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1 April 2015 Exploring Phytoplankton Population Growth to Enhance Quantitative Literacy: Putting Vision & Change into Action
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Abstract

Quantitative literacy is essential to biological literacy (and is one of the core concepts in Vision and Change in Undergraduate Biology Education: A Call to Action; AAAS 2009). Building quantitative literacy is a challenging endeavor for biology instructors. Integrating mathematical skills into biological investigations can help build quantitative literacy. In our plankton population laboratory sequence, students test hypotheses about the influence of abiotic factors on phytoplankton populations by sampling experimental and control flasks over multiple weeks. Students track and predict changes in planktonic populations by incorporating weekly sample estimates into population growth equations. We have refined the laboratory protocols on the basis of student commentary and instructor observations. Students have reviewed the lab positively, and approximately one-quarter of them reported building their math skills by participating in the lab.

©2015 by National Association of Biology Teachers. All rights reserved. Request permission to photocopy or reproduce article content at the University of California Press's Rights and Permissions Web site at www.ucpressjournals.com/reprintinfo.asp.
Erin Baumgartner, Lindsay Biga, Karen Bledsoe, James Dawson, Julie Grammer, Ava Howard, and Jeffrey Snyder "Exploring Phytoplankton Population Growth to Enhance Quantitative Literacy: Putting Vision & Change into Action," The American Biology Teacher 77(4), 265-272, (1 April 2015). https://doi.org/10.1525/abt.2015.77.4.6
Published: 1 April 2015
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