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Name: williamh
Status: N/A
Age: N/A
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: Before 1993


Question:
What would be a good curriculum product for fifth grade students studying food chemistry? After participating in a food chemistry unit what kind of culminating product would you suggest that would demonstrate an understanding of the important ideas of food chemistry?



Replies:
Let me consult with my wife on this...when we lived in Minneapolis, she taught a short course at the St.Paul Science Museum in "kitchen Chemistry" for boys and girls in just that age group. I cannot recall all that she did...however, I seem to recall an interesting experiment where one could use the method of titration to measure how much Vitamin C is in various drinks (orange juice, lemonade, Hi-C, KoolAid, soda, etc) and without the use of any special equipment. I have discussed this a bit with Gayle (who, I might add, has an MS in organic chemistry). Basically, her course focused on experiments which could be done with food to heighten 10-13 year- olds' understanding of chemistry. A lot of work was done with acid-base chemistry (including the aforementioned titration, making pH indicators from boiled red cabbage and using it to test things, etc) and with carbon dioxide (she had them make pretzels dough, illustrating and enplaning the production of CO2 by the yeast, and let them take the dough home for heir parents to help them bake). There was a whole sequence of studies and experiments done to reinforce the concepts of acid/base chemistry and the properties of CO2 other than the one I have mentioned. It seemed very successful (the kids were interested) and some of them thought up their own experiments). Several people have written me asking for more information on food science experiments. Gayle is currently writing up the notes in her "spare time," of which there is not much. But she IS working on it and we hope to have something put together within the next few months. She is trying to do a nice job of it so that it will be useful. We envision mailing a copy of it to individual teachers, with the explicit understanding that it may ONLY be copied for educational purposes. In other words, we are going to copyright it and distribute it to the people who can really use it. If we get swamped and cannot afford the postage, we will either do a fundraiser or ask for a couple of dollars for postage.

Robert Topper



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