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Bio Build-up

Author(s): Nancy Moreno, PhD, and Barbara Tharp, MS.

Let's Talk About It

In this activity, students make a model of a simple food chain and observe how toxins can accumulate in consumers toward the top of the chain. Students will learn that pollutants found on plants will be consumed by fish, and finally, by eagles, much higher in the food chain.

Ask students, What happened to the pollutants at the last step of the food chain? Did the large fish have more or less pollutants than the plants at the beginning of the food chain? Did the amounts of pollutants in the plants influence the amount of pollutants in the small and large fish? How could the amount of pollutants the eagle be reduced? In general, which kinds of organisms are most at risk of accumulating toxins in their bodies—producers or consumers? 


Funded by the following grant(s)

National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, NIH

National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, NIH

My Health My World: National Dissemination
Grant Number: 5R25ES009259
The Environment as a Context for Opportunities in Schools
Grant Number: 5R25ES010698, R25ES06932