Item #: FB2049
In the Energy Dynamics Inquiry Lab Kit for AP® Biology, explore the question of where a tree comes from. Organisms are easy to maintain and make a model ecosystem.
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Big Idea 4, Investigation 10
Where does the mass of a tree come from? Using easy-to-maintain organisms as a model ecosystem, explore this question and others! Students master the challenging concepts of gross primary and net productivity, along with the link between conservation of mass and conservation of energy in ecosystems.
The lab begins with a Baseline Activity that provides a procedure to determine the change in mass of producers and primary consumers in an ecological pyramid. Students grow wheatgrass from seeds and find the change in mass, then explore the concept of energy transfer by converting this dry mass to calories. Students track the growth of mealworms (Tenebrio) as they feast on wheat bran. The results show a decrease in energy stored in the consumers compared to the producers. In the inquiry portion of the lab, students are challenged to consider all the variables affecting growth in the model ecosystem and choose one to investigate.
Includes detailed teacher notes, reproducible student handouts and enough materials for eight groups of students to complete the baseline and additional inquiry activities. Mealworms, a lab oven and greenhouse with grow lights are required and available separately.
Materials Included in Kit:
Aluminum foil, full roll, regular, 12" x 25 feet roll
Fertilizer, liquid, 10 mL
Vermiculite, 8 qt
Dishes, weighing, 1.5 g, 3½" x 3½" x 1", 16
Flinn® mealworm diet, 800 g
Lid for container, 8
Natural container, 24
Plastic wrap, 200 feet
Teaspoons, plastic, 8
Watering trays, 11" x 21", 2
Wheat seed, 1 oz, 2
Live Material: Mealworms (Tenebrio larvae) sold separately as Flinn Catalog No. LM1113.
Additional Materials: Apples as needed, 0.01-g precision balance (shared), camera (optional, shared), dissection needle or pin, grow area with grow lights (shared), heat-resistant gloves (shared), laboratory oven with thermometer (shared), permanent marker, paper towels, tap water.
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Correlation to Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)†
Science & Engineering Practices
Asking questions and defining problems
Developing and using models
Planning and carrying out investigations
Analyzing and interpreting data
Using mathematics and computational thinking
Constructing explanations and designing solutions
Obtaining, evaluation, and communicating information
Disciplinary Core Ideas
HS-PS1.B: Chemical Reactions
HS-LS1.B: Growth and Development of Organisms
HS-LS1.C: Organization for Matter and Energy Flow in Organisms
HS-LS2.A: Interdependent Relationships in Ecosystems
HS-LS2.B: Cycle of Matter and Energy Transfer in Ecosystems
Scale, proportion, and quantity
Systems and system models
Energy and matter
Structure and function
Stability and change
HS-PS1-7. Use mathematical representations to support the claim that atoms, and therefore mass, are conserved during a chemical reaction.
HS-LS1-3. Plan and conduct an investigation to provide evidence that feedback mechanisms maintain homeostasis.
HS-LS1-5. Use a model to illustrate how photosynthesis transforms light energy into stored chemical energy.
HS-LS1-7. Use a model to illustrate that cellular respiration is a chemical process whereby the bonds of food molecules and oxygen molecules are broken and the bonds in new compounds are formed, resulting in a net transfer of energy.
HS-LS2-1. Use mathematical and/or computational representations to support explanations of factors that affect carrying capacity of ecosystems at different scales.
HS-PS2-4. Use mathematical representations of Newton’s Law of Gravitation and Coulomb’s Law to describe and predict the gravitational and electrostatic forces between objects.