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Investigating Behavior of Krill

Beth Simmons, Palmer Station (Antarctica) LTER

In this lab activity, students use brine shrimp as a proxy for krill to study how environmental factors impact behavioral responses of krill in the unique environment of Antarctica.

This activity takes about two 50-minute lab periods.

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Climate Literacy
About Teaching Climate Literacy

Climate's role in habitats ranges and adaptation of species to climate changes
About Teaching Principle 3
Other materials addressing 3a

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Teaching Tips | Science | Pedagogy | Technical Details

Teaching Tips

  • Most items found in typical classroom, but may need to order some supplies and brine shrimp in advance.
  • Background information for teachers is included. Additional background information for students provided by the educator might be helpful.
  • Instructions to students in both the lab activity and extended challenge might need additional clarification from educator, such as the purpose of lids for cups, diagram/photo of lab setups, labeling of containers, clear learning objectives, explanation of the term proxy and why brine shrimp are a good substitute for krill.

About the Science

  • This is a lab activity in which students use brine shrimp as a substitute for krill to investigate how changes in environmental conditions (light, water temperature, water movement/currents, and magnetism) affect brine shrimp behavior.
  • Gravity and magnetism are lumped together, perhaps implying that they are either synonymous or have the same effect on shrimp/krill behavior.
  • Passed initial science review - expert science review pending.

About the Pedagogy

  • Activity is a fun, hands-on investigation for students.
  • Well thought-out lab with explicit LTER connection. Uses common supplies and provides range of suggestions for alternative methods of delivery. Some background information, activity sheets, and follow-on inquiries provided; educator must provide assessments.

Technical Details/Ease of Use

  • Educators can use materials list to order and acquire common lab materials.

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