Planning Bio Bottles
Lesson 10 of 12
Objective: SWBAT plan a scientific investigation using a self-contained ecosystem.
I chose to have my students create Bio Bottles because as a closed system, it is easier to control for other potential variables, allowing students to focus only on their outcome. Bio Bottles are also no maintainance.
I began by showing my students a completed Bio Bottle, which is a closed system that can survive without adding anything to it, other than light. I explained they would be building their own bottles, and explained the basic procedure, which can be found at Bottle Biology. I told them they could keep the bottle when we were done with them, but first they would be using them to create an experiment.
Next I took them up to our science lab where all the materials were laid out. I had them look over all of the possible materials, and asked them what they were curious about. I asked them to choose one variable they would want to change so that they could look for some kind of change in their bottles.
Once they took looked over the materials, I brought them back to our room, and we reviewed variables, controls, outcomes, and experimental questions.
Finally, I gave them their Bio Bottle Experiment Plan. For the first time, I allowed them to pick their own groups (it turned out to be partners in most cases), because I wanted them to choose a variable they most wanted to investigate, and this helped make each investigation driven by natural student curiosity.
I had all students turn their plans in, not just a sample like I usually do, because I wanted to collect data from each student for assessment.