This hands-on activity introduces students to the process of fermenting different carbohydrate sources into ethanol. Teachers demonstrate yeasts' inability to metabolize certain food sources.
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Great to use when biology students are studying enzymes. The balloon activity is appropriate for high school classes.
Teachers will need ample time for preparation (e.g., read the detailed instructions, do demo ahead of time).
Students design their own experiment and collect data to investigate the ability of yeast to metabolize a variety of feedstocks originating from different carbohydrate sources.
Students are encouraged to think about potential feedstocks and the biochemical processes necessary to convert each type of carbohydrate into fuel.
This is an inquiry-based experiment where students design their own experiment within. A demo is used to start students thinking about the fermentation process.
Students can design and carry out their own labs to try to improve fermentation rates of various feedstocks as a going further exercise.
Two versions are available: One using balloons to measure fermentation rates and an advanced method using Vernier probes.
Excellent supplemental support materials are included. Sample data and a complete answer key is provided.
Very explicit teacher materials are provided.
Good background articles on biofuels, enzymes, and the production of cellulosic ethanol accompany the lab exercise.
Some background in chemistry is required.
Very thorough teacher directions, materials, and resources are given.