Crossing the Border

In this activity, students will create several solutions using hydrophilic and hydrophobic substances and water, record their observations, and interpret the results in terms of intermolecular forces. Students will also use drawings of phospholipids and proteins to further understand electronegativity and predict how intermolecular forces cause these biomolecules to form a biological membrane in water. Then, students will apply their knowledge of cellular transport and predict how substances will move across a concentration gradient.
 
Subjects: Biology, Science
 
Prior Knowledge: Students should be familiar with atomic structure, subatomic particles, and electron configurations. Students should also know the structure and general properties of lipids and proteins and know that oppositely charged ions attract each other. Finally, students should be able to design an experiment, measure the mass of an object by using a balance, and estimate the volume of an object by the water displacement method.
 
Key Concepts and Terms: Diffusion, Electronegativity, Intermolecular bond, Intramolecular bon, Molarity, Osmosis, Phospholipid, Phospholipid bilayer, Plasma membrane (cell membrane), Polarity, Protein, Semi-permeable membrane, Solute
 
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