Login or Register

800.334.5551 Live Chat (offline)

Food Chains and Energy Flow Kit (with perishables)

Item # 187104P Exclusive This product is exclusive to Carolina Biological Supply. With Digital This kit includes 1-year access to digital resources including videos, digital teacher’s manuals, printable student guides, interactive lessons, editable assessment questions, and more.

Product Highlights

  • Construct a model food chain for a system of microorganisms and develop a mathematical model for energy transfer between trophic levels.
  • High school laboratory investigation with enough materials for 30 students working in pairs.
  • Carolina Kits 3D®—Labs that use phenomena to support NGSS and 3-dimensional instruction.
  • Kit includes perishable materials for immediate use.



In stock and available to ship.

Students are introduced to an aquatic food web diagram that has 3 missing “mystery” organisms. After drawing inferences about those mystery organisms, a microscopic investigation is done to solve a “who eats whom” mystery. Students have a chance to revise any cases of mistaken identity. Next, students conduct and interpret a model of energy flow through a food chain. They perform calculations using their data and based on the 10% rule. Using these numbers, they consider how the model could be improved, and explain how it applies to the aquatic food web. Throughout, students seek to construct and refine their understanding of energy flow and matter cycles to answer the driving question, “How does energy flow through food chains in an ecosystem?” Note: Be sure to carefully plan the arrival of your perishables; Didinium will starve to death if not used within 1 day of receiving the culture.

Time Requirement
Teacher prep, a 50-minute class period. Pre-lab, investigation, and assessment, approximately 4 class periods.

Digital Resources
Includes 1-year access to digital resources that support 3-dimensional instruction for NGSS. Digital resources may include a teacher manual and student guide, pre-lab activities and setup videos, phenomenon videos, simulations, and post-lab analysis and assessments.

Performance Expectations

Crosscutting Concepts
Energy and Matter
Systems and System Models

Disciplinary Core Ideas
LS2.B: Cycles of Matter and Energy Transfer in Ecosystems

Science and Engineering Practices
Using Mathematics and Computational Thinking
Developing and Using Models

Learning Objectives

  • Construct a food chain using microscopic observations of 3 microorganisms.
  • Describe the nature of how energy flows through food chains.
  • Use physical and mathematical models to analyze the loss of energy between trophic levels.
  • Explain how the flow of energy through food chains obeys the law of conservation of energy.

Prerequisite Knowledge and Skills
By the time students begin these investigations, they should know why energy is important to living things. They should have a basic understanding of the energy dynamics of photosynthesis and cellular respiration and have a degree of familiarity with aquatic ecosystems. They also should be independently proficient with the proper use and handling of a compound microscope.

  • This item is only available from Carolina Biological Supply Company.
  • This item contains living or perishable material and ships via 2nd Day or Overnight delivery to arrive on a date you specify during Checkout. To ensure freshness during shipping, a Living Materials Fee may apply to orders containing these items.

Product Families Featuring This Item:


This item ships with living or perishable materials (all items). Please select a delivery date during Checkout.

Components Qty Included?
Paramecium Cultures   2 Included
Didinium Cultures   2 Included
Yeast 1 Included
Congo Red Stain, 1%, 30 mL 1 Included
Microscope Slides 144 Included
Coverslips 200 Included
Pipets 70 Included
Plastic Cups, 1oz 16 Included
Plastic Cups, 2oz 16 Included
Plastic Cups, 2.5oz 16 Included
Plastic Cups, 4oz 16 Included
Plastic Cups, 9oz 16 Included
Plastic Trays 16 Included
Glass Sirring Rod 1 Included
Carolina Science Online® Resources (1-year subscription) 1 Included
Teacher’s Manual and Reproducible Student Guide 1 Included
Document Camera or Overhead Projector Needed, Not Included
Compound Microscopes 15 Needed, Not included
Graduated Cylinders, 50-mL 15 Needed, Not included
Permanent Markers 15 Needed, Not included
Beaker, 250 mL 1 Needed, Not included
Hot Plate 1 Needed, Not included
Flame Source (candle or Bunsen burner) 1 Needed, Not included
Warm Water, 250-mL Needed, Not included
Heat Resistant Gloves 1 Needed, Not Included
Push Pin 1 Needed, Not included