Lifelong Learning Programme

This project has been funded with support from the European Commission.
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Title of the Experience
Detecting starch in food
Name of the teacher
Roberto Checchi
Country where it took place
School typology
Vocational School
Thematic Area
Experience typology
Teaching in class, Laboratory, Online Learning
Type of contact
Description of the Experience
Organic chemistry is one the hardest subjects: students live in a world dominated by images and they do not understand easily what they cannot see or touch. In this respect, the web is very useful. However students often remain passive spectators. For this reason, we have promoted some laboratory experiments to analyze foods that are highest in starches (we tried to include those foods that students usually prefer). Tincture of iodine can detect starches: iodine reacts with the coiled molecules and turns bluish-black. We analyzed different kinds of food pouring over them a few drops of iodine: if the product is rich in starches it turns a dark blue color.
When students found out that their diet is too rich in carbohydrates, they also started to consider the possible future effects of not eating a balanced diet.
Moreover, they realized that starches need to be digested into glucose, since only glucose can reach the cells and be a source of energy for cellular respiration.
Then we used an interactive white board to make a concept map describing the whole process: digestion, assimilation and transport to the mitochondrial cells.

Comments on this Teachers Experience

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Date: 2014.09.09

Posted by Laura Capella (Italy)

This experience can be performed with very few materials and even in classrooms, that is probably where Italian School is leading our teachers, not investing very much in laboratories. This is an additional value to the experiment, but not the only one. The esperience can suit every kind of School, and also different Levels. The use of favourite foods and the finding of starch in the great majority of them, is a good starting point to spread the consciousness ( not easy even for adults) in teenagers of the proper diet to follow to grew up and keep themselves healthy.


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.