Algae Bloom and Bust Experiment

A free downloadable experiment that explores the impact of climate change and human activity on aquatic ecosystems. 

Algae Bloom and Bust Experiment

Climate change and increasing water temperatures, along with added nutrients from human activities, impact both aquatic ecosystems and the people who depend on them. In this experiment-based lesson, students examine one outcome — algae blooms.

Grade Levels:  6–9

Key Concepts:

  • Human activities often have unintended consequences.
  • Algae are simple, green aquatic plants that are the basis of many food chains.
  • An increase in water temperature and nutrients can cause algae populations to proliferate rapidly in “blooms,” which threaten the health of ecosystems.
  • The changing global climate is affecting the frequency and location of algae blooms.

Estimated Time: 45 minutes for introducing and setting up the experiment; 10-minute observations every day or two, for one to two weeks; 45 minutes to wrap up

Note: You will need to prepare the algae culture 4–8 days before doing the lesson.

Download Algae Bloom and Bust Lesson PDF [500k pdf]


A Smart by Nature® downloadable resource