Your students might generate many hypotheses about how brine shrimp respond to their environment. They may consider whether the brine shrimp respond to different wavelengths of light, whether they prefer particular temperatures of water, or other questions, all of which can be investigated.
In the classroom, this Snack can also provide an opportunity for students to test, evaluate, and argue for different methods of collecting data. In an investigation to determine which colors of light brine shrimp prefer, ask students to consider how they will gather evidence: Can they quantify the behavioral response, or is there another way to describe the data? What will they use as control condition(s) in their experiments?
Provide a variety of materials to encourage different approaches to data collection, such as different types of lights, graph paper, black and white paper, tape, stopwatches or timers, rulers, transparencies and transparency markers, cameras, and so on. Given these supplies, some students may choose to count the number of brine shrimp in a given area after a given amount of time exposed to light, while others might follow the paths of individual shrimp. Some students might examine how the brine shrimp respond to a single light source, while others set up competition trials using multiple colors shining at once.
Ask students to share and discuss the evidence they’ve gathered, focusing on the methods they’ve used. What were the pros and cons of each experimental protocol? Did each group gather enough data to make good conclusions? How accurate did they think each method was? Did everyone’s evidence agree? This discussion can be a good model for the behavior of a community of researchers, in which different people carry out different investigations to approach similar problems, and then share, compare, and debate the resulting data.