If you need a good inquiry project for students during this hectic time of year, go to http://www.sciencecourseware.org/vcise/ . The Virtual Courseware Drosophila lab is very interactive, develops inquiry skills, comes with prepared assessments, and documents the links to national science standards. Individual students or group projects can be accommodated. All results and student reports are stored on an external, web-accessible server so that students and teachers can manage the projects and collect data from any internet connected computer.
Teaching 21st century skills is the buzz on the surface with accountability, standards, and teacher shortages still the mainstay of education problems and propaganda. While global views can be a bit overwhelming, the following video clip certainly puts the need for quality biology teaching in perspective.
My Footprint.org is a pretty cool, easy to use online tool that calculates the acres required to support your lifestyle based on a few simple questions. The tool also compares your acreage to the average acreage required by the population in your country. While the activity itself has merit, there are many extensions available such as having students predict which of the input variables would have the most impact on the footprint calculation and then test the prediction. Additional extension activities might be more problem based such as having a team of students come up with a viable strategy that will have the most impact on reducing the footprint while identifying the implementation barriers.