Featured in PASCO’s College Biology Instructor Guide
College Instructor edition with 26 experiments covering introductory and general biology topics.
Surface Area to Volume
Use a PASCO quad temperature sensor and ice bath to explore the relationship between the inner volume of a citrus fruit and its outer surface area.
In this activity, students investigate how a cell’s surface area to volume ratio affects the way the cell responds to the environment. To learn this, students:
- Use citrus fruits as a model to investigate how the surface area to volume ratio influences the way a cell interacts with its environment.
- Calculate the mathematical relationship between surface area and volume.
- Apply the concept of surface area to volume ratios to biological systems.
In this lab, students will gain experience in the following procedures:
- Measure the circumference of two or three different citrus fruits.
- Calculate the radius, surface area, volume, and the ratio of surface area to volume of each fruit.
- Place the fruits in an ice-water bath, and record how quickly each fruit releases heat into its environment.
Sensors / Equipment Used:
Allows any combination of our stainless steel, fast response or skin/surface temperature probes for a wide variety of temperature measurement. For use with PASPORT Interfaces.
Citrus fruits, varying type and size - 2
Dissecting probe or pin
Ice and water - 2 to 3 liters
Petroleum jelly - 1 g
Polystyrene cooler, plastic bucket or other
vessel for ice bath
Twine or string - 20 to 30 cm
The Associated Bundle:
A complete probeware bundle designed for PASCO's College Biology curriculum