Monday, September 22, 2014

Biology Class—Pond Cultures

In Week 2 of biology Class, the kids collected 4 samples of pond water, adding a different type of food to each jar—hay, soil, egg yolk, and rice. They then let the cultures sit for 3-5 days. When the containers were opened, they were quite stinky!

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The students made slides from each of the cultures and put them under the microscope to look for microscopic organisms. They found a few (the hay culture seemed to be the most prolific), including paramecium and volvox. The volvox was quite fun to watch—it looked like a ball rolling across the slide! We learned that a volvox colony consists of many volvox that form together in a ball shape, each with a flagellum that propels it.

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The students were divided into groups of three. While one group worked at the microscope, the others each drew specimens that I found online.

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I’m still at a point of figuring out how much we can accomplish in 1 1/2 hours and the best way for six students to share one microscope. Over all, I think it went well, though.

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