EDUCATION: Everyday Chemistry

Science  23 May 2003:
Vol. 300, Issue 5623, pp. 1211b
DOI: 10.1126/science.300.5623.1211b

ChemCases entices college students to learn chemistry by exploring the development of familiar products, from the fat substitute olestra to unleaded gasoline. Sponsored by Kennesaw State University in Georgia, the dozen case studies explain not just chemical details but also the economic, safety, and other decisions behind the inventions. One case study tracks the invention of the sports drink Gatorade, which began in 1965 when the football coach at the University of Florida, Gainesville, asked researchers to concoct something to recharge his tiring players. Students learn about chemical concepts such as osmosis and sugar metabolism, as well as a U.S. decision to ban an original Gatorade ingredient—the artificial sweetener cyclamate—and a patent brouhaha over the popular drink.


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