5 Creative Ways to Teach Fehling’s Test to Help Students Understand

Akanksha Saxena

Fehling’s test is a widely used chemical assay that allows the detection and quantification of reducing sugars in various substances. Interestingly, this test was first developed by German chemist Hermann von Fehling in 1849 to analyze sugar levels in urine, aiding in the diagnosis of diabetes mellitus- a breakthrough in medical history. 

Students often feel overwhelmed by Fehling’s test due to its intersection of Biology and Chemistry. We have compiled 5 creative ways that educators can put to use in their next session to simplify the Science underlying this test.

1. Use Interactive Models and Simulations

Interactive models and simulations can be great tools when you are trying to simplify the intricacies of this food test specific to reducing sugars. By incorporating virtual simulation like the one from Labster, you can make your students observe and manipulate the components involved in the test like reducing and non-reducing sugars, Fehling’s reagent, etc. 

Explaining the underlying chemical reaction of this test and the formation of a brick-red precipitate becomes easier when such interactive tools enable students to ‘visualize the color changes’ in the first place. Additionally, interactive models also demonstrate the ‘molecular structures of reducing sugars’ and ‘interactions of sugars’ and their role in the test. By actively engaging with these tools, students can develop a more scientific understanding of Fehling’s test.

Preview of Make predictions simulation.

2. Learning with Games and Activities

Educators can enhance student engagement and comprehension of Fehling’s test by gamifying the learning experience. You can create interactive quizzes where students earn badges for correctly identifying reducing and non-reducing sugars. You can also improve their understanding of the molecular nature of Fehling’s reagent by creating an interactive activity where there are multiple options of molecular structures to choose from. 

Labster reinforces scientific knowledge through its gamified approach where students can make predictions on food samples containing reducing sugars by employing Fehling’s test. As they get step-by-step guidance from Labster’s virtual assistant Dr. One during the test, they can playfully learn the underlying principles.   

3. Infusing Technology into Study Plans

Educators can enhance the learner’s experience by utilizing advancements in technological tools when teaching Fehling’s test and related topics. A recent study by LM Castaneda and SW Bindman demonstrated the ‘usefulness of technology in student assessment’ by showcasing how teachers effectively evaluate new and deeper learning outcomes when integrating virtual reality in the classroom. 

We recommend educators make the most of these tools like the use of interactive visualizations to illustrate the chemical reactions underlying Fehling’s test. You can also opt for Fehling’s Test Simulation by Labster where students can perform the test on a variety of food samples and test their existing knowledge of food macromolecules, and reducing sugars in particular. 

Preview of Perform Fehling's test simulation.
Discover Labster's Fehling’s Test virtual lab today!

4. Inspiring Learners by Connecting to Career Prospects

Students being introduced to Fehling’s test need to be made aware of its relevance by quoting the career prospects. This little activity has a great potential to motivate them to learn its details with interest. They can consider paths in food science and technology, where knowledge of Fehling’s test is valuable for quality control and product development

Educators can arrange webinars and expert talks to expose students to these broader ranges of career options. Careers in clinical diagnostics like medical laboratory technology also utilize this test for detecting sugar-related disorders. Furthermore, pursuing research in biochemistry or chemical analysis offers opportunities to delve deeper into the principles underlying Fehling’s test and its applications in diverse fields.

5. Connecting the Topic to Real-World Applications

Educators can establish the relevance of Fehling’s test in the real world by highlighting its critical role in different fields. For example, you can its application in the food industry. Fehling’s test is crucial in ‘determining the sugar content of food products’. Excessive sugar levels can impact product quality, taste, and consumer health. By performing Fehling’s test, food manufacturers can ensure compliance with regulatory standards, maintain consistent product quality, and make informed decisions regarding sugar content. This demonstrates how Fehling’s test directly influences food production, product labeling, and consumer well-being.

Final thoughts

In the dynamic landscape of education, educators must rise to the challenge of embracing innovative approaches and leveraging technology. To meet the needs of the new generation of learners, educators must stay proactive. Labster's interactive simulations support educators in adopting a proactive approach, enabling them to make a difference in creating engaging learning experiences.

Preview of Explore the apparatus simulation.
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  1. Castaneda, L. M., Bindman, S. W., & Divanji, R. A. (2023). Don’t forget to assess: How teachers check for new and deeper learning when integrating virtual reality in the classroom. Journal of Research on Technology in Education, 55(2), 210-229.
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