Target Group: Year 12

Maximum Students: 25

Program Times: Weekdays 10am – 2pm (or as negotiated)

The cell is a dynamic system of interacting molecules that define life. An understanding of the workings of the cell enables an appreciation of both the capabilities and the limitations of living organisms.

In this unit the students examine the structure and function of enzymes through the example of amylase.

Students undergo a recap/revision of protein structure, and using correct laboratory techniques, conduct experiments to create a standard curve for amylase activity and determine optimum conditions for amylase activity in relation to temperature and pH.

Student’s lab work and results are often used for assessment task work.

Key Learning Outcomes:

Students are able to:

  • understand that enzymes work best in optimal conditions (ie temperature & pH)
  • determine optimal conditions for amylase through practical experimentation.
  • recognise the connection between their experimental results and the human body.
  • develop accurate interpretations and apply these to broader examples
  • conduct laboratory work using accepted laboratory procedures

Amylase demonstrates the learning addressed through VCE Study Biology Units 3 and 4: 2017 – 2012.  In particular, it addresses:

Area of Study 1

How do cellular processes work?

  • They model the formation of DNA and proteins from their respective subunits.
  • Students learn why the chemistry of the cell takes place within a narrow range of relatively low temperatures. They examine how reactions, including photosynthesis and cellular respiration, are made up of many steps that are controlled by enzymes and assisted by coenzymes. Students explain the mode of action of enzymes and the role of coenzymes in the reactions of the cell and investigate the factors that affect the rate of cellular reactions.

Outcome 1:

  • Nucleic acids and proteins
  • Structure and regulation of biochemical pathways.