Novo Nordisk: Hands-on Health Learning
Through the generous support of Novo Nordisk, a global leader in healthcare, Science Buddies has created a number of hands-on science projects aimed at helping students learn more about diabetes and hemophilia. In addition, each science project links to related careers (also created in partnership with Novo Nordisk), allowing students to explore what it would be like to work in a profession helping to treat these diseases.
Diabetes Science Projects
These science projects help students understand, first hand, the connections between food sugars and diabetes — a disease that affects more than 371 million people globally:
- How Sweet It Is! Measuring Glucose in Your Food
You know that sugar makes food sweet, but did you know that there are different kinds of sugar? Sucrose is the granulated sugar that you usually use for baking. Another kind of sugar, which is found in honey and in many fruits, is glucose. In this science project, you will measure the concentration of glucose in a variety of foods. You will use special test strips that change color in response to glucose to measure the glucose concentration in different foods.
- Sucrose & Glucose & Fructose, Oh My! Uncovering Hidden Sugar in Your Food
Maple syrup on pancakes, ripe bananas, and soft drinks are all foods that are tasty to us because of the sugar in them. But did you know there are different kinds of sugar? One food can have multiple kinds of sugar in it, and our bodies actually process the different types of sugars differently. In this science project, you will measure the concentration of two sugars—glucose and sucrose—in different foods, and investigate how sucrose is converted into glucose with the help of an enzyme called invertase.
- Lactose, Sucrose, and Glucose: How Many Sugars are in Your Smoothie?
Do you enjoy drinking smoothies packed full of berries and other tasty fruits? Or maybe you like drinking a creamy milkshake with peanut butter, chocolate, and bananas. Smoothies and milkshakes are often tasty to us because of the sugar in them. But did you know there are different kinds of sugar? Some ingredients in a smoothie can have more than one kind of sugar in them, and our bodies process each kind of sugar differently. In this science project, you will measure the concentration of three sugars (glucose, sucrose, and lactose) in common smoothie and milkshake ingredients by investigating how sucrose and lactose are converted into glucose with the help of digestive enzymes in your body.
Linked diabetes careers help students, many of whom complete one of the above projects or other Science Buddies projects on nutrition, understand what it would be like to work in the diabetes healthcare arena:
Hemophilia Science Projects
This science project introduces students to the biology of blood clotting and helps them model and understand what happens in hemophilia:
- Blood Clotting to the Rescue: How to Stop Too Much Blood from Flowing
Have you ever had a cut or a bloody nose that seemed like it would bleed forever? Though it might have seemed like a long time, it probably did stop pretty quickly. This is because different factors in a person's blood normally work together to plug the opening caused by the cut in a process called blood clotting or coagulation. However, some people have a genetic disorder called hemophilia that causes them to bleed excessively. If a person has hemophilia, he or she is usually missing some of these clotting factors, so it is much more difficult for an opening caused by a cut to be plugged. In this science project, you will investigate how blood clotting normally works, and how it can be affected by an anticoagulant.
Students interested in the above project, or other blood related projects on the Science Buddies website, are made aware of this career:
Creation of these science projects and career resources was underwritten by a generous grant from Novo Nordisk.