This unit engages students in the processes of scientific inquiry by encouraging them to describe and explain natural phenomena – in this case what happens in our bodies.
With the enzyme investigations, students can delve more deeply into the functioning of these proteins, and learn what conditions are optimal for their effectiveness.
Students will formulate a testable hypothesis with logical connections to the study of the digestive system. They will then design and conduct different experiments to answer these questions. Students will also assess the reliability of data generated, share their findings and critically review with fellow students and their teacher.
Finally, students will make clear conclusions and explanations based on their data and reflect on the experimental design. In doing so, they will be applying standards around scientific numeracy.
This unit engages students in the process of scientific literacy by providing motivation to research various media, read and write about the functioning of their digestive system.
Connecticut science content standard 9.5 "Due to its unique chemical structure, carbon forms many organic and inorganic compounds" is explicitly addressed in the work around carbohydrates, lipids and proteins in this unit.
Connecticut science content standard 10.1 "Fundamental life processes depend on the physical structure and the chemical activities of the cell" is addressed at several points – including the functioning of salivary glands in the mouth, epithelial cells of the stomach and small intestine, as well as the cells of the pancreas and liver.
Connecticut science performance D 29 "Describe the general role of enzymes in metabolic cell processes" is the focus of the major wet lab of this curriculum unit, as well as all along the digestive pathway outlined in this unit.