--> MS-LS2-2. Construct an explanation that predicts patterns of interactions among organisms across multiple ecosystems.
Either projected on the board, or onto individual student devices, teacher will use the Maine Explorers "Lake Invaders" activity (which is currently not supported on my old laptop, so I am unable to show an example) to demonstrate species interactions (specifically invasive species) in an ecosystem. With student input, teacher will manipulate factors including predator and prey populations, and students will see what happens to the other species' in the ecosystem.
Maine Explorer "Lake Invaders"
Students will play the "Ecosystem Game." --> Students are given formulas to model the population growth (or decay) of their assigned species. When other species in the room hit certain points, their own formula will change – for example, if their species is a predator species, when their main prey species hits a certain low point, their populations growth factor might drop. The students make tables of the population as it changes and when it hits what is a “critical point” for another species in the room (ie when the population size will affect another species growth or decay rate) the group rings a bell to indicate the change so that other groups can adjust their formulas.
1. How could human impact change the balance in an ecosystem?
2. What do you think the most important species in our classroom ecosystem was? Explain.
3. Generalize your previous answer to any ecosystem – what factors make a species “important” in its ecosystem, and why?