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Education Level
High School
Middle School
The purpose of this lesson is to have students relate to real-world applications of mathematical concepts by monitoring bacterial growth over one week and calculation the rate of growth. Students will calculate surface area, draw graphs, and approximate the populations of bacteria and nanobes. Before starting this lab, the student should understand how to 1) calculate the surface area of a circle; 2) draw and label a graph; 3) define circumference and radius. This activity works well after students have covered linear functions as students expecting a linear graph may find the nonlinear (exponential) relationship as a pleasant surprise.
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