Open Inquiry using C. elegans

This Open Inquiry using C. elegans unit also includes:

Ever wondered what motivates a roundworm? Introduce your biology class to C. elegans, a non-parasitic model organism that can help them understand behavioral stimuli. Paired pupils design an experiment to test the worm's reaction to changes in its environment through an open-inquiry investigation.

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Instructional Ideas
  • If possible, allow classmates to bring in their own stimulus items from home
  • Encourage groups to bounce ideas off one another as they design their experiments
Classroom Considerations
  • Allow adequate time for students to design their experiments and receive feedback—the journey is just as important as the destination here
  • If learners are having difficulty determining whether the worms are reacting to a stimulus or simply wandering around in the petri dish, provide a few more stimuli and encourage them to observe and take notes
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Pros
  • Activity stresses good experimental design and controls
  • Teacher's guide includes helpful tips for concentrating the worms and preparing the test plates
Cons
  • None