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Prismatic Little Plankton. Subjects: Life Sciences, Physical Science/Chemistry; Marine/Ocean Science - Grades: 9-12, Kristen Sharpe
This is a hands-on interdisciplinary activity that incorporates the fun of biology into physics!
Students participate in chromatography experiments to investigate the properties of plant pigments found in various fruits and vegetables, representing pigments commonly found in various species of marine phytoplankton. The students then apply what they've learned to create and analyze a chromatogram of a mystery "algal" sample to determine which species of phytoplankton are in the sample based on the pigments present. This activity simulates phytoplankton community analysis research done using High Performance Liquid Chromatography at VIMS.