The Bio Bay Game: Three-dimensional learning of biomagnification

Chandana Jasti, Hillary Lauren, Robert C. Wallon, Barbara Hug

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Pressing concerns about sustainability and the state of the environment amplify the need to teach students about the connections between ecosystem health, toxicology, and human health. Additionally, the Next Generation Science Standards call for three-dimensional science learning, which integrates disciplinary core ideas, scientific practices, and crosscutting concepts. The Bio Bay Game is a way to teach students about the biomagnification of toxicants across trophic levels while engaging them in three-dimensional learning. In the game, the class models the biomagnification of mercury in a simple aquatic food chain as they play the roles of anchovies, tuna, and humans. While playing, the class generates data, which they analyze after the game to graphically visualize the buildup of toxicants. Students also read and discuss two articles that draw connections to a real-world case. The activity ends with students applying their understanding to evaluate the game as a model of biomagnification. Throughout the activity, students practice modeling and data analysis and engage with the crosscutting concepts of patterns and cause and effect to develop an understanding of core ideas about the connections between humans and the environment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)748-754
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Biology Teacher
Issue number9
StatePublished - Nov 1 2016


  • Biomagnification
  • NGSS.
  • data analysis
  • environment
  • health
  • high school biology
  • interactive game
  • modeling
  • three-dimensional learning
  • toxicants

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)


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