Biology Students Blend Macromolecules in “GSB Next Top Smoothie” Competition

Upper Schoolers went head-to-head in a unique—and tasty—academic competition: GSB’s Next Top Smoothie.

As part of the project-based assignment, students in Mrs. Heller’s Biology class worked in teams to create a custom Smoothie recipe built for the nutritional needs of a specific target market.

The project allowed each team to apply their knowledge of organic macromolecules to determine how different proteins, lipids, carbohydrates, and nucleic acids will function in the body down to an atomic level. After determining the target market that they wanted to reach—distance runners, weightlifters, soccer players, basketball players, lacrosse players—students worked in groups to identify the chemical structure of each macromolecule, what percentage they would need to benefit their target audience, and select ingredients that would fit their dietary needs.

With a plan in place, teams used indicators in the biology lab to test their smoothie, make adjustments, and finalize their blend to better benefit their market segment. At the completion of the project, each team presented their smoothie outside of the Chapin building along with a promotional commercial about their product and a sales pitch explaining its biological implications and how organic molecules are broken down within the body. After the votes were tallied, Team "Lax Fuel" came out on top with the best custom smoothie built specifically for lacrosse players.

All in all, Next Top Smoothie served as a perfect blend of creative and research-based decision making.

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