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Membrane Permeability with Beets


Source Institutions

    National Health Museum

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Membrane Permeability with Beets

In this lab exercise, learners explore diffusion, cell membranes and particle size using beets and three alcohols. Generally, learners predict that smaller alcohols will permeate more quickly, and that higher concentrations will permeate more quickly than lower concentrations. As learners collect data, they will discover that their assumptions were wrong and begin to think critically about the nature of the composition of the membrane. This lesson guide includes data analysis questions for learners. The alcohols used in this lab are toxic and flammable; adult supervision and safety precautions recommended.

Quick Guide


Preparation Time:
5 to 10 minutes

Learning Time:
10 to 30 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
$10 - $20 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 14 - 18

Resource Types:
Activity, Experiment/Lab Activity, Lesson/Lesson Plan

Language:
English

Materials List (per group of students)


  • Data Analysis sheets
  • water-washed beet cubes
  • test tubes
  • Methyl alcohol (2M, 4M, 8M)
  • Ethyl alcohol (2M, 4M, 8M)
  • n-propyl alcohol (2M, 4M, 8M)
  • n-butyl alcohol (2M, 4M, 8M)

Subjects


  • Life Sciences
    • Cells
      • Cell Structure and Function
      • Chemistry of Life
    • Diversity of Life
      • Plants
  • Mathematics
    • Data Analysis and Probability
      • Data Analysis
      • Data Collection
    • Measurement
      • Rate
  • Physical Sciences
    • Chemistry
      • Chemistry of Life
      • Solutions
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Conducting Investigations
      • Gathering Data
      • Formulating Explanations
      • Communicating Results

Informal Categories


  • Food and Cooking

Audience


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • see color
  • read
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities

Other


This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access

By:

  • Vavala, Phil

Rights:

  • All Rights Reserved, Access Excellence @ the National Health Museum, ©2009

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