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ERIC Number: EJ1044436
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Mar
Pages: 5
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 7
ISSN: ISSN-0002-7685
Guiding Student Inquiry into Eukaryotic Organismal Biology Using the Plasmodial Slime Mold "Physarum Polycephalum"
Weeks, Andrea; Bachman, Beverly; Josway, Sarah; Laemmerzahl, Arndt F.; North, Brittany
American Biology Teacher, v76 n3 p196-200 Mar 2014
In order to challenge our undergraduate students' enduring misconception that plants, animals, and fungi must be "advanced" and that other eukaryotes traditionally called protists must be "primitive," we have developed a 24-hour take-home guided inquiry and investigation of live Physarum cultures. The experiment replicates recent peer-reviewed research regarding speed-accuracy tradeoffs and reliably produces data with which students explore key biological concepts and practice essential scientific competencies. It requires minimal resources and can be adapted for high school students or more independent student investigations. We present statistical analyses of data from four semesters and provide examples of our strategies for student engagement and assessment.
University of California Press. 2000 Center Street Suite 303, Berkeley, CA 94704. Tel: 510-643-7154; Fax: 510-642-9917; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive; Guides - Classroom - Teacher
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education; High Schools; Secondary Education
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A