Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Biology Students Dissect Right Blend for Tasty Dressings; Trial and Error Is Educational and Nutritious in This Glynn Academy Class

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Biology Students Dissect Right Blend for Tasty Dressings; Trial and Error Is Educational and Nutritious in This Glynn Academy Class

Article excerpt

Byline: TERESA STEPZINSKI

BRUNSWICK -- Oil and water don't mix. Vegetable oil and vinegar do.

Add a sprinkling of garlic powder, spash of lemon juice plus a smidgen of Italian herbs and you have the recipe for an innovative lesson taught to freshman biology students at Glynn Academy.

James Freeman, 14, looked puzzled for a second or two, then smiled in recognition after tasting a concoction he and his classmates created Wednesday during their science lab.

"It's pretty good, actually. It tastes like lemonade," James said as he put down the plastic cup containing a couple of spoonfuls of a pale yellow liquid.

Across the room, Ryan Godley, also 14, looked surprised after tasting his group's pepper-speckled creation.

"It's a little spicy, but it's good," he said. "I'd eat this at home."

James and Ryan were among about 240 ninth-grade students who created homemade salad dressings incorporating common kitchen ingredients and spices as part of a science experiment developed by their teachers, Leigh Ann Truesdale and Sonja Guilbeau.

The students have been learning about scientific research -- in this case, the testing of a hypothesis using a carefully documented and controlled experiment -- and how it can apply to everyday life.

"What I love about this lab is that the kids are really into it," said Truesdale, a teacher for 17 years. "It's hard to get kids excited these days. But here they are, going to their classmates saying, 'Here, try this. Try this!' They are using their creativity and what they have learned about science."

Truesdale and Guilbeau came up with the idea of having the students create their own salad dressings to learn about science.

"This is a new lab. The kids love food," she said. "And this is one of those things from school that they will always remember because it's fun."

The students were required to make two dressings: one tangy and one sweet. They were allowed to use any combination of ingredients, such as vegetable oil, vinegar, garlic powder, salt, pepper, sugar and Italian seasonings. …

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