Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Organic Chemistry: Protein II

Last Friday my older group Science Club tackled their second round of Protein lessons. This Friday we will finish Proten and go on to Fats & Oils. (After Fats & Oils, we have Vitamins, Minerals, and Water left to go.)

We started by making another round of tea for Leah's kombucha, begun when we studied Cellulose.

Then we made a recipe for a Protein smoothie without protein powder, and talked about where the protein in a Blueberry Banana Almond Butter Smoothie might come from. A lot of the other recipes in this list contain chia seeds, so we read the "So THAT'S Why We Should Be Eating Chia Seeds" article.

Next we revisited the list of List of Eight Essential Amino Acids and the girls chose an amino acid which they wanted to make a model of using jelly beans and toothpicks. One student made Phenylalanine; one student made Methionine; one student made Threonine. They carefully sorted the jelly beans into piles of colors, each to represent a different element. Proteins contain Nitrogen (N) in addition the Carbon (C), Hydrogen (H), and Oxygen (O) which are present in plants are carbohydrate.

We reviewed the Nitrogen cycle using the Montessori three-part cards from Waseca Biomes.

Everything we read about Protein said that it gives off a distinctive smell when burned, so the girls were excited about burning some of Natalie's hair from her last haircut (I asked the hairdresser to save her ponytails when they were chopped off). The way that we did this safely was as follows. We took a pillar candle outside to the sidewalk and some matches. I lit the candle and then we dangled the end of a few long strands of hair from the ponytail into the flame. When it began to burn we dropped it on the sidewalk and watched it slither and scorch. It wiggles while it burns to be sure to have kids a safe distance. I also recommend having water or baking soda at hand.

With that as our finale, it was time for our session to come to an end!

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