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What is the optimal environment for hatching brine shrimp? Using a scaffold, learners design and conduct experiments testing the effect of a single abiotic factor on brine shrimp cyst hatch rate. Pool results from the group to determine the optimal environment for hatching these resilient organisms.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
10 to 30 minutes

Learning Time:
1 to 7 days

Estimated Materials Cost:
Over $20 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 11 - 18

Resource Types:
Activity, Experiment/Lab Activity, Lesson/Lesson Plan


Materials List (per group of students)

  • Copies of lab sheets
  • 1 g brine shrimp cysts hydrated in salt solution
  • Small petri dishes
  • Soft, white, absorbent paper towels (uniform embossing works best)
  • Small pipettes or droppers
  • 3% salt solution
  • Microscopes or hand lenses
  • Petri dishes or other shallow, wide containers, test tubes, graduated cylinders
  • UV light source (UV light box or goggle sterilizer)
  • Incubator, refrigerator
  • Acidic and basic solutions (vinegar, bleach, etc.)
  • Aluminum foil
  • Non-iodized salt
  • Pollutants (household pesticide and herbicide, fertilizer, etc.)
  • Aquarium aerator, flexible tubing


  • Life Sciences
    • Diversity of Life
      • Animals
    • Ecology
      • Ecosystems
      • Human Impact
    • Evolution
      • Mechanisms of Evolution
  • Mathematics
    • Data Analysis and Probability
      • Data Analysis
      • Data Collection
      • Data Representation
    • Measurement
      • Rate
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Conducting Investigations
      • Gathering Data
      • Formulating Explanations
      • Communicating Results

Informal Categories

  • Animals
  • Nature and Environment


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • read
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves teamwork and communication skills
  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access


  • Teach.Genetics, University of Utah

Source Collection

  • Teach.Genetics


  • All rights reserved, University of Utah, 2009

Funding Sources:

  • Westminster College
  • Utah's WIRED (Workforce Innovation In Regional Economic Development) program