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Quantifying Marine Microbes: A Simulation to Introduce Random Sampling

By Barbara Bruno


This lesson introduces random sampling, one of the key concepts employed by scientists to study the natural environment, including microbial communities. Students first learn about the abundance and diversity of marine microbes. Colored beads in a bag are then used to represent different types of microbes, with the bag itself representing the ocean. Working in groups, each student randomly samples ten "microbes" from the "ocean", and records the data. To learn about the inherent variability of random sampling, the students then compare the composition of their individual samples, their group'’s pooled sample data, and that of the entire population. Educational levels: Middle school, High school

Topics: Biological oceanography
Publisher: American Society for Microbiology
Year: 2012
OAI identifier: oai:dlese.org:DLESE-000-000-010-583
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