The FOURTH GRADE CLASS
DUCHESNE ACADEMY
2013-2014
CASIS HYPOTHESIS
How do different light wavelengths
effect the growth of algae in
microgravity?
GOALS and OBJECTIVES
• How do different light wavelengths effect the
growth of algae (chlorella vulgaris) in
microgravity? The goal is to have the students
conduct a controlled experiment to test a
hypothesis about conditions and their effect
on the growth of algae using different
wavelengths of light. We will monitor the
plant growth through daily observations to
find the preferred light in which alga grows
best in microgravity.
MEASUREMENT APPROACH
• We will create a grid on a transparent piece of
material in increments of 5 mm. We will
observe the grid daily with our cameras so we
can measure the algae growth.
IMPORTANCE and REASON FOR ISS
•
We feel that algae are important to our
future fuel resources. Algae contain
approximately 60% of its weight in biodiesel. If
we can find the preferred color of light, then
we can increase the speed of algae’s growth
rate. This could be utilized as a bio-fuel in
space and on earth.
EXPECTED RESULTS
• In 2011 experiments done by Chambers, they
found a trend of the best colors to grow algae.
The three colors that provided the most
growth are blue, green and red light. If we can
test for the effect of light wavelengths on the
growth of algae, then we can find the optimal
color for the highest overall rate of algae
growth.
EARTH BENEFITS
• Algae have a very high percentage of oil. We
think that algae could be used as a fuel source
for cars and even an energy source on the ISS.
Algae have many qualities that may help
astronauts in space. It grows quickly,
efficiently under certain conditions such as
different wavelengths. Our experiment will
determine which wavelengths and colors of
light aid and benefit the growth of algae.