This is a fun lab investigation that can be used either to introduce or reinforce scientific processes and methods. Students will be investigating the effect of a variable of their choosing on a simple aquatic plant, duckweed.
I run this lab for 10 days, with my students working in collaborative teams, but you can certainly vary the length of time. There is a great deal of room for modification in the way the investigation is conducted.
Students need simple, easily attained materials: duckweed (Lemna minor), hand lenses, petri plates, graduated cylinders, and a variable of their choosing such as lemon juice, salt, light, etc.
This product includes:
~an internet search to learn about duckweed
~an introduction to working with duckweed where they'll make observations and
learn how to count them
~a team brainstorming worksheet where they'll set up their investigation
~procedural directions to set up their colonies, draw their data table(s) and keep
their daily lab notes
~an editable lab report direction sheet for the final lab report. You can edit this to
reflect whatever level of rigor you want. I have my students collaborate on their
report using Google Docs, which they enjoy.
Your students will enjoy working with live organisms and seeing the effect of their variable. You can walk your students through many of the steps, or "let them loose" to work through it on their own. I hope you and your students enjoy it as much as we do!