Hyde Health Sciences and Sports Medicine is a New Haven magnet school focused on providing hands-on, innovative learning experiences for its students. Located in North Haven, Hyde attracts a unique student population that is an 80/20 blend of New Haven students and surrounding suburban students, respectively. With a diverse student population in numerous respects—socioeconomically, racially, etc.—Hyde faces distinct challenges as it attempts to provide excellent science educations for its students.
As a chemistry teacher at Hyde, I am tasked with developing science experiences that engage my students in authentic and compelling challenges. As such, my unit strays from the typical chemistry curriculum and into biochemistry with analogies to baseball. The purpose behind this is to introduce students to concepts that reach into their lives using enzymes—those little machines in our bodies—and analogies to sports to capture their imaginations.
Throughout this unit, students will encounter a number of challenging concepts related to reactions—how they occur, the math behind them, and how they are mediated biologically. Students will learn about reaction collision theory through an analogy to baseball. They will engage mole ratios and grapple with the concept of the limiting reagent by making s’mores and mixing chemicals. Finally, they will discover the power of enzymes and their kinetics by exploring the Michaelis-Menten equation, enzyme saturation, and the importance of the K