Food + Garden

Educational Resource

Decaying Science

In this activity, students will discuss the difference between organic and inorganic material, and how this distinction affects decomposition. The lesson will culminate with students building a composting column of soil and shredded organic material so that they can observe the decomposition process over the course of three to five weeks.

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Educational Resource

The Color of Flowers

In this activity, students will perform an experiment to find out where flower colors come from. Students will extract petal juice, use acid and base indicators, and observe chemical reactions to investigate how the amount of acid or base influences the color of a petal.

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Educational Resource

Lilliputian Landscaping

In this activity, students will examine the different materials gardeners add to their soil, and discuss how these materials are important for plant growth. They will learn how to build a sustainable terrarium by adding a waterbed, mixing their own soil and transplanting a small plant into their terrarium.

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Educational Resource

Cooking with Chemistry

Chef Wylie Dufresne, the owner of New York City restaurant wd~50, experiments with food, literally. He has lab notebooks detailing what certain chemicals do to certain dishes. One of his signature dishes is a spin on eggs Benedict: he found that creating the plate's centerpiece--a cube of fried hollandaise sauce--required a lot of scientific testing. Science Friday stopped in at Dufresne's kitchen to see how he prepares the dish.

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Educational Resource

Delicious DNA

In 1953, Francis Crick and James Watson discovered the structure of the DNA molecule, the double helix. Their discovery led to many developments in the fields of forensic science and biotechnology and in the understanding of heredity and genetic diseases. The two high school seniors featured in this SciFri Vfideo were able to apply DNA extraction for a more practical application: to find out what really is in the food that we eat. In this activity, students will review and discuss the definition, function and importance of DNA.

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Educational Resource

Mushroom Prints

In this lesson, students will be amateur mycologists--collecting and analyzing various mushrooms. Through observation and discussion, students will gain knowledge of the basic anatomy of mushrooms, their life cycle, and their method of reproduction through spores. Students will learn to create spore prints of mushrooms and label and preserve their spore prints, just like a mycologist. Students also will learn that by comparing spore prints, they can identify different mushroom species.

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