ERIC Number: EJ1027763
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 14
A Proposal for Teaching Undergraduate Chemistry Students Carbohydrate Biochemistry by Problem-Based Learning Activities
Figueira, Angela C. M.; Rocha, Joao B. T.
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Education, v42 n1 p81-87 Jan-Feb 2014
This article presents a problem-based learning (PBL) approach to teaching elementary biochemistry to undergraduate students. The activity was based on "the foods we eat." It was used to engage students' curiosity and to initiate learning about a subject that could be used by the future teachers in the high school. The experimental activities (8-12 hours) were related to the questions: (i) what does the Benedict's Reagent detect? and (ii) What is determined by glucose oxidase (GOD)? We also ask the students to compare the results with those obtained with the Lugol reagent, which detects starch. Usually, students inferred that the Benedict reagent detects reducing sugars, while GOD could be used to detect glucose. However, in GOD assay, an open question was left, because the results could be due to contamination of the sugars (particularly galactose) with glucose. Though not stressed, GOD does not oxidize the carbohydrates tested and all the positive results are due to contamination. The activities presented here can be easily done in the high school, because they are simple and non-expensive. Furthermore, in the case of Benedict reaction, it is possible to follow the reduction of Cu (II) "macroscopically" by following the formation of the brick-orange precipitate. The concrete observation of a chemical reaction can motivate and facilitate students understanding about chemistry of life.
Descriptors: Undergraduate Students, College Science, Biochemistry, Problem Based Learning, Food, Secondary School Science, Scientific Concepts, Teaching Methods, High Schools, Science Instruction
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education; Secondary Education; High Schools
Authoring Institution: N/A