This lake has a slimy, protein rich, foam accumulating on the bank.
Lake Manawa, Council Bluffs, Iowa
Possible Guiding, Compelling and/or Anchoring Questions
- What caused the foam?
- Where did the plants’ oils come from? (how did they make them)
- Why does this only happen when there is no algae? OR Why is there no algae in the video/picture?
- In this case, the lake was not polluted. These foam bubbles are naturally occurring.
- Show the video and/or pictures.
- From the sources I provided you should find that fatty acids/oils/lipids in the water are what provide the bubbles. These oils were created by the plants that grew during the season before. When the algae and other plants died, they released what they made back into the water (exits the cell membrane). This normally does not happen in the summer because the living things are still using the oils that they are currently making.
- Also note, the oils are made when the cell has plenty of sugar.
- After students figure out it is oil produced by the plant, have them investigate HOW plants produce oils. This will show how the whole cell works together to achieve a function.
- There is foam accumulating on the lake? Is this indicative of pollution?: This gives a test you can do to test if the lake foam is produced naturally or by pollution of some kind.
- Foam, A Natural Occurring Phenomenon: This provides some background as to how this phenomenon occurs.
- How Plant Cells Decide to make oil: This would be a difficult read for this age group. It is included so you can become familiar with how plants produce oils. It shows how cells switch from making sugars to making oils to store energy.
Iowa Core Alignment
Disciplinary Core Idea
LS1: From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes
Submitted by Nathan Van Zante