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Article
How Plankton Swim: An Interdisciplinary Approach for Using Mathematics & Physics to Understand the Biology of the Natural World
American Biology Teacher
  • T. W. Clay
  • J. B. Fox
  • D. Grunbaum
  • Peter Jumars, University of Maine - Main
Document Type
Article
Publication Date
8-1-2008
Abstract/ Summary
The authors have developed and field-tested high school-level curricular materials that guide students to use biology, mathematics, and physics to understand plankton and how these tiny organisms move in a world where their intuition does not apply. The authors chose plankton as the focus of their materials primarily because the challenges faced by plankton are novel problems to most students, forcing adoption of new perspectives and making the study of plankton exciting. Additional reasons that they chose plankton to focus on include their ecological importance, their availability to most teachers and students, the ease with which they can be collected and observed, and the current focus of some scientific researchers on their movement and behavior. These curricular materials include a series of inquiry-based, hands-on exercises designed to be accessible to students with a range of backgrounds. Many of these materials could be adapted for use by middle-school, and/or college-level students. In this article, the authors describe sample lessons, summarize what worked well, and flag obstacles they encountered while integrating mathematics and physics into the biology classroom.
Citation/Publisher Attribution
Clay TW, Fox JB, Grunbaum D, Jumars PA. How Plankton Swim: An Interdisciplinary Approach for Using Mathematics & Physics to Understand the Biology of the Natural World. American Biology Teacher. 2008;70(6): 363-370.
DOI
10.1662/0002-7685(2008)70[363:HPSAIA]2.0.CO;2
Version
publisher's version of the published document
Citation Information
T. W. Clay, J. B. Fox, D. Grunbaum and Peter Jumars. "How Plankton Swim: An Interdisciplinary Approach for Using Mathematics & Physics to Understand the Biology of the Natural World" American Biology Teacher Vol. 70 Iss. 6 (2008) p. 363 - 370
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/peter_jumars/5/