In this module students learn about microbes as decomposers, develop experimental design skills, and apply their knowledge to a variety of everyday situations.
Day 1: Introducing Microbes as Decomposers
Students propose how dead plants disappear over time, then examine mold, and talk about microbes as decomposers.
Day 2: Stalking the Unseen
Students hear a story of a scientist who studies microbe decomposers, then plan and take a trip outside to collect items for culturing microbes.
Day 3: Culturing Bacteria and Fungi Decomposers
Students do a controlled experiment to culture microbes living on items they collected outside.
Day 4: Dead Leaf Storyboards- Performance Assessment
Students work in groups to create displays that show what happens to a dead leaf over time.
Day 5: Testing Conditions that Promote Decomposition
Students test factors that promote the growth of microbes, then use their findings to make compost.
Day 6: The Bag That Wouldn't Go Away- Performance Assessment
Students design and set up model waste disposal systems that will help biodegradable plastic bags decompose
Day 7: A Jury's Dilemma- Written Assessment
Students analyze a trial involving a dispute about a composting business, then outline how a Special Investigator could gather evidence to help settle the case.