Biochemistry in our Daily Lives

Open to students entering grades 9 through 12 or freshman year of college in the fall

III - August 5th - August 9th, 2019 (Course Filled)

Days & Time:
Monday–Friday, 10:10 a.m.–12:00 p.m. and 2:10–4:00 p.m.
Mrinalni Sharma

One year of high school biology; one year of high school chemistry.

Course Descriptions

In this hands-on, activity-based course, students use their favorite food items to learn challenging biochemistry concepts in a fun and interactive way. Topics covered include the biological importance of water, hydrogels, macromolecules that compose food, vitamins and minerals, carbon compounds and generation of ethanol, risks and prevention of disease, and recombinant DNA technology. Global applications of genetically modified foods, use of monosodium glutamate, turmeric, and omega-3 fatty acids are critically examined.

Experiments with food use candy and fruit to build models and fruit for extraction of DNA. Food dyes, pop rock candy, milk, shampoo and toothpaste are used to perform microscale experiments.

Participants engage in thought-provoking discussions to help them dissect the science behind newsworthy stories about issues such as weight-loss drugs, different diet concepts, fluoride or lead in water, and the outbreak of diseases such as Ebola, cholera, and hepatitis. Participants are evaluated based on class participation and homework assignments.

Please note: In-class experiments, because they use everyday foods, are conducted in a traditional classroom rather than in a laboratory.


Mrinalni Sharma

Mrinalni Sharma earned her Ph.D. in biochemistry from the City University of New York. She has eleven years of teaching experience and currently teaches advanced chemistry and research at Hunter College High School in New York City.

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Specific course detail such as hours and instructors are subject to change at the discretion of the University. Not all instructors listed for a course teach all sections of that course.