How can a scientist find out how many organisms live in area?
Scientists can learn a lot about an area by having a clear idea of how many and what kind of organisms live there. It's very difficult to literally count all of the organisms in a large area or zone so scientists use tools (such as quadrats), identification, and estimation as important keys in determining this answer.
- Using a grid
- Problem solving
Spread out a 12-bean soup and macaroni mixture on table. Students will use home-made quadrats to mark out a section. By categorizing and counting what is in the quadrat area they will estimate the number and variety of "organisms" on the table.
Students will be able to:
- Categorize objects
- Estimate a number in an area
- Apply the grid principle to multiplication skills
One 50 minute class period.
Blank Data Sheets
- 1 package of 12-Bean dry soup mix
- 1 package each of 2 or 3 varieties (and colors) of pasta (macaroni)
- small plastic bags (to hold one mixture for each group or team)
- wire coat hangars, each one shaped into a square ('quadrat')
- stiff paper or ruler to scoop mixture together for clean up
- Quadrat Craze Data Sheet (included in lesson plan--choose appropriate sheet for your grade)