Algal Exercise Program - How do nutrients cycle?
In this module, students will have to recreate conditions from the simulation in the engagement activity. The conditions will include one beaker grown in each of the following: pure water, added nitrogen, added phosphorus, added nitrogen and phosphorus, and one beaker with effluent from the Herring Run. They will be tasked with assembling all five conditions. In addition, they will be tasked with recording data from each of the conditions. In the end they will draw conclusions regarding the needs of algae for extra nutrients.
Students will assess the needs of simple organisms to flourish. Students will tie the success of those organisms to the nutrients that are provided. Students will record and graph growth conditions. Students will use technology to assess the growth of their organisms.
Vernier TDS Experiment
Scoring Rubric for Report
Record Data Sheet
5 one liter plastic beakers (or clear two liter soft dink bottles that have been cleaned and rinsed)
1 stock preparations of algae sensitive to limited phosphorus and nitrogen 
Stocks of nitrogen and phosphorus nutrients
One commercial preparation of fertilizer sterile water
Millipore basic equipment set - aseptic vacuum assembly
CBL and colorimetry probe
1.  Students should be assigned to groups and given materials. As a group they should decide on amounts of water (at least 500 ml), algae (at least 10ml of healthy stock), and nutrients (fertilizer or nitrogen and phosphorus stocks solutions). These factors need to be standardized. Nutrient concentrations will be crucial.
2.  Students should either research or be given proper concentrations of nitrogen and phosphorus and then calculate the amount to be added based on the volume of their condition tanks.
3.  They will also have to decide on light conditions and water levels. When a consensus has been reached, groups should begin to assemble their beakers.
4.. When the beakers have been assembled, students should take primary notes on the conditions in their beakers. They should note changes each class period. Assessment of growth can be made qualititatively, using observations or quantitatively by vacuum filtering water through a filter and counting material caught on filters or by monitoring pigment changes using a CBL colorimeter probe. Alternatively algal counts can be obtained by counting cells under a microscope. If this method is used count 3-5 fields and average. Use a standard amount of sample each time. If time allows, multiple methods of counting may be employed and compared.
Growing algae and algal population method- Vernier info on nitrogen probe - Vernier info on colorimetry -
State Standards
1.1.2- The student will modify or affirm scientific ideas according to accumulated evidence.
1.1.3- The student will critique arguments that are based on faulty, misleading data or on the incomplete use of numbers.
1.2.3- The student will formulate a working hypothesis.
1.2.4- The student will test a working hypothesis.(NTB)
1.2.6- The student will identify appropriate methods for conducting an investigation (independent and dependent variables, proper controls, repeat trials, appropriate sample size, etc.).
1.2.7- The student will use relationships discovered in the lab to explain phenomena observed outside the laboratory.
1.3.1- The student will develop and demonstrate skills in using lab and field equipment to perform investigative techniques.(NTB)
1.3.4- The student will learn the use of new instruments and equipment by following instructions in a manual or from oral direction.(NTB)
1.4.1- The student will organize data appropriately using techniques such as tables, graphs, and webs (for graphs: axes labeled with appropriate quantities, appropriate units on axes, axes labeled with appropriate intervals, independent and dependent variables on correct axes, appropriate title).
1.4.2- The student will analyze data to make predictions, decisions, or draw conclusions.
1.4.6- The student will describe trends revealed by data.
1.4.9- The student will use analyzed data to confirm, modify, or reject an hypothesis.
1.5.1- The student will demonstrate the ability to summarize data (measurements/observations).
1.5.2- The student will explain scientific concepts and processes through drawing, writing, and/or oral communication.
1.5.4- The student will use tables, graphs, and displays to support arguments and claims in both written and oral communication.
1.5.5- The student will create and/or interpret graphics. (scale drawings, photographs, digital images, field of view, etc.)
1.5.7- The student will use, explain, and/or construct various classification systems.
1.5.9- The student will communicate conclusions derived through a synthesis of ideas.
1.6.5- The student will judge the reasonableness of an answer.
1.7.4- The student will recognize mathematics as an integral part of the scientific process.(NTB)
2.5.1- The student will investigate various physical cycles found in the natural world.
3.1.1- The student will be able to describe the unique characteristics of chemical compounds and macromolecules utilized by living systems.
3.2.2- The student will conclude that cells exist within a narrow range of environmental conditions and changes to that environment, either naturally occurring or induced, may cause changes in the metabolic activity of the cell or organism.
3.5.3- The student will investigate how natural and man-made changes in environmental conditions will affect individual organisms and the dynamics of populations.
3.5.4- The student will illustrate how all organisms are part of and depend on two major global food webs that are positively or negatively influenced by human activity and technology.
6.1.1- The student will demonstrate that matter cycles through and between living systems and the physical environment constantly being recombined in different ways. At least nitrogen cycle carbon cycle phosphorus cycle (rock/mineral) hydrologic cycle
6.4.2- Design and conduct the research. Methods of data collection may include field or laboratory questionnaire/opinionnaire
6.4.3- Interpret the findings to draw conclusions and make recommendations to help resolve the issue.
Lesson Resources
Record sheet
Scoring Rubic for Report
Vernier TDS experiment