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Part of the Ecology Disrupted Curriculum Collection.
(Time required: about 46 minutes)
Students will learn how salt affects living things, at the cellular, organismal and ecosystem level.
"Yesterday, we watched the Science Bulletin based on Dr. Kaushal’s work. We also discussed why road salt is used to melt snow and ice. Today we are going to look more closely at how added salt affects living things."
Have students reflect on the previous activities to discuss how salt affects different organisms.
Summary/Assessment: Ask students to complete the Exploring Salt in Our Lives section of the Investigation Booklet, available in the Downloads section on this page.
Inquiry Lab: Have students create a procedure for an inquiry laboratory exercise based on the question “What level of salt will start affecting the growth of plants or algae?” Provide students with supplies for the lab, which for the most part can be purchased in a grocery store (algae can be purchased from scientific supply stores). Make sure that students include a control group in their experimental design (i.e. a plant or algae that receives regular tap water or rain water with no extra added salt).
Regents Lab: The osmosis red-onion lab required for the NYS Living Environment Regents Examination is a possible extension to this lesson and/or unit.