Reflection: Real World Applications Population Explosion (Yeast Lab) (Day #3 of 3) - Section 4: Closure: What did we learn? Where do we go from here?


To this point in the unit students have learned about the nature of Isle Royale; a real-world example of a (mostly) closed system. The goal of this yeast lab was to model the changes that beset natural populations. In the case of Isle Royale it is "closed" except when the temperature drops and an ice bridge connects it to the mainland. Births, deaths, immigration, and emigration are all a possibility then. However with this lab, only births and deaths are feasible to monitor. 

Of course the "test tube" modeling of Isle Royale has its limitations. I was frustrated with the lack of good data. To be quite honest, I expected to see larger "population" values from the experiment across the board. Perhaps there are confounding factors such as the accumulation of waste or the lack of oxygen?

Whether my operating assumption is unfounded (more bubbles = more yeast cells) is still to be determined. Perhaps the production of bubbles is more the result of increased cell respiration rates rather than a production of more cells. I am stymied but not defeated. More research is in order.

  Applying the model to real world situations
  Real World Applications: Applying the model to real world situations
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Population Explosion (Yeast Lab) (Day #3 of 3)

Unit 7: 7) Ecology ("Population Interactions")
Lesson 3 of 16

Objective: Students will plan and conduct a laboratory investigation that tests the effect of an abiotic or biotic factor on the size of a population of yeast cells.

Big Idea: Populations are able to produce populations of infinite size, but the environment (and its resources) is finite.

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Science, Populations and Ecosystems, Ecology, cause and effect, asking questions, investigation, Math & Computational Thinking
  55 minutes
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