Using the Misuse of
Science to Teach
Biology and
Chemistry
The Misuse of Science
Making critical thinking a part of a
biology and chemistry Class
Jeff Bradbury
Cerritos College
Jeff Orlinsky
Warren High School
Our Goal:
To demonstrate how you can use the
misuse of science, especially the
misappropriation of science
terminology, as a jumping off point to
teach biology and chemistry concepts.
Making Things Relevant
• Science classrooms are
• Why use mass media?
more than content.
• Introduce Critical
• Students need to
Thinking skills
experiment, draw
• We are not introducing
conclusions.
new labs, just a different
• Manipulate variables.
way to incorporate the
labs
Mass Media
• http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oUhBT40skLw
Misuse:
“pH Balance”
pH- Acids-Bases
• Biology
– Skin Bacteria growth
– Selection media.
• Chemistry
Buffers
pH
Titration labs
Buffers are critical for maintaining a
constant pH of important solutions like the
ocean or the blood stream, although the pH
may not necessarily be constant 7 or
neutral. A buffered pH can be at any level
depending on the components of the buffer.
used.
pH paper with acid, neutral and base
solutions unbuffered
pH paper with acid, neutral and base
solutions buffered at pH 5
pH paper with acid, neutral and base
solutions buffered at pH 9
Misuse:
“pH Balance”
A Better use:
Buffers
Misuse:
“pH Balance”
A Better use:
Buffers
Learning Experience:
Buffers
Misuse:
“Energy Drinks”
Calories
Biology
• Calorie lab
• Food Chain activities
Chemistry
• Calories Lab
Misuse:
“Energy Drinks”
A Better use:
Calories
Misuse:
“Energy Drinks”
A Better use:
Calories
Learning Experience:
Calorimetry with a peanut
Measuring the calories in a peanut
Misuse:
“Chemical Free”
Chemical Free
Chemical Free
Misuse:
“Chemical Free”
A Better use:
All matter is made of
atoms and compounds
Misuse:
“Chemical Free”
A Better use:
All matter is made of atoms and
compounds
Learning Experience:
My Pet Molecule &
Dihydrogen Monoxide
Chemicals in the system
• Biology
– Geochemical systems
– Elements and
biochemistry activities
Misuse:
“Pure Vinegar”
Misuse:
“Pure Vinegar”
A Better use:
Solutions
Misuse:
“Pure Vinegar”
A Better use:
Solutions
Learning Experience:
Investigating
Solutions
Misuse:
“Artificially Flavored”
Misuse:
“Artificially Flavored”
A Better use:
“Synthesis”
“Artificially Flavored”
A Better use:
“Synthesis”
Learning Experience:
Synthesizing
pentyl acetate
(Banana Oil)
Misuse:
“Organically Grown”
Misuse:
“Organically Grown”
A Better use:
“It’s all Organic Chemistry!”
Misuse:
“Organically Grown”
A Better use:
“It’s all Organic Chemistry!”
Learning Experience:
Building Molecules
Misuse:
“Organically Grown”
A Better use:
“It’s all Organic Chemistry!”
Learning Experience:
Which is the toxic molecule?
Misuse:
Food Labels
Food Labels
• http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o4EqRZPxncg
Food Labels
• Biology
– Peanut butter and oil
• Chemistry
• Non dairy fillings
Arsenic
• http://www.youtube.com/ • Organic to inorganic
watch?v=OV5z-hEqjDw • Arsenic and valence
electrons
• 9/2011
• inorganic arsenic,
reduced (trivalent As
(III)) and oxidized
(pentavalent As(V)
What’s in a name?
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Using the Misuse of Science to Teach Biology and Chemistry