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Student-as-Practitioner activities allow Biochemistry majors to do science, not just learn about it, both inside and outside of the classroom. In many courses (such as those in general chemistry, thermodynamics, instrumental analysis, and biochemistry), students design and run their own experiments. Requiring students to participate in experiment design mirrors actual laboratory investigations where the final answer is unknown to both the student and the instructor. In addition, students are required to present their findings to their classmates and the instructor in both written and oral presentations. Students have explored the conditions under which kidney stones form, studied the impact of different preparation methods on the presence of fatty acids in French fries, and studied the metabolic functions of yeast and sugar substitutes.
Outside of the laboratory, students have done independent research in the Lakeland College Undergraduate Research Experience (LURE). Projects have examined the causes and prevention of protein aggregation which is strongly associated with diseases such as Alzheimer’s. Building on their classroom work, LURE students have presented their findings at National American Chemical Society Meetings in Chicago and New Orleans as well as in oral presentations at the undergraduate research meetings held at Argonne National Laboratories. In addition, students in the Biochemistry program also assist with Lakeland’s Chemistry Club, which conducts educational events at local high schools, in the Lakeland Science and Engineering Fair, and with Girl Scouts in the Sheboygan County area.