Operation Allelopathy: An Experiment Investigating an Alternative to Synthetic Agrochemicals
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SourceJ. Chem. Educ. 2014, 91, 570−574
Synthetic herbicides represent a serious problem in modern agriculture because they are not biodegradable and can accumulate in the soil and in the groundwater, a situation that allows them to enter the trophic chain and ultimately leads to human exposure. Allelopathic chemicals offer an effective alternative to the synthetic compounds. The aim of this experiment is to highlight the differences between chemical and biological control of diseases in crops and to demonstrate the use of natural fungicides and herbicides as alternatives to synthetic chemicals. The experiment involves an evaluation by students of the potential of plant extracts as an alternative to synthetic agrochemicals to identify new ecological farming techniques that could be applied in agriculture. In an effort to encourage 1800 students in high school (14 to 16 years old) to have an interest in science, technology, and innovation, the third edition of the Summer Science Campus was organized by the Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology and the Ministry of Education, Culture, and Sports with support from the foundation Obra Social “la Caixa”.
Subjectshigh school / introductory chemistry; environmental chemistry; laboratory instruction; hands-on learning / manipulatives; agricultural chemistry; bioanalytical chemistry; natural products; plant chemistry
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