Teaching chemistry, biology and physics with the help of food analytical experiments

Monday, March 21, 2016

Authors: János Bozi, András S. Szabó, Margit Izsák, Eszter Imola Tisza-Kósa,

Gergely Levente Szabó


1. Summary

Experiments are of particular importance in the school education of physics, biology and chemistry. Students welcome gladly if the subject of an experiment is some kind of food, well-known to them. In the current work, ten simple experiments of physical, chemical and biological nature are described. The foods analyzed or used in the experiments are apples, apple juice, potatoes, lemons, lemon juice, vinegar, food coloring, table salt, vegetable oil, beet sugar, baking powder, baking soda and gelatin.



2. Introduction

In our previous article [1] we wrote that, in our opinion, presenting experiments has a particu­lar importance in the teaching of natural science subjects. If chemistry, biology and physics experi­ments – and, of course, there is no sharp dividing line between these subjects – form a major part of the education then, in all likelihood, it will be easier to arouse the interest of the majority of students in these subjects with practical real-life examples. By presenting experiments, i.e., by demonstration, our teaching will hopefully be more effective and more efficient. We can be confident that the knowledge of the students will expand and their logical thinking will develop and improve by forming conclusions from the observations. What is certain is that students participate more eagerly in lectures demonstrating experiments and so they might be more inclined to study the given subject [2], [3], [4], [5].

To quote the thoughts of György Marx on the re­lationship between natural science subjects [6] it should be noted that although teaching of the traditional boundaries of physics, chemistry and biology could serve as suitable information in the centuries of scholastic thinking, but this is the past. One hundred years ago nature was viewed as separate plots, and this division is maintained today by the cells of the school timetable. Howev­er, today the expression natural science is mainly used in the singular, and it was especially in sci­ence that the special areas of, for example, bio­physics, biomechanics, agrophysics, food phys­ics, food chemistry, biochemistry, agrochemistry, radioecology and ecochemistry were established by the synthesis of the two directions character­izing development, differentiation and integration, demonstrating and proving clearly the substantial concentration and the material unity of the world [7], [8], [9], [10].

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