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dr Monika Majcher Kozieł
Chemia w szkole
Newspaper / Magazine article
Researchers, Teachers
3 – 10 pages
The article is available in the bi-monthly magazine for teachers of chemistry “Chemistry in the School” (‘Chemia w Szkole’)
This is a magazine for chemistry teachers of all types of schools and teachers and students of chemistry. It contains materials on various topics to help teachers improve their teaching of chemistry. It has been available on the publishing market since 1954.
The journal publishes:
- Methodological and didactic solutions to facilitate the proper implementation of the new curriculum and prepare students for final examinations and tests in chemistry at the end of high school;
- practical tips for chemistry experiments and safety in the classroom chemistry;
- Information about the most important achievements of chemistry in the last century;
- tasks, tests, and quizzes with answer keys of Polish and international chemical Olympiads and chemical national competitions for students of junior secondary schools and upper secondary schools;
- Conference Reports written and published by educators of chemistry and teacher trainers, highlighting new educational initiatives;
- news publications: books, popular science books and publications appearing in international journals.

In her article Monika Majcher Kozieł from the Faculty of Health Education from the University of Economy and Law in Kielce concentrates on the chemical values of silkworms and this use in cosmetics.
In her article Mrs koziel mentions the description of the silkworms as the larva or caterpillar of the domesticated silkmoth, Bombyx mori (Latin: "silkworm of the mulberry tree"). She focuses on the fact that it is an economically important insect, being a primary producer of silk. A silkworm's preferred food is white mulberry leaves, but it may also eat the leaves of any other mulberry tree as well as the Osage Orange. It is entirely dependent on humans for its reproduction and does not occur naturally in the wild. Sericulture, the practice of breeding silkworms for the production of raw silk, has been underway for at least 5,000 years in China, from where it spread to Korea and Japan, and later to India and the West.
The author presents a description of the types of silkworms. Mulberry silkworms can be categorized into 3 different, but connected groups or types. The major groups of silkworms fall under the univoltine ('uni-'=one, 'voltine'=brood frequency) and bivoltine categories. The Univoltine breed is generally linked with the geographical area within greater Europe. The eggs of this type hibernate during winter due to the cold climate, and cross fertilise only by spring, generating silk only once annually. The second type of breed is called Bivoltine and is normally found in Asian regions such as China, Japan, and Korea. The breeding process of this type takes place twice annually, a feat made possible through the slightly warmer climates and the resulting two lifecycles. The Polyvoltine breed of mulberry silkworm can only be located in the tropics. The eggs are laid by female moths and hatch within nine to twelve days, so the resulting type can have up to 8 separate lifecycles throughout the year.
Currently, research is focusing on genetics of silkworms and the possibility of genetic engineering. Many hundreds of strains are maintained, and over 400 Mendelian mutations have been described. Another source suggests 1000 inbred domesticated strains are kept worldwide. One useful development for the silk industry are silkworms that can feed on food other than mulberry leaves, including an artificial diet. Research on the genome also raises the possibility of genetically engineering silkworms to produce proteins, including pharmacological drugs, in the place of silk proteins.
Mrs Kozieł concentrates on the cosmetic properties of silkworms as they contain proteins which are natural moisturising factors so useful for human skin, hair and nails. She talks about the properties of fibroin and sericin so needed by our skin by reducing its roughness and enhancing elasticity. She prepares medical and cosmetics uses of the silk proteins used in the production of lotions, creams, gels, masks and moisturizers known for thier restorative properties.
A very good source of info for teachers who want to update their knowledge of chemistry is all around topic. A nice idea for the lesson prepartion for really motivated students in either upper secondary schools or universities to show them the properties and effects of silk protein.
It's a shame the author concentrated on the theoretical part only. may teachers would benefit more it the artictle was equipped with some ready to use tools and materials (worksheets) to be used in the classroom. Or at least let the students reflect on the findings of the author.

Comments about this Publication

Your comments are welcome

Date: 2013.07.10

Posted by Hana Svobodová (Czech Republic)

Message: Dr Monika Majcher Kozieł analyses the development of the research in genom modification in silkworm and the possibilities of applying the research to everyday life. On the practical example HE? shows that the results of genetic engineering can be used in the food industry, cosmetics, or even in pharmacology. He also describes how the individual substances which the modified silkworm produces can affect such essential things as hair and nail growth. I would like to highlight that the extremely complex topic is here presented in a simple and readable way. The article is accompanied by illustrations and presented in an estetically pleasing way.

The article demonstrates the possibility of using chemistry in phenomena present and close to every student\'s daily life. Practical examples should form the basis of teaching (especially in primary schools). Similarly, the article can serve as a source of new informations even for teachers. The article is published in a very interesting magazine which in self is generally a good source of information and ideas for teachers and their practice.

Date: 2013.06.06

Posted by Ewa Marczewska (Poland)

Message: Quite an interesting publication - lightweith and easy to follow even for studentsat different levels. A bit theoretical though - if it had been more hand-on activities it would be more interesting.
i used part of it in my class followed by a more practical project.

National Reports on successful experiences to promote lifelong learning for chemistry The national reports on chemistry successful experiences to promote lifelong learning for chemistry are now available on the related section of the project portal. The reports presents examples of successful experiences in the partner countries and the results of testing of ICT resources with science teachers.