Sea Turtle Populations

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In this activity (on page 2 of PDF under GPS: Sea Turtles Activity), learners will model how a sea turtle population changes over time, from eggs to adults, using puffed rice. Learners create a chart, calculate population fluctuation for each transitional stage of sea turtles' lives, and graph the population at each stage. Learners investigate different factors including migration and human fishing that affect the size of the sea turtle population. Relates to the linked video, DragonflyTV GPS: Sea Turtles.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
30 to 45 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
1 cent - $1 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 8 - 14

Resource Types:
Activity, Lesson/Lesson Plan, Model, Simulation


Materials List (per group of students)

  • puffed rice (approx. 300 grains per student or group)
  • a 16-oz. plastic or paper cup, one per group, to hold the rice
  • a 8.5" x 14" sheet of paper, one per group
  • pencils and rulers


  • Life Sciences
    • Diversity of Life
      • Animals
    • Ecology
      • Populations
      • Human Impact
  • Mathematics
    • Algebra
      • Equations and Inequalities
    • Data Analysis and Probability
      • Data Analysis
      • Data Collection
      • Data Representation
    • Number and Operations
      • Multiples and Factors
    • Representation
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • About Inquiry
      • 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


Components that are part of this resource:

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access


Source Collection

  • DragonflyTV


  • All rights reserved, Twin Cities Public Television, Inc., 2007

Funding Source:

  • National Science Foundation, 610429