The Organic Challenge Scientific Method Lab
Organic vs Conventional Food Common Core Unit
At one time you could only find organic food in health food stores, now it is a regular choice in most supermarkets. This has created a dilemma in the produce isle. Every student knows there are organic food choices, but have they ever really tested the differences? They may have their own opinions, but what about the facts? I have found students really like talking, tasting and writing about food, so this relevant topic makes a terrific scientific method lab.
In this amusing “Science Works” scientific method lab students are asked to taste for themselves the differences between organic and conventional foods. After learning all about the difference between organic and conventional foods with the deeper reading articles and text-based questions, now students can taste for themselves if there is a real difference. The results are fun, surprising and a perfect way to talk and write about taste variations.
Be prepared to have relevant conversations on how real scientists need to think about controlling variables in scientific method. Topics of how fresh, local and organic vs conventional food issues become relevant. Students start to connect to ideas about “food miles” and current issues that come with today's food choices in the market place. The question or problem statement is; Can students tell if carrots, celery and apples are organic or conventional and is organic produce worth the extra cost? The lab is a practical and inexpensive way to get students really involved in the topic of this debate.
I loved the fact that students spontaneously began talking at home with family and friends about food production. Opinions changed and conversations were sparked. You will appreciate how easily this subject translates into scientific method, debate and argument.
1. Blank Scientific Method Lab Template
2. Data Chart Template Example
3. Student Example with Written Conclusion