The Algae Academy

Algae have the potential to be a solution to some of society’s biggest challenges. What can we use as renewable fuel? Algae. How will we feed a growing population? Algae. What’s that green stuff growing in the pool? Algae.

The Algae Academy takes algae from “Ick” to “Awesome!” and will have your students asking their own big questions as they explore the potential of algae in their classrooms. Students will cultivate algae, monitor its growth, analyze and interpret data, and make connections as to how algae production has a positive impact on the global environment.

The Algae Academy is a FREE hands-on, algae-based STEM kit & curriculum that uses algae as the vehicle for exploration while helping students hone necessary STEM skills. It includes all necessary lab supplies, live algae and other consumables needed for students to grow algae in their classrooms. The curriculum also includes daily teacher resources and student worksheets and 8 instructional videos. The Algae Academy equips educators to hit the ground running with everything they need to excite their students about the possibilities of algae!

Since 2016 Algae Academy has served over 1,200 teachers and 94,000 students in all 50 states!

The Algae Academy runs two sessions each academic year – Fall (October) and Spring (March). Apply for the Algae Academy at the link above!

The goal of Algae Academy is to utilize algae as a tool to effectively meet the four disciplines of STEM in an interdisciplinary and applied approach by showcasing various aspects of algae technology and real-world examples of how algae create a more sustainable planet.

If you have questions about how the Algae Academy will fit into your classroom or any other requestions regarding this program, please contact:

Marissa Nalley, Director of Programs and Operations at


In 2015, The Algae Foundation launched the Algae Academy to educate and excite students on the power of algae as a sustainable solution for several of the dilemmas facing our global community.

The Foundation is committed to reaching teachers and students nationwide to provide this hands-on learning opportunity that will change the way they understand and interact with their environment on a daily basis. The Algae Academy committee is comprised of educators and algal industry professionals who are dedicated to providing adaptable curriculum that can easily be dropped into any K-12 classroom. The Algae Academy can be successful with small to large student bodies, general science to AP classes, homeschool collaboratives and beyond!


The Algae Academy curriculum includes a Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and Common Core State Standards ELA (CCSS – ELA) alignment tool that outlines how each lesson meets appropriate standards for each grade level.

The Algae Academy curriculum fulfills the human impact education component in the Next Generation Science Standards that requires students be able to apply scientific principles to design a method for monitoring and minimizing human impact on the environment. Algae production is an ideal example of how we as a population can minimize human impacts on water usage, land utilization, and pollution.

Algae Academy 5-Day Curriculum

The Algae Academy curriculum is drop-in ready and available in 3 grade levels – elementary (2-5), middle (6-8), and high school (9-12). There are additional activities available to accommodate AP classrooms.

  • The goal for elementary education is to introduce students to algae as an organism and to excite them on the interesting ways they interact with algae on a daily basis.
  • For middle and high school students, the goal is to utilize algae as a tool to effectively meet the four disciplines of STEM in an interdisciplinary and applied approach through real-world applications. Students learn about the essential need for sustainable resources, current concerns about future protein shortages, and how algae can be a game-changing resource in developing countries.

The curriculum includes:

  • Daily teacher resources, presentations, and scripts
  • NGSS/ELA alignment tool
  • Daily student worksheets
  • 8 instructional videos
  • Lab supplies for students to work in groups of 4
  • Live algae and media
  • Additional algae samples to view under the microscope
  • Additional activities for AP classes

See below for a quick overview of the 5 lessons.

DAY 1:
Introduction to Algae

Explore algae’s basic living requirements & positive impacts on our environment.

DAY 2:
Establish Algae Culture

In groups, students inoculate an algae culture and quantify the initial biomass.

DAY 3:
Exploring Algal Diversity

Students make wet mounts and observe three distinct algae under the microscope.

DAY 4:
Sampling and Growth Rates

Groups sample cultures again, quantify biomass and then use this data to calculate growth rate.

DAY 5:
Data Analysis

Students graph and analyze their data, then explore the possibilities of algae by designing their own algae company.