Lab

The laboratory component is a REQUIRED part of the introductory biology course. The laboratory is designed to provide an investigative-based laboratory experience with concepts covered in the course. Students will usually work in pairs and are strongly encouraged to participate in class discussions.



2. UNEXCUSED ABSENCES CANNOT BE MADE UP and will result in the following penalties:

  • A single unexcused absence from lab will result in a reduction in the final lab grade by one letter grade.
  • TWO or more unexcused absences will result in a failure in the lab and the course.


  • Excused absences must be approved by the dean or by coach (student athletes must provide the instructor with dates for missed labs prior to lab)
  • If a student is unable to make up a single EXCUSED lab it will result in a reduction in the final lab grade by one letter grade. If a student is unable to make up TWO or more EXCUSED labs the student will receive an incomplete for the course and thus must re-take BI 170.

The following materials are required for each student and must be brought to each lab session:
. Lab manual (provided to you during your first lab meeting)
• Bound, quad ruled lab notebook (provided to you during your first lab meeting)
• Lab coat (required at all times in the laboratory; can be purchased in bookstore or online: Allheart, Uniform Advantage, Pulse Uniform, Uniform City or Amazon)
• Closed toe shoes
• Pens, pencils, scissors, ruler


  • Your bound quad-ruled laboratory notebook must be devoted solely to the laboratory is required of each student.
  • Your laboratory manual must be brought to every lab or you will be asked to leave.
  • A laboratory coat must be worn in the lab at all times. Students without their coat will be asked to leave the lab.
  • Before lab, students should prepare by reading the entire assigned laboratory, and finishing the pre-laboratory writing assignment on a sheet of paper.
  • You will not be allowed to enter the laboratory with open-toed shoes.
  • We cannot allow any students to attend lab sections other than their own. Make-up laboratories are only permitted under very special circumstances and by permission of the instructor.
  • The use of cell phones or stereo headphones/music devices in class is disruptive to others. Please turn them OFF and have them put away while in class.
  • There is ABSOLUTELY NO FOOD OR DRINK permitted in the laboratories at any time - this includes OPEN LAB times - violators will be asked to leave the lab.
  • Individual students will not be permitted to leave lab until the entire class is dismissed by the instructor.

Course Learning Objectives
To ensure success in subsequent biology courses, you will be learning basic laboratory skills in BI 170 labs. Each student is expected to master the following skills by the end of the semester:

  • Having a completed lab notebook at start of each lab as outlined in INSTRUCTIONS FOR THE LABORATORY NOTEBOOK section of your lab manual
  • Having Pre-labs completed on a separate sheet of paper as outlined below
  • Ability to develop a testable hypothesis and a prediction for an experiment
  • Ability to identify dependent and independent variables in an experiment
  • Ability to graph data correctly - assign variables to correct axes, use Excel to graph means and include standard deviation as y-error bars
  • Ability to focus a microscope independently, to view a specimen while increasing magnification, and to draw a proper microscope specimen sketch
  • Ability to accurately pipet using glass pipets and micropipettors

Components of the Lab

  1. Lab Notebooks
    On the first day of lab we will give you a lab notebook that is to be used exclusively for this course. Experiments will be recorded in the notebooks and they will be checked for completeness at the end of each lab period. Incomplete notebooks will be penalized. Although discussion of labs and assigned questions with other students is encouraged, plagiarism is obviously prohibited. Please review the guidelines in the document INSTRUCTIONS FOR THE LABORATORY NOTEBOOK, found in the lab manual.
  2. Computers and Software
    Several lab exercises will require use of a computer for data analysis and graphing. You will need to use Microsoft Word and Excel or equivalent software.
  3. Pre-labs
    You are expected to read the lab and complete any written pre-lab prior to coming to lab to perform the experiments. Written pre-labs may include the purpose for each experiment as well as some assigned terminology definitions.
  4. Lab Performance and Execution
    You are expected to come to each lab prepared and follow all instructions and all safety guidelines. It is also expected that you will complete all clean up prior to leaving the lab.
  5. Quizzes
    YYou will be expected to take short open-notebook quizzes at the start of most lab periods. These will cover the topic of that lab and the previous week's lab. You will be able to use your pre-lab writing assignment as a reference during your quiz, so COME PREPARED! Because everyone can have a bad day, your lowest quiz score will be dropped.
  6. Lab Report
    You will be asked to write a formal lab report on one of the laboratory experiments. This will follow the format of a standard journal article, which will be introduced to you, and is described in your laboratory manual Appendices section. A rough draft of the report will be required, and students will receive feedback for revising their final lab report.
  7. Lab Practicals
    Two lab practicals will be included to test the laboratory concepts and skills covered in the course.
  8. Open Labs
    The laboratory classrooms will be open outside of scheduled lab times so that you may come in and review material or complete lab notebook write ups (if your instructor allows you to do so). Open lab hours are posted on the doors to the labs. NO FOOD OR DRINK ARE PERMITTED IN THE LAB DURING OPEN LABS. You will be asked to leave if you violate this safety rule.

The laboratory component represents 25% of your final course grade. You must pass the laboratory component of BI 170 in order to pass the BI 170 course.

  • Lab Notebook: 7.5% (based on overall notebook quality and 3 labs in detail)
  • Quizzes: 2.5%
  • Lab performance/execution: 2%
  • Lab Report: 5% (rough draft is required)
  • Lab Practicals: 8% (4% each)

BI 170 - General Biology: The Cell, Genetics, and Development

Fall 2018 Lab Syllabus

Week of 9/10-9/13
Lab #1
The Scientific Method
Week of 9/17-9/20
Lab #2
Serial Dilution Experiment
Week of 9/24-9/27
Lab #3
Microscopy and Cells
Lab Notebooks Due
Week of 10/1-10/4
Lab #4
Mitosis and Meiosis
Assign article
Week of 10/8-10/11
Work on article
Week of 10/15-10/18
LAB #5
Mendelian Genetics: Drosophilia
Article Due
Assign Lab Reports
Week of 10/22-10/25
Week of 10/29-11/1
LAB #6
Sickle Cell Anemia
Lab Reports Due
Week of 11/5-11/8
Lab #7
Week of 11/12-11/15
Lab #8: page 73
Lac Operon Analysis
Lab Reports Returned
Week of 11/19-11/22

Lab #9
Animal Development

Final Lab Reports Due
Lab Notebooks Due


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Fairfield, CT 06824
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