Low Cost Bology Experimen

Harold Drabkin harold.drabkin at channel1.com
Thu Oct 3 00:00:00 EST 1996


Subject: Low Cost Bology Experiments

R

R>I am in the process of developing a workshop for biology teachers (grades
R>3-12).  The object is to try and bring back the bios in biology.  Since I 
R>am doing this in Louisiana, one can expect the budget for biology teachers 
R>to be almost zero.  I have several experiments lined up but am looking for 
R>more.  I would like the experiments to meet the following criteria: 

R>1) They should be relatively simple to do (not require any unusual 
R>equipment).


For the higher grades, one might consider using the action of salivary
amylase to demonstrate enzymes.  Simple starch solution for substrate;
iodine solution for a color development to show up the starch; saliva
for the enzyme source.  One could do simple things like heat
denaturation, etc. (I used to do this with a group of high school
sophomores; I had access to a spec. 20, so we could even get some
numbers, but this isn't absolutely necessary).

Another thing that can be as simple or increasing complicated:
measuring photosynthesis via oxygen production by the water plant Elodea
(sp?); we used to put a piece in a test tube of water with a stopper on
one end attached to a plastic three-way valve; a pipet on one port, and
a plastic syring on the other.  One introduced a water bubble into the
pipet, mark it's position, and then as it moved away from the mark, use
the syringe to pull it back to the mark.  The volume change could be
estimated by the syringe gradations.  Measure the rate with different
color light illumination )cover tube with transparent wrap of red, blue,
green, yellow.  some controlled setup needed (we used photoflood lamp
for strong illumination: this required a heat sink (tank of water) in
front of the tubs with plants, etc.).
Eventually, we correllated the action spectrum with the spectrum of
chlorophyll extracted from the same plants (again, we had a spec. 20 to
do this, so this might be skipped).

good luck.



                                                                                     

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