Lifelines Online Summer 2000

Faculty Workshop

 Author Juville Dario-Becker
 Case Study  The Green Machine, Inc.


Case Background

Four friends, Matt, Jeff, Bert, and Ernie, fresh out of college, decided that instead of getting into the corporate world with an entry level position, they would form their own company and call it The Green Machine, Inc. Their motto is "Let us keep your office green and you will breathe fresh oxygen." The services of this consulting firm ranges from interior design of office space from floor to ceiling, to simply taking one aspect of an office component such as recommending specific plants for a specific office space to, maintaining the plants if the client request for this service. For the most part, the company is engaged in designing a healthy and aesthetically pleasing office environment.


Scenario 1: We Need the Business

The Green Machine, Inc. draws its business from advertising, referrals, solicitations, and competitive bids. Today, they are scheduled to bid on a newly built ten-story office building complex called the Rainbow Office Complex. Each of the 600-sq. ft. office space in the building has all of its the glass windows facing in one direction, either north or south. Additionally, the windows of each office space are tinted individually with a specific color of the rainbow: violet, blue, green, yellow, orange, and red. In order for The Green Machine, Inc. to win this contract, they must be able to win over the office building manager, Mr. D. P. Kult by providing him not only with aesthetically pleasing and environmentally healthy office designs and specifications, but also scientifically sound explanations as to the whys and hows of the plant choices, lighting, draperies, and other specific designs for each office spaces.


1. Will plants grow inside the building? If so what kind?

2. Where will plants be placed relative to the window? Why?

3. What will be the maintenance regiment? How much water, when to water, fertilizer needed?

4. Should plants be let out every so often?

How often? Why?

5. Based on the window tinting, which plants should go o which office? Why?

6. Should plants be provided with specific lighting? If so what kind? Why?

Getting Started 

Scenario Analysis

1. What is the case about?
2. What do you already know?
3. What do you want to know?
4. How will you proceed to find the answers to your questions?

Problem Solving 

Objectives and investigative activities:

1. To understand the nature of the electromagnetic spectrum, and more specifically, visible light.

The Nature of Light: Spectroscope activity in the laboratory. A variation could be a prism instead of a spectroscope.

Students look through the spectroscope, sketch the array of colors seen when a white light is used as the source of illumination. Next, use plastic colored sheets (violet, blue, green, yellow, orange, and red) as filters against the white light and sketch the array of colors seen through the spectroscope.

2. To understand the role of light in the growth and maintenance of a healthy plant.

Germinate two sets of seedlings, one under darkness, the other in sunlight. Compare germination time as a factor of light.

3. To understand the role of water in the growth and maintenance of a healthy plant.

Research paper activity. Explore the role of water in photosynthesis. Look into the molecular make up of chloroplast, the photosystems, and electron transport system.

4. To understand the process of photosynthesis by determining the presence of starch in a leaf.

Coleus or Geranium boiled in water and alcohol, then treated with iodine to determine the presence of starch.

5. To understand the role of photosynthesis in providing the earth with oxygen.

Aquatic plant in test tube exposed to light. Count the number of bubbles generated within a certain length of time.



· Biology. The Unity and Diversity of Life. Starr and Taggart
· Heinemann Biology Two. Evans et al.
· Year 12 Biology 2000. Allan and Greenwood.
· Biological Science: The Web of Life. Australian Acad. of Science
· Biology and its relation to mankind. A.M Winchester
· Biology a functional approach. M. B.V Roberts
· Elements of Biological Science. W Keeton and C McFadden
· Biology A Systems Approach. Kormondy and Essenfeld.
· The Biology of Australian Plants. Pate and McComb
· Year 12 Biology. Exam Questions by Topic. E.E Clements
· Genetics. A Human Focus. Martin and Kinnear
· Understanding Genetics. N Rothwell
· Facets of Genetics. Scientific American
· Essentials of Biology. Johnson, Delanney and Cole
· Fundamentals of Biometry. L Balaam
· Statistical Methods in Biological and Health Sciences. Milton& Tsokos
· Elements of Mathematical Biology. A Lotka
· An Introduction to Environmental Biophysics. G Campbell.
· Urinary and Digestive Systems. Rickards and Chapman.
· Respiratory and Cardiovascular Systems. Rickards&Chapman.
· The Nervous System. W Ganong
· Plant Anatomy. K Esau
· Cells into Organs. The forces that shape the embryo. J Trinkaus
· Biology. HSC Exam Papers and Answers, 1982 - 1988. L Kazmier ..Biogeography. Cox, Healey and Moore
· Basic Principles in Biology. Y. K. To

Web Resources: invisible-light.html (invisible region of the electromagnetic spectrum) visible-light.html (visible region of the electromagnetic spectrum) (solar energy) (radiant energy) (natural and artificial light sources) (the full spectrum of light) (visible light and photosynthesis, a PowerPoint slide presentation) (Spectroscopy) (lecture on photosynthesis) (electromagnetic radiation) (autotrophism) (chemical of the week) (photosynthesis lab)


1. A diorama of an office space scaled to proper dimension

2. A poster or brochure for the company.

Assessment and Evaluation 

Assessment: What do I want to assess?

1. Type of questions formulated.
2. Hypothesis and prediction.
3. Experimental design (unless specified)
4. Conclusion
5. New questions generated.
6. Use of resources provided

What do I want to test for grade?

1. Understanding of the concept of photosynthesis and the factors that influence the process.

2. Application of the concepts to solve real life problems.