Lifelong Learning Programme

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Title of the Experience
The essential nutrients - lipids
Name of the teacher
Mária Fabianová
Country where it took place
School typology
High Secondary School
Thematic Area
Experience typology
Teaching in class
Type of contact
Description of the Experience
The essential nutrients include carbohydrates, lipids and proteins. I point all the presented information toward the fact that they are part of our diet, what their necessity is and what their portion in various foods is.
In the introduction I mention that lipids are esters of higher fatty acids. I write on the blackboard an equation of esterification, but success with the students is minimal. Again it is for them only something that they do not understand, without even trying to understand it. A bit of interest on their part is gained by an equation of alkaline hydrolysis, which is the end product of the essence soap. Some students recall that once the soap used to be brewed at home from bones. This process can be quite fat using and easy to implement in the laboratory conditions.
The topic gets closer to them when I start to speak about dividing lipids into fats and oils. They remember the lard, butter, various types of oil, they know olive oil…
Lipids have the highest energy value, they are a source of energy, and have protective and insulating functions. Their insulation function is interesting for endurance swimmers. These swimmers paint surface of their bodies with a substance that contains fat. The property used is that fats are not water soluble. This fatty paint protects swimmers from hypothermia. These fats insulate against the cold and to a certain extent it is true that subcutaneous fat isolates man in cold environment. Mental anorexics whose weight has fatal values claim that they are constantly cold.
The presence of fat in the human body is necessary. It is required as a dissolvent of vitamins A, D, E, K, which as biocatalysts allow the course of chemical reactions in the body - everything is linked with everything.
We say which foods contain fats. Students enthusiastically talk about meat, especially of pork products, fried schnitzel etc. At this age they do not think at all about what they eat. They eat what they like, not realizing upcoming changes in their metabolism with higher age.
Currently, each class has about a third of students who are overweight, some are obese. On their desks they have chips and coca cola bottles.
This situation has its ground in the general trend and the economic situation of the families, where our students come from.
For the students the greatest motivation against obesity is an interviewed about its pandemic, especially in economically developed countries, and particularly in the USA. Population of these countries almost exclusively eats in fast food restaurants because they are more available. Nowadays obesity becomes a bigger medical problem than AIDS.
I tell the students what I have seen on one TV show. An average American family had to eat at home for one day. They had no kitchenware, they had to buy them. They did not even know where to buy them and where they could buy some ingredients. Finally, the family got saved by spaghetti. However, when they brought it home, they did not know how to cook it. During the whole day they managed to prepare only one meal, which should have been lunch, but they ate it around 21:00.
Obesity is not only an aesthetic problem but it literally threatens human life. Its consequences are wide. For example, frequent occurrence of diabetes, has a very interesting cause. A layer of fat in the body begins to behave as a single organ. Usually it is accumulated around the pancreas and thus preventing sufficient production of insulin. Other consequences are various kinds of cancer, high blood pressure etc.
Mostly girls are interested in this information but in such a small town as I teach in, students eat sandwich lunches and drink sweet (carbonated) drinks. They think more about the way they eat only when I explain that even though now they may have only 50 kg but it is enough to gain only one more kilogram each year and in a few decades they will also be obese.
This lesson topic is extremely broad, diverse and interesting for the students. They talk about their own personal experiences all by themselves.
I value this experience a lot. I grade it positively.

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Dissemination Seminar in Florence

31 October 2015 The seminar has been held in ITIS “A. Meucci” one of the schools involved within Goerudio project activities. Its main aim was to promote the results of the project toward a broad sample of stakeholders even overcrossing the number of people directly involved in the production of project outcomes. This purpose has been totally achieved especially thanks to the participation of students and teachers coming from different schools or from other classes instead of those ones directly involved within the project activities.