Use this lab in your bacteria, community ecology, or cellular respiration units. Students will use a titration technique to determine the amount of carbon dioxide released by the microorganisms found in various soil samples. The amount of carbon dioxide released can be used to determine the relative abundance of microorganisms in the sample.
What will the students be doing?
The purpose of this lab is to determine whether there are microorganisms present in soil samples. Microorganisms give off carbon dioxide during respiration. Therefore, it is possible to test soil samples for the presence of microorganisms indirectly by determining whether or not carbon dioxide is being given off in the soil. Students will collect different soil samples and test them to see how much carbon dioxide is being produced by the microorganisms in the soil. The amount of carbon dioxide production would be an indication of microorganisms present.
1. To discover whether microorganisms are present in soil by determining if they have given off carbon dioxide gas.
2. To measure the amount of carbon dioxide in each sample.
3. To determine the relative abundance of microorganisms in soil samples.
Materials Needed to Complete Lab:
Soil samples, 250 mL beakers, Water that has been boiled and cooled, Glucose, Phenolphthalien solution, Graduated cylinder, 0.01 M NaOH solution, Filter paper, Droppers, Funnels, 400 mL beakers, Aluminum foil, Masking tape
Your 5 page download will include a lab that is ready to be photocopied and passed out to your students. It will include: Title, Introduction, Purpose, Materials, Safety Precautions, Procedure, Observation Questions, and Data Tables. You can chose to have your students write their own lab reports or you can have them use the included Student Data Sheets on which they can record their data and answer the questions.
I have also included a Teacher Preparation Page. This will include pre-lab discussion, answers to all questions, teacher preparation, and post lab follow up ideas.
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