Growth and Population Dynamics

The growth and population dynamics lab is purposely multifaceted. It can be used to simply address questions of cell growth, including lag, log, and stationary phases in microbial cultures, but can easily be expanded to encompass questions of population density and sustainability relative to environmental resources. The lab can be used to look issues including including population growth in response to food abundance and shortage and the effects of environmental change (temperature, salinity, water quality, introduction of competitors, etc) on population growth and maintenance. The lab exploits Tetrahymena’s natural lag, log, stationary, crash growth cycle, allowing students to create conditions that examine specific effects on each phase of the cycle, e.g., by input of additional nutrients, removal of nutrients, environmental changes, and changes in population density. Students are encouraged to design their own experiments asking fundamental questions about growth, population, and sustainability.

Module Protocols

Middle School, High School

Relevant Concepts

Population dynamics; Science as a Process; Growth and Survival of Organisms

Next Generation Science Standards Relationships

High School: HS-LS1-3 | HS-LS2-1 | HS-LS2-2 | HS-LS3-2

Middle School: MS-LS1-1 | MS-LS1-2 | MS-LS1-5 | MS-LS2-1 | MS-LS4-4 | MS-LS4-6

NYS Science Curriculum Guideline Relationships

Key Ideas 1.1 | 1.2 | 1.3 | 4.4 | 4.5 | 4.6