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Microbes

Microorganisms such as bacteria, yeasts and fungi

Teacher information

Rabbits

This activity has been designed for pupils to explore the growth of a population of rabbits over a fixed period of time. The population can be seen to expand as time passes but, to make counting easy, the rabbits are shown in blocks of 100. As each block is completed it is replaced by a large rabbit with a label indicating that it represents 100 rabbits.

Pupils can explore the effect of changing the conditions under which the rabbits live to highlight the importance of several life essential requirements.They should be encouraged to predict the effects of the conditions that they set before they actually run the program.

Note that you can click on the timebar to quickly jump to a desired time period.

Rabbits and Hunters the activity is extended so that predators, in the form of foxes, can be introduced to gain some understanding of the effects of the real world.

Micro-organisms

This activity follows the same principles as Part A - Rabbits but has been designed so that pupils can explore the growth of a population of microbes over a fixed period of time. The population can be seen to expand as time passes. To make counting easy a grid is provided that will allow users to estimate the total number of microbes present. The relationship between time and number of microbes can be explored.

Pupils can explore the effect of changing the conditions under which the microbes divide and the total number increases. Obviously, different microbes behave in different ways so this 'experiment' can only give a general idea of the factors that affect growth.

Pupils should be encouraged to predict the effects of the conditions that they set before they actually run the program.

Note that you can click on the timebar to quickly jump to a desired time period.

In Micro-organisms and antibiotics the activity is extended so that antibiotics can be introduced into the experiment to see how they affect population growth.