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Science Objects are two hour on-line interactive inquiry-based content modules that help teachers better understand the science content they teach. This Science Object, co-developed between FDA and NSTA, is the first of four Science Objects in the Nutrition SciPack. It demonstrates that all living organisms require food for functioning, renewal, and growth. Animals use both plants and other animals as food. Food provides the necessary energy for bodily movement and physiological processes. It also provides substances needed to repair and create bodily structures and regulate physiological processes such as cellular activity or immune responses. Nutrients, the substances and elements in food that the body requires, are classified according to their composition. For humans, these nutrients include carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins, minerals, and water. Carbohydrates, fats, and protein are present in foods in larger amounts. Vitamins and minerals are present in only small amounts. Water, an essential nutrient, is part of every body cell and contributes to all physiological processes.
I love to eat food. I think it's good to use this resource as I teach my future students because nutrition is very important.
Teaching children about nutrition is important such as teaching the other things in life. Some students are not exposed to drinking enough of water, Water is a vital and very important to our bodies, but most children are exposed to juice and Kool-Aid. I have noticed that some students are not exposed to certain type of vegetables. I use to go through the lunch line with the students and had to help them chose a vegetable choice. At school is the only place some students receive a nutritional and healthy lunch. I am glad that nutrition has been added. Healthy children becomes healthy adults something that can be passed down to generations.
This science object melds the information from the cell structure and function science objects and chemical reaction science objects. Great application of this information that students will find interesting.
Robin Willig (Rye Brook, NY)
I find this resource beneficial for teachers who want to teach a nutrition unit. What I learned from this resource is that there are multiple science subjects you can incorporate with nutition. I also like that it answers questions one would not really think about such as "is it possible to live on air?". Overall I give this five stars because of the helpfulness and details.
I really enjoy Science Objects. In 1-3 hours, the Nutrition: What is Food? Science Object will help me re-learn, refresh, or learn for the first time some critical science concepts I will have to know to obtain my Science Educator credentials. I appreciate that I can complete them at my own pace, and that, if used as park of a SciPack, I have access to a content expert to go to for help. The NSTA Learning Center Science Objects are very beneficial! Not only will they enrich my teaching, the knowledge will enrich my life.
Naomi Beverly (Marietta, GA)
This will be my second year teaching third grade students about nutrition and the digestive system. This module was perfect. It gave me the background to help me understand the complexities behind the simple topics that I will be teaching my students. I wish I had read this last year.
Just what is food? This definitely answers the question!
I am so glad that I took the time to review this free NSTA resource. I am currently presenting the unit, "Living / Not Living" to my 6th grade students and there are several images and facts concerning the needs of "Living Things" that includes proper nutrition. Through the "weaving" of content I was able to introduce and reinforce several of Colorado's state standards.
Alyce Dalzell (Peyton, CO)
This Object was highly interactive, and self-led, which I appreciated. It reviewed basic knowledge of the body systems and plant and animal systems before giving an overview of the components of good and what the body requires - and why. I appreciated learning more about the specific elements found in food and the function they play in bodies. This object is a modern version to the health classes I took while in middle and high school; it was interesting to see updates such as the greater varieties of grains and dairy. However, the biggest deficiency I found was in the explanation of fats. I found this less reader-friendly and less helpful in terms of good versus bad fats. I had hoped to read more about the issues surrounding hydrogenated fats versus the fats found in whole milk and other pure dairy products like cheese and butter. Overall, a good summation and a good review. I would like to learn more of the topic.
Sarah A (Gallup, NM)
This Sci Pack has a lot of great information for teachers to review before working with students on a nutrition unit. The pack goes through the building blocks of food, carbohydrates, fats, and proteins, their components and why the body needs them. I feel like I could actually use some of the animations and pictures with my students to help them understand the food cycle and why we need to eat healthy.
Overall, it was useful.
Great information, easily absorbed. Some technical glitches that cause your answers to be marked incorrectly. And some confusing/frustrating information-like the food pyramid categories are confusing with items in multiple categories now.
Overall-informative and I really liked the interactive activities.
I did this lesson at the end of my anatomy unit. This lesson really brought all the concepts together and bring in the real-life aspect for the students. My students had a great time with it and the interactive part was a really nice touch. Students came up to the Promethean board and on their laptops interactive with the material.
In terms of general layout of information, this is a helpful resource to help students navigate into an introduction of the different types of nutrients that are present in varying food types, how these nutrients get there in the first place, and their roles in the body. They also provide helpful graphics, interactive diagrams, and readings of text to teach of where the nutrients come from, and their impact in the body. However, there are a few areas of issue. One is in that the animations and diagrams rely on the use of Adobe Flash; in 2020, Adobe will be ending all Web based support of Flash, making any online material utilizing it unusable. In order to keep this science object open for use in the future, the interfaces need to be redone to run off of some other software, like HTML5. The other issues arises from how many of the current standards of the FDA concerning diet are slow to change with the proliferation of scientific data contradicting aspects of their regulations, as well as corporate finances influence these regulations. In terms of cooperate misguidance, an example is how dairy is portrayed as an essential source of calcium. Upon closer inspection, the calcium levels in dairy products pale in comparison to those found in meats, and even more so from dark leafy greens. However, to support corporate interests, dairy companies handily donate finances towards the FDA's efforts, to guide people to buy their products. Finally, FDA warnings about how fats cause heart disease show an example of how stagnant their regulations are to change their policies with new scientifically supported data. This belief arose in the 1960's and 70's that "if you eat fat, you become fat" in the debate for whether sugar or fat caused heart disease. Since then, we have learned that the metabolism breaks down foods in a way that does not allow for that, and that in fact LDL cholesterol, which upon buildup leads to heart disease, is the byproduct of sugar consumption in the diet.
Andrew J (Munroe Falls, OH)