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—students expecting a linear graph may find the nonlinear (exponential) relationship as a pleasant surprise.
The cholera bacteria in this scanning electron microscope image cause a potentially fatal disease of the digestive system.
• SIZE: These bacteria are each about 500 nm wide and 1-2 µm long.
• IMAGING TOOL: Scanning electron microscope