18 January Science 8 Presentations on Carbon and Carbon Cycle; Respiration, Fermentation, Metabolism

Link to previous blogpost: http://rfrazier.msblogs.aes.ac.in/2018/01/16/16-january-science-8-continue-carbon-jigsaw-activity-complete-presentation/

  1. Review DSN entry from previous class. (How are you doing with keeping your DSN complete and up-to-date? Send Dr. F an email if you need assistance.)
  2. Review the blogpost for today’s class.
  3. Prepare your DSN entry for today.
  4. 15 minutes to get ready for presentations.
  5. Presentations

a. Lessons from Thin Air (learning about carbon, the carbon cycle, photosynthesis, matter, atoms, how humans try to make sense of things, the persistence of conceptions that have made sense at one time in a person’s experience even though the ideas become challenged later by evidence and logic, the various challenges to learning, the value in learning of extended dialogue combined with firsthand experience.

b. Carbon from Primo Levi’s The Periodic Table. An advanced but beautiful narrative of a carbon atom–using story-telling and descriptive language to paint a picture of the reality of atomic theory and the particular element upon which all life depends.

c. An episode on Carbon and Carbon Chemistry from the 26 part series, The World of Chemistry, written and narrated by Roald Hoffmann, a Nobel Prize winner who holds Primo Levi’s writing in high esteem.

d. A 5-part program on Carbon from Robert Krulwich’s National Public Radio science series Krulwich Wonders. Extensive use of cartoon animation and music.

As you listen to each presentation, compare the ideas being presented with your own. Be prepared to ask questions. (Each student should identify questions and be prepared to ask.) How do the presentations related to one another, beyond the obvious link in that they all are about carbon in some way? The links for each of the resources used in the presentations are listed in previous blogposts. Feel free to consult them.

*To what extent did our study of matter in Semester 1 prepare you for looking in more detail at Carbon, Carbon Chemistry, and the Carbon Cycle? Write a thoughtful response in the reflection section of your DSN entry for today–especially in relation to the ideas about learning in Lessons from Thin Air and the concepts about carbon in the other presentations.


Related terms: Respiration, metabolism, fermentation, cellular respiration, aerobic respiration, anaerobic respiration

All of these terms refer to the myriad chemical reactions involved in “life” and based on carbon.

Many sets of reactions use carbon based molecules for fuel (energy) and for building material. In these processes one important end-product is carbon dioxide.

Another set of reactions that occurs in green plants and phytoplankton (in the oceans) take carbon dioxide from the air and build carbon-based molecules that are then available for fuel and building material for these same plants and phytoplankton as well as for all the other organisms that depend on the molecules.

In the next class we will set up apparatus to observe fermentation of sucrose by yeast as an example of the first set of reactions–using a carbon based molecule to fuel the growth and reproduction of an organism.

In following classes we will look at the history of the discovery of photosynthesis and will replicate some of the important experiments and techniques.

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