This unit on metabolic reactions in the human body starts out with students exploring a real case study of a middle-school girl named M’Kenna, who reported some alarming symptoms to her doctor. Her symptoms included an inability to concentrate, headaches, stomach issues when she eats, and a lack of energy for everyday activities and sports that she used to play regularly. She also reported noticeable weight loss over the past few months, in spite of consuming what appeared to be a healthy diet. Her case sparks questions and ideas for investigations around trying to figure out which pathways and processes in M’Kenna’s body might be functioning differently than a healthy system and why.
Students investigate data specific to M’Kenna’s case in the form of doctor’s notes, endoscopy images and reports, growth charts, and micrographs. They also draw from their results from laboratory experiments on the chemical changes involving the processing of food and from digital interactives to explore how food is transported, transformed, stored, and used across different body systems in all people. Through this work of figuring out what is causing M’Kenna’s symptoms, the class discovers what happens to the food we eat after it enters our bodies and how M’Kenna’s different symptoms are connected.
This unit builds towards the following NGSS Performance Expectations (PEs) as described in the OpenSciEd Scope & Sequence: MS-LS1-3, MS-LS1-5, MS-LS1-7, MS-PS1-1, MS-PS1-2. The OpenSciEd units are designed for hands-on learning, and therefore materials are necessary to teach the unit. These materials can be purchased as science kits or assembled using the kit material list.
Additional Unit InformationNext Generation Science Standards Addressed in this UnitPerformance ExpectationsThis unit builds toward the following NGSS Performance Expectations (PEs):
This activity must be conducted under the direct supervision of an adult familar with laboratory safety practices. Personal protection equipment, inlcuding goggles and apron must be utilized.In this exploration students will:recognize some acids and bases as common and familiar household chemicals.realize that acids and bases are not necessarily strong or dangerous.determine the pH of different chemical compounds and categorize them as acids or bases.investigate how the difference between acids and bases correlates to the difference in hydrogen ion concentration of solutions of the two classes of compounds.Link to lesson
In this experiment, two chemicals that can be found around the house will be mixed within a plastic baggie, and several chemical changes will be observed.
Using gumdrops and toothpicks, students conduct a large-group, interactive ozone depletion model. Students explore the dynamic and competing upper atmospheric roles of the protective ozone layer, the sun's UV radiation and harmful human-made CFCs (chlorofluorocarbons).
To increase students' awareness of possible invisible pollutants in drinking water sources, students perform an exciting lab requiring them to think about how solutions and mixtures exist even in unsuspecting places such as ink. They use alcohol and chromatography paper to separate the components of black and colored marker ink. Students witness first-hand how components of a solution can be separated, even when those individual components are not visible in solution.
How can we conduct scientific research so that we have evidence to support a claim?Students in this problem-based learning module are invited to design a testable question to guide Scientific Research, Evaluate the pH of various solutions, Identify Variables, Conduct a Scientific Investigation, and Analyze/Communicate results. How can we conduct scientific research so that we have evidence to support a claim? Antacid tablets are a multi-billion dollar industry. Claims are made regularly by certain brands that their extra strength tablets contain “DOUBLE the acid neutralizing power per tablet of regular strength antacids.” How effective are antacids? Are double-strength antacids twice as effective as regular strength antacids? Have you ever noticed a parent/guardian/family member take an antacid tablet? Stomach chemistry is about acids and bases. When the pH of a stomach is too acidic then it might make the person have a stomach ache. In some cases “heartburn” or “acid reflux” are used as terms to describe the problems some people face. Antacids are usually basic which, when taken, might help raise the pH level in a stomach thus making a person feel better.You are invited to design an investigation with a partner, or a team of 4 students, to test your own idea about the effectiveness of antacids. The challenge? Have a driving question, clear variable identification, and an analysis of your results. Materials for your test will be provided to you by your teacher. At the culmination of your investigation your design team will make a 30-second pitch on your phone to show at your family Thanksgiving meal to explain the benefits (or negatives) of using antacids, and how antacids work.
To reinforce students' understanding of the human digestion process, the functions of several stomach and small intestine fluids are analyzed, and the concept of simulation is introduced through a short, introductory demonstration of how these fluids work. Students learn what simulation means and how it relates to the engineering process, particularly in biomedical engineering. The teacher demo requires vinegar, baking soda, water and aspirin.
In the first part of the activity, each student chews a piece of gum until it loses its sweetness, and then leaves the gum to dry for several days before weighing it to determine the amount of mass lost. This mass corresponds to the amount of sugar in the gum, and can be compared to the amount stated on the package label. In the second part of the activity, students work in groups to design and conduct new experiments based on questions of their own choosing. These questions arise naturally from observations during the first experiment, and from students' own experiences with and knowledge of the many varieties of chewing and bubble gums available.
Students are introduced to the fundamentals of environmental engineering as well as the global air, land and water quality concerns facing today's environmental engineers. After a lesson and activity to introduce environmental engineering, students learn more about water chemistry aspects of environmental engineering. Specifically, they focus on groundwater contamination and remediation, including sources of contamination, adverse health effects of contaminated drinking water, and current and new remediation techniques. Several lab activities provide hands-on experiences with topics relevant to environmental engineering concerns and technologies, including removal efficiencies of activated carbon in water filtration, measuring pH, chromatography as a physical separation method, density and miscibility.
When you add water to effervescent (fizzy) tablets or baking powder, bubbles are formed: a gas is produced. You can use this gas to inflate a balloon without blowing it up yourself. What kind of gas is it? Let us collect this gas and analyse it through experiments.
In this activity, students investigate the simulated use of solid rocket fuel by using an antacid tablet. Students observe the effect that surface area and temperature has on chemical reactions. Also, students compare the reaction time using two different reactants: water and vinegar. Finally, students report their results using a bar graph.
In this unit designed for an integrated middle school science classroom, students investigate why athletes ice injuries. This leads students to wonder why actual bags of ice are used instead of the instant ice packs found in first aid kits. Students then investigate the chemical reaction occurring within an instant ice pack and work to develop a better design.
Anchoring Phenomenon: First aid care for musculoskeletal injuries using bags of ice instead of instant ice packs containing an endothermic chemical reaction.
NGSS PEs Addressed: MS-PS1-1; MS-PS1-2; MS-PS1-5; MS-PS1-6; MS-PS3-3; MS-LS1-8; MS-ETS1-1
Cover Image Source: https://www.stack.com/a/cryotherapy
Most of the flavoring in gum is due to the sugar or other sweetener it contains. As gum is chewed, the sugar dissolves and is swallowed. After a piece of gum loses its flavor, it can be left to dry at room temperature and then the difference between its initial (unchewed) mass and its chewed mass can be used to calculate the percentage of sugar in the gum. This demonstration experiment is used to generate new questions about gums and their ingredients, and students can then design and execute new experiments based on their own questions.
Create your own sandwich and then see how many sandwiches you can make with different amounts of ingredients. Do the same with chemical reactions. See how many products you can make with different amounts of reactants. Play a game to test your understanding of reactants, products and leftovers. Can you get a perfect score on each level?
Students take advantage of the natural ability of red cabbage juice to perform as a pH indicator to test the pH of seven common household liquids. Then they evaluate the accuracy of the red cabbage indicator, by testing the pH of the liquids using an engineer-designed tool, pH indicator strips. Like environmental engineers working on water remediation or water treatment projects, understanding the chemical properties (including pH) of contaminants is important for safeguarding the health of environmental water sources and systems.
Investigate what makes something soluble by exploring the effects of intermolecular attractions and what properties are necessary in a solution to overcome them. Interactive models simulate the process of dissolution, allowing you to experiment with how external factors, such as heat, can affect a substance's solubility.
This lesson would be used to follow up with the “What’s in the Water? Lab Activity.”
You are employees of competing Water Testing companies. You recently received a request from the municipality of Cavour to test their water for an unknown/suspected parasite that they suspect has been causing nausea and intestinal distress in their community.
Your mission after developing the Method for testing for the parasite found in the City of Cavour’s water is to submit your report for approval by the City of Cavour.
Your report and presentation will be used to determine whether Cavour accepts your bid for the contract.
Students will have to solve the real world problem of locker smell leakage by building an air filter that will cover the vents on the top of a locker. This project goes well with a curriculum on the particle nature of gases and phase changes.