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ERIC Number: EJ863732
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Mar
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 5
ISSN: ISSN-0002-7685
Teaching Cellular Respiration & Alternate Energy Sources with a Laboratory Exercise Developed by a Scientist-Teacher Partnership
Briggs, Brandon; Mitton, Teri; Smith, Rosemary; Magnuson, Timothy
American Biology Teacher, v71 n3 p164-167 Mar 2009
Microbial fuel cells are a current research area that harvests electricity from bacteria capable of anaerobic respiration. Graphite is an electrically conductive material that bacteria can respire on, thus it can be used to capture electrons from bacteria. When bacteria transfer electrons to graphite, an electrical potential is created that can produce electricity when in a circuit. A sediment battery is a simple circuit that uses graphite and anaerobic bacteria naturally found in dirt. The electrical potential produced by bacterial respiration on the graphite can be measured on a voltmeter and thus can be used as a visual aid for teaching cellular respiration. The combination of the need for a new learning tool and the expertise of the scientists led to the development of the laboratory exercise described in this article. It uses student-designed sediment batteries to better visualize and measure electron transfer in living cells. This exercise satisfies National Science Education Teaching Standards A and B, and Content Standards A, B, and C. (Contains 4 figures.)
National Association of Biology Teachers. 12030 Sunrise Valley Drive # 110, Reston, VA 20191. Tel: 800-406-0775; Tel: 703-264-9696; Fax: 703-264-7778; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A