Partners: Perla Garibay
Building an energy pyramid activity
Purpose: students will gain an understanding of how energy flows through an ecosystem by constructing an energy pyramid and calculating how much energy is transferred between trophic levels
Materials:*energy pyramid template, species list, pyramid data sheet, calculator, one 1,000ml beaker, 3 clear cups, one 1ml pipette, pen or pencil
Question: how much energy is transferred from one trophic level to the next trophic level?
Procedure 1: label each level of the energy pyramid with the appropriate term: producer, primary consumer, secondary consumer, and tertiary consumer.
Procedure 2: label each level of the energy pyramid with the appropriate term: trophic level1, trophic level 2, trophic level 3, and trophic level 4.
Procedure 3: from the species list, select organisms to represent each level of the pyramid. Write the name of the organism in the appropriate level.
Procedure 4: observe the experimental data in table 1.
Procedure 5: write the names of the organisms that you selected in part in the appropriate place on the table.
Procedure 6: calculate the % of energy transferred from the 1st trophic level to the 2nd level. Divide energy from level1 and multiply by 100. This amount is the % of energy transferred.
Procedure 7: calculate the % of energy transferred from trophic level 2 to level 3 and so forth.
Procedure 8: pour tap water into the 1,000 ml beaker.
Add 1-2 drops of food coloring to the water and swirl.
Procedure 9: line up the 3 cups. Look at your calculations in table 1: how much energy was transferred from trophic level 1 to 2? Pour that % from the 1,000ml into the 1st cup.
Procedure 10: how much energy was transferred from the 2nd level to the 3rd level? _ _ _% pour that % from cup 1 into cup 2 Procedure 11: repeat for the 4th trophic level/cup 3
R.p.v. species list: wart weed, coastal golden bush,...