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Succession in a Hay Infusion

$9.95 - $98.80

Product Highlights

  • Gathering evidence over time, students observe and describe patterns in the relationships among populations within a hay infusion serving as a model pond.
  • High school laboratory investigation with enough materials for 8 lab groups.
  • Carolina Kits 3D® —Labs that use phenomena to support NGSS and 3-dimensional instruction.

3 Product Options


Students explore the phenomenon of how ecosystems change over time and how these changes follow a general pattern called succession. During the experiment, students set up a mini pond using a hay infusion, protist cultures, and algae cultures to model a pond ecosystem. Student groups make observations and take samples of assigned portions of the pond, collecting evidence about changes in abiotic and biotic factors. Groups also create microscale pond models from test tubes—a control microscale pond, which mimics the features of the larger class pond, and a microscale pond with change to 1 or more parameters—to determine how changes would impact the ecosystem. Student observations and data collection take place over the course of 4 to 6 weeks as students strive to answer the driving question, “How do biological communities in a model pond ecosystem change over time?”

Time Requirement
Teacher prep, approximately 1 class period. Set up, pre-lab, investigation, and assessment, approximately 7 to 9 class periods over the course of 4 to 6 weeks.

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
Stability and Change

Disciplinary Core Ideas
LS2.C: Ecosystem Dynamics, Functioning, and Resilience

Science and Engineering Practices
Developing and Using Models

Learning Objectives

  • Identify and draw microorganisms observed in a hay infusion.
  • Identify and describe changes observed in biotic and abiotic factors in a micro-ecosystem.
  • Explain ecological succession in a micro-ecosystem on the basis of patterns observed in the relationships in such a community over time.

Prerequisite Knowledge and Skills
Students should be familiar with terms that describe the structure and components of an ecosystem (biotic and abiotic factors, food chain, food web, species, population, habitat, trophic level, niche, and ecosystem). They should also know how to operate a microscope.




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