Grow Your Own Lobsters
||Environmental Science, Marine Biology|
||Year long activity, requiring 1-3 hours/week. Tanks must be cleaned and maintained, lobsters must be fed. Measurements must be taken. Feeding and cleaning requires at minimum 1 hour every other day. Measurements take approximately 5mins per lobster once familiar with the technique.|
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||Ideal if school community has ties to finishing or lobster industry. Students will be raising lobsters from 2-3 inches in size though they will probably not see significant growth over the course of a year though in 4 years time noticeable growth will be seen after this time. Students will research the life cycle of the lobster as well as the environmental factors which effect them.|
||Have students connect with a local industry which effects their town. Have students learn to care for marine creatures, the differences in requirement of saltwater vs. fresh water aquariums.|
||Salt water filter, aeration unit, instant ocean or access to fresh salt water. Tank (wider is better), baskets to keep individual lobsters in (4-10inches in diameter). Water chiller or small refrigerator to maintain a water temperature of between 55-70F. Small lobsters (2-3inches)|
Opener: Begin by discussing the local fishing industry, ask how many students are somehow linked to the lobster or fishing industry. Have students research the life cycle of the lobster and those environmental factors which effect them. Have the students set up the tank and filter and chiller and aeration unit. Run the system for at least 5 days to ensure functionality.
Development: Allow the students to design feeding and weighing schedules. Though growth will not be evident for some time it will be a good lesson in perseverance and data recording for the students.
Closure: Have the students compile a presentation or lab report incorporating the measurements they've been taking as well as the research they have conducted on the life cycle of the lobster.
||Grade students based on their involvement in the project. Also on their final presentation, in whatever form is deemed appropriate.|
||The lobsters, once thriving, may be used for experimentation, such as ability to navigate obstacles for food, ability to remember areas where food is found as well as overall speed. Allow students to design their own experiments.|