Carolina EcoKits: Ecological Succession

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A Carolina Exclusive!

Grades 9-12.
  • Observe the community succession of bacteria in aging milk
  • Plate bacteria on agar plates using sterile technique
  • Conduct Gram staining to distinguish between bacterial types
Students learn about ecological succession as they observe bacterial population changes in aging milk. Students study samples of aged milk and assess environmental changes by measuring the pH, then plate the milk on nutrient agar. After the bacteria grow, the colonies are Gram stained and colonies of different ages are compared. Kit accommodates 32 students working in 8 groups of 4.
Content standards
This kit is appropriate for high school students and addresses the following National Science Education Standards:
Grades 9-12
Life Science
    - The interdependence of organisms
    - The behavior of organisms
Time Requirements
Preparation: 1 hour
Initial Lab Day Activity: 45 minutes
Final Lab Day Activity: 1 hour