Replacing step-by-step procedures with more flexibility in methods is one way to reform laboratories for biology majors. But what if de-cookbooking a lab allowed for an experimentation in cooking?
Do you remember the traditional biological molecules lab? It may have involved looking for oil spots on paper towels. Not exactly the way to "kick off" your career as a biologist.
Instead, I advocate for a guided experimentation of chocolate chip cookie baking. It is a fun, meaningful, and engaging way to start exploring biological molecules. What happens to the cookies if we change the fat from butter (saturated fat) to unsaturated (oil)? What happens if we add more (or less) egg protein? What is the result from various types of sugars (carbohydrates)?