Key Idea: All organisms, including plants and animals, have mechanisms for storing molecules from food for later use.

Students are expected to know that:

  1. Some of the carbon-containing molecules that become part of an animal’s or plant’s body structures can be used later (as a source of chemical energy or building materials).
  2. Molecules typically used for storage include fats (in both plants and animals) and some carbohydrates, such as starch (in plants).
  3. Molecules used for storage are often stored in specialized structures. Specialized structures for food include fat tissue in animals and seeds in plants, both of which store fat molecules; and seeds, bulbs, and some roots in plants, all of which store starch molecules.

Boundaries:

  1. Items do not assess knowledge of other storage molecules such as triglycerides or glycogen or the chemical or structural formulas of any storage molecules.
Frequency of selecting a misconception

Misconception
ID Number

Student Misconception

Grades
6–8

Grades
9–12

MEM126

Molecules from food are not stored in the bulbs of plants.

53%

60%

MEM125

Molecules from food are not stored in the seeds of plants.

25%

28%

MEM128

Animals cannot store molecules from food in their bodies (AAAS Project 2061, n.d.).

29%

20%

MEM127

Molecules from food are not stored in the fat tissue of animals.

33%

20%

MEM129

Plants cannot store molecules from food in their body structures (AAAS Project 2061, n.d.).

27%

26%

Frequency of selecting a misconception was calculated by dividing the total number of times a misconception was chosen by the number of times it could have been chosen, averaged over the number of students answering the questions within this particular idea.