Algae are possibly one of the best learning tools educators could use. To the researchers who study them, algae provide vast opportunity to make new discoveries in both basic and applied sciences. A few of the insights we can gain by studying algae include learning about biological processes such as photosynthesis, helping to assess the health of an ecosystem, and reconstructing the history of climate in a region. We are also learning how we might be able to use algae to create things like clean energy and environmentally friendly plastics. Whatever the goals are, there is a lot to be learned from algae.
I believe that algae can play an important role in education at many different levels. Teaching the disciplines of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) to students from kindergarten through college is an important goal of education. Working with algae provides a real hands on potential to pursue many STEM topics. Experimenting with algae allows us to study their biology while at the same time using different types of technology to grow and measure it. The results from experimentation will be some form of data that can then be graphed and analyzed. Using algae to demonstrate and learn different topics is unlimited!
I am hoping to offer more materials through my website that will help facilitate teaching and learning about algae. Contact me to find out more and to let me know your ideas.