Back to simulations

The Nitrogen Cycle: Balance food demands and environmental concerns | Virtual Lab

Get Pricing
High School
Higher Education
 
The Nitrogen Cycle: Balance food demands and environmental concerns
Labster is used by 1,000's of amazing schools and universities
Learn more

Heading 1

Heading 2

Heading 3

Heading 4

Heading 5
Heading 6

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur.

Block quote

Ordered list

  1. Item 1
  2. Item 2
  3. Item 3

Unordered list

  • Item A
  • Item B
  • Item C

Text link

Bold text

Emphasis

Superscript

Subscript

About This Simulation

Learn about the nitrogen cycle and help a local restaurant owner understand the complexities of sustainable crop production. Model nitrogen moving between stages of the cycle and then balance food production with environmental impact.

Learning Objectives

  • Model how nitrogen moves between organisms and components of the physical environment
  • Explain the wider impact of changes at any one point in the nitrogen cycle
  • Identify examples of human influence on the nitrogen cycle

About This Simulation

Level:
High School
Higher Education
Length:
23
Min
Accessibility Mode:
Available
Languages:
English

Lab Techniques

No lab techniques are listed for this simulation.

Related Standards

University:
NGSS:
  • ESS3.C-H1
  • Energy and Matter
AP:
LB:
  • Biology C.6
No lab techniques are listed for this simulation.

Learn More About This Simulation

The Nitrogen cycle is essential to life as nitrogen is not only vital for food production, it’s also a crucial part of DNA. In this simulation, you will learn all about the nitrogen cycle and help restaurant owner Alex understand why food suppliers cannot simply increase food production without considering the broader impacts it has on the nitrogen cycle. First, you’ll learn about the different stages of the Nitrogen cycle and then identify human influences. Later you’ll assume the role of the local food suppliers managing their crop production. Will you be able to balance the demand for food without negatively impacting the local ecosystem?

Discover the five stages of the nitrogen cycle

Learn all about the fixation, nitrification, ammonification, assimilation, and denitrification stages of the nitrogen cycle in an interactive, exploratory activity! Through the magic of learning in a virtual lab, you can jump into the nitrogen cycle at any stage and model its flow. You will discover the importance of different organisms and abiotic factors, and the role they play in each stage. Do not fear making mistakes - you will be given instant feedback throughout to help you understand and figure out the placement of each part of the cycle. You will then look at how different human influences, such as using synthetic fertilizers or burning fossil fuels, can impact nitrogen in the environment. The knowledge you will gain about the cycle will be vital for the next activity where you will assess a real-life environmental predicament!

Balance food production and nitrogen pollution

Assume the role of a food producer aiming to supply enough food for the restaurant in the local city, while attempting to minimize environmental impact. Use an interactive 3D model on the futuristic holo-floor to manage the various parameters of food production throughout a condensed four-year cycle. Make choices on crop rotation and fertilizer to discover the implications of each on the environment. Balance is essential - you will look at how pollution in one area can travel to another, and even affect local aquatic life. After the four-year cycle has ended, you’ll find out if you were able to maintain the balance. If you aren’t happy with your result, you’ll get the chance to play again and discover a different approach.

Keeping the balance

At the end of the simulation, you’ll inform restaurant owner Alex that balance is needed, and there are no simple solutions for increasing food production while minimising environmental impact!

Experience Labster for Yourself

Boost Learning with Fun

75% of students show high engagement and improved grades with Labster

Discover Simulations That Match Your Syllabus

Easily bolster your learning objectives with relevant, interactive content

Place Students in the Shoes of Real Scientists

Practice a lab procedure or visualize theory through narrative-driven scenarios

Try Now
a group of people standing around a laptop computer

For Science Programs Providing a Learning Advantage

Professor Margaret Brady was able to enhance student learning with A&P virtual labs.
Margaret Brady
Associate Professor
North Dakota State College of Science

“They did the simulation at home, then completed the in-person lab within 30 minutes, no questions asked, and passed the quiz with flying colors.”

Lewis Mattin
PhD
Lecturer in Human Physiology
University of Westminster

"I saw some of the students who clearly didn’t necessarily like sitting there reading a book discover they could turn on Labster and keep up with the rest of the class because it spoke to them.

Melody McGill
Curriculum Coordinator
Modesto City Schools

"Having something that's engaging for the students gives teachers that opportunity to breathe and get excited again. Because they're seeing the kids light up, they're seeing the kids engage with content."

user
Kyle Hammon
Adjunct Instructor
Wenatchee Valley College

"The question always is, ‘Can we demonstrate that the students are meeting course outcomes?’ Check! We can do that.”

Dr. Melody Esfandiari
Chemistry Lecturer
San José State University

"We surveyed over 400 students. More than 90% thought Labster was easy to navigate, and that it was fun, but more importantly, most of them felt confident that they could execute the labs in person. And that confidence is a big deal."

Mr stuart
Dr. Stuart Goodall
Lecturer
Northumbria University

“The Labster simulations get students to do things, and they're not just sitting there consuming a webinar where their mind can drift. They become an active participant in that learning experience.”

FAQs

Find answers to frequently asked questions.

Heading 1

Heading 2

Heading 3

Heading 4

Heading 5
Heading 6

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur.

Block quote

Ordered list

  1. Item 1
  2. Item 2
  3. Item 3

Unordered list

  • Item A
  • Item B
  • Item C

Text link

Bold text

Emphasis

Superscript

Subscript

How do students access Labster?

Labster is hosted online, which means that students only have to login from their internet browsers once an account is created.

How is Labster purchased?

Labster is only available for purchase by faculty and administration at academic institutions. To procure Labster, simply reach out to us on our website. Schedule a demo, book a meeting to discuss pricing, start a free trial, or simply fill out our contact form.

How is Labster different from other learning solutions?

Labster simulations are created by real scientists and designed with unparalleled interactivity. Unlike point and click competitors, Labster simulations immerse students and encourage mastery through active learning.

What types of courses does Labster support?

Labster supports a wide range of courses at the high school and university level across fields in biology, chemistry and physics. Some simulations mimic lab procedures with high fidelity to train foundational skills, while others are meant to bring theory to life through interactive scenarios.