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In the Why is the Water Green? Pollution Laboratory Kit for environmental science, examine the effects of common pollutants on an organism that is abundant in all aquatic environments—algae.

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Examine the effects of common pollutants on an organism that is abundant in all aquatic environments—algae! Simulated fertilizer run-off containing nitrates and phosphates is added to locally collected algae-rich pond water or to purchased algae cultures. The amount of growth is compared against control samples without adding nutrients. Students also examine the algal cells using a microscope and record cell counts. After completion of this activity, students will understand how fertilizer run-off leads to algae blooms and why nitrate and phosphate pollution is an important environmental concern.

Enough materials provided for a class of 30 students working in pairs. Desmids cultures are requited and available separately.


Correlation to Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)

Science & Engineering Practices

Asking questions and defining problems
Analyzing and interpreting data
Planning and carrying out investigations
Engaging in argument from evidence

Disciplinary Core Ideas

MS-LS2.B: Cycle of Matter and Energy Transfer in Ecosystems
HS-LS2.B: Cycle of Matter and Energy Transfer in Ecosystems

Crosscutting Concepts

Patterns
Cause and effect
Scale, proportion, and quantity
Energy and matter

Performance Expectations

HS-LS2-4. Use mathematical representations to support claims for the cycling of matter and flow of energy among organisms in an ecosystem.