Measuring Volumes of Slippery Algae:
We put water with a little food coloring into graduated cylinders and beakers. Zev poured and mixed them. We talked about measuring volumes, color mixing and the conservation of matter as the same volume would look taller in a narrower container than a low wide one. Zev decided they were red (Rhodophyta), blue (Cyanobacteria) and green algae (Chlorophyta). He put the fish tank bubbler into the various liquids to watch them bubble. He put samples under his microscope to see what they looked like magnified. (I used my cell phone to find images and quickly slide them underneath the platform with each corresponding sample description. We’ve replicated our experiment several times now with visiting scientist, Cassandria, with repeatable results.
Materials – plastic lab-ware, water, food coloring, lab notebook, markers and my cell phone. We also re-used a cardboard toy microscope that I’d made previously.