Mr. Buchwalder’s Honors Biology class explored a series of lab experiments as part of their biochemistry unit in January of 2021.
“Students learned about the major types of molecules that make up living organisms: water, carbohydrates, lipids, and proteins,” explained Mr. Buchwalder. “I demonstrated how the polarity of water molecules allows you to bend a stream of water with static electricity. Students tasted the various types of sugars that make up carbohydrates to show how the similar shape of the molecules give sugar its sweetness. They saw how non-polar solvents can dissolve various fats and pigments. I demonstrated how denaturing the proteins in milk and soymilk is used to make cottage cheese and tofu, and more!”
“We can only learn so much from textbooks and videos,” said ninth grader Mitchell Straus, who is taking Honors Biology with Mr. Buchwalder. “When you do experiments like this you really understand the science better.”
Classmate Gavin Peck agrees. “To do something in person and have that hands-on experience is a whole other layer of learning, and it translates better into real understanding.”
“The bottom line is that I want students to see how the world of molecules and chemistry affects real life. Often students find reading about biochemistry to be boring or confusing and these activities are designed to make it tangible and interesting.”