The purpose of this video lesson is to expand the student's knowledge about enzymes by introducing the antioxidant enzymes that are intimately involved in the prevention of cellular damage and eventual slowing of the aging process and prevention of several diseases. Students will learn that natural antioxidant enzymes are manufactured in the body and provide an important defense against free radicals. The topic of free radical action is introduced, covering how they are constantly generated in living cells both by ''accidents of chemistry'' and also by specific metabolic processes.
High School Nutrition
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.
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.