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Carolina Investigations® for AP® Environmental Science: Primary Consumer Energy Flow Kit (with perishables)

(in stock)


  • Aligned with Big Idea 4 and Essential Knowledge 4.A.6.
  • Emphasizes Science Practices 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7

As an alternative to measuring energy flow through primary productivity, students measure the transfer of energy at a higher trophic level and modify environmental conditions to explore their effects on energy consumption. In this lab, Vanessa cardui (painted lady butterfly) larvae, representing a primary consumer, feed on a growth medium that represents a primary producer. Students investigate how efficiently developing butterflies convert food into body mass. They then analyze results, calculate efficiency, and build food chains by constructing ecological pyramids. The lab requires 10 to 15 days to complete.

This kit provides materials for 30 students working in pairs and ships with perishable material included. Digital teacher's manual, included FREE with kit purchase, is a 12-month eBook license to the Primary Consumer Energy Flow Teacher's Manual and Student Guide.

AP® is a trademark registered and/or owned by the College Board®, which was not involved in the production of, and does not endorse, this product.


Shipping Information or Purchase Restrictions
  • Exclamation icon Painted lady butterflies cannot be released in CT, ND, and WA. Cannot be shipped into Puerto Rico. This item contains living or perishable material and ships via 2nd Day or Overnight delivery.
What’s Included:
  • 1 33-Larva Set of Vanessa cardui with Medium  
  • 15 Plastic Forceps
  • 15 Wooden Spatulas
  • 15 Larva Sorting Brushes
  • 30 Culture Cups with Lids
  • 15 Paper Towels
  • 100 Graph Paper Sheets
  • 1 Teacher’s Manual with Reproducible Student Guide
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Needed But Not Included:
  • 3 Balances (accurate to 0.01 g)
  • 15 Scissors
  • 15 Push Pins
  • 15 Rulers, Metric
  • 15 Permanent Markers
  • 1 Butterfly Habitat (optional)
  • 1 Foil or Plastic Wrap (optional, but helpful)
  • 15 Cups or Other Containers (optional, but helpful)
  • 1 Additional Paper Towels
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