ERIC Number: EJ1025586
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Abstractor: As Provided
Raising Environmental Awareness through Applied Biochemistry Laboratory Experiments
Salman Ashraf, S.
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Education, v41 n5 p341-347 Sep-Oct 2013
Our environment is under constant pressure and threat from various sources of pollution. Science students, in particular chemistry students, must not only be made aware of these issues, but also be taught that chemistry (and science) can provide solutions to such real-life issues. To this end, a newly developed biochemistry laboratory experiment is described that guides students to learn about the applicability of peroxidase enzymes to degrade organic dyes (as model pollutants) in simulated waste water. In addition to showing how enzymes can potentially be used for waste water remediation, various factors than can affect enzyme-based reactions such as pH, temperature, concentration of substrates/enzymes, and denaturants can also be tested. This "applied biotechnology" experiment was successfully implemented in an undergraduate biochemistry laboratory course to enhance students' learning of environmental issues as well important biochemistry concepts. Student survey confirmed that this laboratory experiment was successful in achieving the objectives of raising environmental awareness in students and illustrating the usefulness of chemistry in solving real-life problems. This experiment can be easily adopted in an introductory biochemistry laboratory course and taught as an inquiry-guided exercise.
Descriptors: Environmental Education, Biochemistry, Pollution, Science Instruction, Science Laboratories, Laboratory Experiments, Conservation (Environment), Consciousness Raising, Social Problems, Student Surveys, Student Attitudes, Scientific Concepts
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Publication Type: Journal Articles
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