Jump to this Activity »
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.

Learn more about Teaching Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness»

Notes From Our Reviewers The CLEAN collection is hand-picked and rigorously reviewed for scientific accuracy and classroom effectiveness. Read what our review team had to say about this resource below or learn more about how CLEAN reviews teaching materials
Teaching Tips | Science | Pedagogy | Technical Details

Teaching Tips

  • 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.
    Possible Enhancements:
    - 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.

Technical Details/Ease of Use

  • Educators can use materials list to acquire common lab materials.
Entered the Collection: April 2018 Last Reviewed: September 2016

Jump to this Activity »