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Lindsay Oura EFB ’03
Music and macromolecules

Chuck Buxbaum FNRM ’94
Students intall solar

Andrew Holz ES ’04
Surprised in NYC

Mary Kiernan CHE ’81
A “terrific” college experience

Carbs set to music? Yeah Yeah!

ouraEverybody knows that putting the alphabet to music can make it easier for preschoolers to learn their ABCs.

Lindsay Oura EFB ’03 figures it also helps high school students learn about macromolecules.

At Woburn Memorial High School in Woburn, Mass., where Oura teaches 10th-grade biology and 12th-grade anatomy and physiology, students learn that “carbs are macromolecules of life” to a tune that is part techno, part alternative, part pop. More recent alumni can consider this description, bestowed by a couple of current ESF students. “It’s kind of like Hellogoodbye meets The Yeah Yeah Yeahs.”

Carbs are Macromolecules of Life

carbs, lipids, proteins, nucleic acids,
carbs, lipids, proteins, nucleic acids,
carbs, lipids, proteins, nucleic acids,
macromolecules of life (2x)

carbohydrates also known as carbs
give you short-term energy
and are made of the elements
carbon, hydrogen, oxygen
their monomers are monosaccharides
single sugars
carbs are macromolecules of life

Relying on more traditional techniques, Oura also introduces her students to news clippings that prove science is relevant to their health (“Drug-resistant strains of bacteria on the rise”) and sparks discussions that bring science debates down to a personal level (Would you clone your cat?).

“When I can connect what they are supposed to learn with their lives, that’s golden,” she said.

Oura said her ESF education taught her to look at the whole picture instead of just one small aspect of it. “It provided me with a very diverse background in all different topics: mycology, dendrology, herpetology, cell physiology, toxicology. There was really a great array of courses to get a solid foundation in biological topics. 

“A lot of kids take my class and go to college to study health sciences. It’s really exciting to see kids decide to go on for more education, and to hear them say, ‘I want to try nursing now that I’ve had this class,’” she said. “I love it. I wouldn’t be doing it if I wasn’t into it.”

You can listen to the MP3 version Oura’s macromolecules song, as recorded by Darron Burke of Makeshift Studio. 

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