Virginia Institute of Marine Science
VA SEA 2019 Lesson Plans
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.
Secondary Education, Lesson Plans, chromatography, plant pigments
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 License.
This lesson was developed in alignment with the 2010 Virginia Department of Education’s Science Standards of Learning.
VA SEA is supported by the Chesapeake Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, Virginia Sea Grant, and the Virginia Institute of Marine Science Marine Advisory Program.
Sharpe, K. (2019) Prismatic Little Plankton. Subjects: Life Sciences, Physical Science/Chemistry; Marine/Ocean Science - Grades: 9-12. VA SEA 2019 Lesson Plans. Virginia Institute of Marine Science, College of William and Mary. https://doi.org/10.25773/j94q-7f85