Students will discover that math calculations such as surface volume, volume and shrinking and stretching concepts have a lot to do with how biological systems function. Students will participate in a lab that models the diffusion of molecules through cubes of different shapes. They will take measurements to see how far a substance diffuses into different sizes of cubes (ie cell). Students will then use Geometer's Sketch pad to manipulate sizes of different objects and be able to relate how size changes surface area & volume (shrinking & stretching). Using Geometer's Sketch pad student will collect data and use Excel to create graphs. Using these graphs students will be able to relate that diffusion rates work best in biological systems and are more energy efficient in small cells.
Brewster, Kendra; Elich, Henry; and Koch, Scott, "Why Cells are Small" (2005). Lesson Plans. 282.
Geometer’s Sketch pad