Investigating Behavior of Krill
Beth Simmons, Palmer Station (Antarctica) LTER
This activity takes about two 50-minute lab periods.Learn more about Teaching Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness»
See how this Activity supports the Next Generation Science Standards»
Middle School: 1 Performance Expectation, 6 Disciplinary Core Ideas, 5 Cross Cutting Concepts, 11 Science and Engineering Practices
High School: 1 Performance Expectation, 5 Disciplinary Core Ideas, 6 Cross Cutting Concepts, 9 Science and Engineering Practices
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Teaching Tips | Science | Pedagogy |
- Most items needed to teach this activity are found in typical classroom, but it will be necessary 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 have the same effect on shrimp/krill behavior.
- Comments from expert scientist:
- Introduction very clearly connects the behavior and life cycle of krill to climate change
- The graphics are simple yet effective
- The experiment is directly relatable to the actual environmental conditions of krill (other than the species - but behavior is similar!)
- The background information is great and packed full of information.
- It would be great to have the students discuss between themselves (not necessarily answer a question) about the 3 graphics of seasonal variability of krill movement
- I think the resource could be even stronger with some definitions given by students (such as: zooplankton, phytoplankton, forage, etc.)
- Asking students to convert 1 degree C to degrees F (give them the conversion factor)
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. <lik>The educator must provide assessments.