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Enzyme Data-palooza

Enzyme Data-palooza

Many biology courses at every level start the year studying enzymes since they are integral to so many biological processes. No matter what your preferred enzyme and substrate, sensors can help you get more data, and better data, faster. As you can see, we like to catalyze with catalase since it’s widely available (in nearly all living things) and easy to process for lab use. For example, using the Wireless Pressure Sensor with a simple yeast suspension and 3% H2O2, students can begin collecting data for under $100/station – and look at how much data can be produced!

Figure 1. Each setup uses a 15 mm test tube, #1 1-hole stopper, 3 mL of 3% H2O2, and 1 mL of yeast suspension in a water bath at a set temperature.
Figure 2. SPARKvue monitors bath temperature while recording pressure data for each reaction.

Table 1. Rate of Reaction for Yeast and Hydrogen Peroxide

Condition Trial 1
kPa/min)
Trial 2
(kPa/min)
Trial 3
(kPa/min)
Average
(kPa/min)
3°C 0.280 0.155 0.733 0.389
15°C 0.547 0.633 0.589 0.590
25°C 0.981 1.015 1.134 1.043
35°C 1.591 1.732 1.643 1.655
45°C 1.045 0.941 0.899 0.962
Figure 3. Graph of Reaction Rate vs Temperature.

With more data, it’s possible to produce meaningful descriptive statistics with your students. This supports students’ math literacy and is useful to identify runs/groups that are outliers from the class data. While these outliers are often procedural errors, they can provide a useful springboard to inquiry. Ask students to determine why the group’s results differ. Are their results reproducible? If time allows, they can explore additional variables that can add to their understanding of protein structure, enzyme reactions, and even evolution.

The data above was produced using the Wireless Pressure Sensor. The protocol is the same for the Oxygen Gas Sensor; download the lab for your preferred approach.

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    Throughout the province of Nova Scotia, PASCO’s probeware technology has been merged with the rollout of the new P-6 curriculum. We chose a number of sensors for use with our project-based activities. Both the functionality and mobility of PASCO’s dataloggers enable students to collect authentic, real-world data, test their hypotheses and build knowledge.

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  • During distance learning due to COVID-19 school shut down, I was given a short window to collect what I could from my classroom to teach online. The PASCO wireless sensors and Smart Carts were my top priority to collect to implement distance learning. By sharing experimental data with students via SPARKVue, the sensors were pivotal in creating an online experience that still allowed students to grow with their lab skills. It was easy to record videos of the data collection and share the data with my students. They did a phenomenal job examining and interpreting the data.


    Michelle Brosseau | Physics Teacher | Ursuline College Chatham | Chatham, Ontario

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