N/P Student Lab Experiment
This lesson provides students the opportunity to design an experiment to determine the effects of nitrogen and phosphorus in common garden fertilizers on the growth of a population of phytoplankton. Photosynthesis by phytoplankton plays a vital role in the transfer of carbon dioxide and oxygen in the global ecosystems. In this unit study of nutrient cycles, students investigate how variable amounts of nutrients affect the daily growth and carrying capacity of phytoplankton. Through the design of their own experiments students will gather data to share and communicate with their classmates. They will be developing experience in the planning and execution of experimental design as well as data analysis and communication.
Author: Megan O’Neill, Kathy Couchon, Katie Sard, Katie Lodes, Slade Sapora, Kama Almasi; EARTH 2015