When someone learns to cook, they also learn some rules that are never to be broken. Are these rules backed by science? Can we test them using some simple experiments? What can undergraduate students and faculty learn from these experiments? Why are they valuable to science education? In this article, Vijeta Raghuram, the Program Manager-Education at IndiaBioscience reflects on these questions based on her experiences at a workshop.
Low exposure to research, often due to the financial constraints of college laboratories, and extensive curriculum can make studying biology unexciting for students. This short article on ‘frugal science’ describes how paper, a cheap and familiar material, has been developed into instruments to study nature and stimulate creativity and curiosity in students.
Food spoilage is covered in undergraduate biology courses with limited scope for practical experience. This article describes a simple module that not only helps students explore the topic experimentally but also develop a deeper understanding of various scientific concepts and gain experience in design thinking.
Undergraduate students of biochemistry may know the sequence of reactions in different pathways of energy metabolism. But how well do they understand the interconnections between these pathways? Maya Murdeshwar, an educator from St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai, uses a quiz featuring cheetahs, triathlons and monozygotic twins to test her students and uncover their misconceptions about these pathways. She explains her approach in this article.