Do your students take energy drinks? What are these concoctions of caffeine, sugar, and herbal
supplements doing to their bodies—especially compared to other caffeinated drinks like coffee? Well, we don’t know exactly, but we are going to figure out what happens when water fleas chug energy drinks.
In this biology activity—an extension of Ward's Effects of Drugs on Daphnia Kit—your students will be calculating the heart rate of the water flea Daphnia as it’s exposed to the ingredients of an energy drink, compared to a control. By observing how drugs affect a living organism, it’ll become easier for your students to correlate the effects of drugs on their own bodies. Maybe by the end they’ll settle for a normal cup of Joe.