Normally you wouldn’t look at a cup of milk, a cup of yogurt, a pastry, and think to yourself, “Oh, this is an experiment about cellular respiration.” But then, you wouldn’t be in Tina Bean’s biology class.
Recently Ms. Bean’s biology class conducted an experiment to learn about fermentation as an anaerobic alternative to cellular respiration using what seems like either innocuous objects, or an afternoon snack: milk, yogurt, and a pastry.
We are all familiar with cellular respiration in some form or fashion. The way we are most familiar is by breathing. The oxygen we inhale is used for a variety of functions.
There is also a way to “substitute” oxygen to maintain certain biological functions when insufficient oxygen is available – anaerobic respiration. One of the outcomes of anaerobic respiration we are most familiar with is via fermentation, by which we get things like yogurt and vinegar!
It’s an interesting experiment, and sometimes when doing experiments with food, the greatest challenge is making sure students don’t try to eat the foods before the experiment is complete!