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The European Network For Science Teachers

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Drink and Think – Components of Energy Drinks and the Chemistry behind them (iStage 3)

Getränke mit Kick – Inhaltsstoffe von Energydrinks und ihre Chemie (iStage 3)

Tired and played out? Nearly everyone has reached for an energy drink or an isotonic drink in order to get a quick boost. But what are their components and how do they affect our bodies?

In the unit ‚Drink and Think’ chemical experiments are presented in which the component caffeine is detected, extracted and its concentration determined. Students learn to use various methods, such as classical thin layer chromatography, solvent extraction as well as an analysis of the caffeine concentration by making use of the Beer-Lambert law. With the help of simple focus exercises students are also able to test the influence of isotonic drinks and water on their own level of performance.

The teaching unit is taken from the brochure ‘iStage 3 - Football in Science Teaching’ from the topic ‘body’. The complete brochure can be ordered free of charge via mail ( or downloaded. It was developed by 20 teachers from 15 countries around Europe. The project was proudly supported by SAP.

Authors: Kirsten Biedermann (DE), Emmanuel Thibault (FR)

All additional material for the brochure can be found here.

Try out this teaching idea and take part in the ‘European STEM League’! #EuropeanSTEMLeague

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