Our Selected Flight Experiment

Avicenna Academy Science Community Collaboration is proud to announce our winning proposal…

Title: All Mixed Up (Based on Gause’s 1932 Experiment): The Effect of Microgravity on the Interaction of Paramecium bursaria and Paramecium caudatum in a Mixed Culture, using Yeast and Bacteria as a Food Source

Summary: This experiment will be testing the effect of microgravity on the interaction of two types of paramecia: P. bursaria and P. caudatum, using yeast and bacteria as a food source.  In the 1930s, a scientist named Georgyi Gause did a study on the same interaction.  Gause discovered that on Earth, with gravity, both species survived.  That was not the case when he tested two different species of paramecia together: P. aurelia and P. caudatum.  Gause found out that the reason that both species survived is because they ate different food.  Even though P. bursaria and P. caudatum both eat yeast and bacteria, when they are grown together in gravity, they chose to eat only one.  P. bursaria ate yeast cells that were in the bottom of the test tube and P. caudatum ate bacteria that were floating higher up in the test tube.  Both species were able to live because they did not live in the same niche, or area eating the same food supply.

Principal Investigators: Heba Abuzer and Jenna Rifai, both sixth grade students at Avicenna Academy.

Submitting Teacher Facilitator: Amanda Arceo, M.S., M.Ed.

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