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The Ludwig Method: Pancakes and Syrup

When it comes to teaching photosynthesis, Reading High School Science Teacher Kristin Ludwig takes a yummy approach. The class got to snack on thylakoids and stroma, or in layman's terms, pancakes with syrup. The tasty lesson explains how plants convert light energy into chemical energy and then later uses cellular respiration to fuel the organism’s activities, creating what we know as photosynthesis. Students with plates of pancakes in classroom

The thylakoid or pancake in this lesson is the site of photosynthesis. The syrup is the stroma, the liquid area inside the chloroplasts, which reacts with the thylakoid to complete the photosynthesis process. 

Mrs. Ludwig’s lesson not only engages the students but also leaves a memorable impression. Ludwig stated, “I’ve been doing this lesson for about eight or nine years. When I see graduates, they will still ask if I do the green pancakes.” 

When asked if this lesson could be done using any other tasty treat, the answer was no. This is because pancakes represent the scientific components so well. The plate is flat like a leaf, the thylakoids are thin pancake like structures, and the syrup is the liquid stroma. 

All in all, it was a fun learning experience for all RHS students to enjoy.