Experiment with Ecosystems

Experiment with virtual ecosystems and test your hypotheses about producer/consumer and predator/prey relationships.

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Requirements

On OS X 10.9 or newer, you will need to install a launcher application to run this Java activity. If you have not already installed it, please:

  • Download the launcher installer
  • Open the downloaded .dmg file and drag the CCLauncher application to your Applications folder
  • Return to this page and launch the resource

The goal of this activity is to give students the opportunity to “think like a scientist,“ making hypotheses, doing experiments, making observations, and analyzing data. Students are encouraged to construct and conduct their own experiments with ecosystems comprising grass, rabbits, and up to two predator species: hawks and foxes. (Evolution Readiness Activity 10 of 10.)

» Teacher Guide

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Download Size: 36 MB

WARNING: Your data will not be saved. To save data, run this activity as a registered user. You can register at the project portal. Please view the requirements below before launching this activity.

AAAS Benchmark Alignments (2008)

1. The Nature of Science

1A. The Scientific Worldview
  • 1A/E2**. By the end of the 5th grade, students should know that science is a process of trying to figure out how the world works by making careful observations and trying to make sense of those observations.
1B. Scientific Inquiry
  • 1B/E1*. By the end of the 5th grade, students should know that scientific investigations may take many different forms, including observing what things are like or what is happening somewhere, collecting specimens for analysis, and doing experiments.

2. The Nature of Mathematics

2A. Patterns and Relationships
  • 2A/E2. By the end of the 5th grade, students should know that mathematical ideas can be represented concretely, graphically, or symbolically.

5. The Living Environment

5A. Diversity of Life
  • 5A/M1. By the end of the 8th grade, students should know that one of the most general distinctions among organisms is between plants, which use sunlight to make their own food, and animals, which consume energy-rich foods. Some kinds of organisms, many of them microscopic, cannot be neatly classified as either plants or animals.
  • 5A/M2. By the end of the 8th grade, students should know that animals and plants have a great variety of body plans and internal structures that contribute to their being able to make or find food and reproduce.
5D. Interdependence of Life
  • 5D/P1. By the end of the 2nd grade, students should know that animals eat plants or other animals for food and may also use plants (or even other animals) for shelter and nesting.
  • 5D/E1*. By the end of the 5th grade, students should know that for any particular environment, some kinds of plants and animals thrive, some do not live as well, and some do not survive at all.
  • 5D/E3a. By the end of the 5th grade, students should know that organisms interact with one another in various ways besides providing food.
  • 5D/E4. By the end of the 5th grade, students should know that changes in an organism's habitat are sometimes beneficial to it and sometimes harmful.
  • 5D/M1a*. By the end of the 8th grade, students should know that in all environments, organisms with similar needs may compete with one another for limited resources, including food, space, water, air, and shelter.
5E. Flow of Matter and Energy
  • 5E/E2*. By the end of the 5th grade, students should know that some source of "fuel" is needed for all organisms to stay alive and grow.
5F. Evolution of Life
  • 5F/M2b. By the end of the 8th grade, students should know that changes in environmental conditions can affect the survival of individual organisms and entire species.

9. The Mathematical World

9B. Symbolic Relationships
  • 9B/E2. By the end of the 5th grade, students should know that tables and graphs can show how values of one quantity are related to values of another.
9C. Shapes
  • 9C/E3*. By the end of the 5th grade, students should know that graphical display of quantities may make it possible to spot patterns that are not otherwise obvious, such as cycles and trends.

11. Common Themes

11B. Models
  • 11B/E3** (SFAA). By the end of the 5th grade, students should know that a model of something is similar to, but not exactly like, the thing being modeled. Some models are physically similar to what they are representing, but others are not.
  • 11B/E4**. By the end of the 5th grade, students should know that models are very useful for communicating ideas about objects, events, and processes. When using a model to communicate about something, it is important to keep in mind how it is different from the thing being modeled.
  • 11B/M1*. By the end of the 8th grade, students should know that models are often used to think about processes that happen too slowly, too quickly, or on too small a scale to observe directly. They are also used for processes that are too vast, too complex, or too dangerous to study.
11C. Constancy and Change
  • 11C/E2a*. By the end of the 5th grade, students should know that things change in steady, repetitive, or erratic ways—or sometimes in more than one way at the same time.
  • 11C/E2b. By the end of the 5th grade, students should know that often the best way to tell which kinds of change are happening is to make a table or graph of measurements.

12. Habits of Mind

12A. Values and Attitudes
  • 12A/M2. By the end of the 8th grade, students should know that hypotheses are valuable, even if they turn out not to be true, if they lead to fruitful investigations.
12D. Communication Skills
  • 12D/E4** (BSL). By the end of the 5th grade, students should be able to read simple tables and graphs produced by others and describe what the tables and graphs show.
12E. Critical-Response Skills
  • 12E/E1. By the end of the 5th grade, students should buttress their statements with facts found in books, articles, and databases, and identify the sources used and expect others to do the same.

Copyright
© Copyright The Concord Consortium

Record Link
<a href="">The Concord Consortium. Experiment with Ecosystems. Concord: The Concord Consortium, 2010, September 28.</a>

AIP
Experiment with Ecosystems (The Concord Consortium, Concord, 2010, September 28), WWW Document, (https://concord.org/).

AJP
Experiment with Ecosystems (The Concord Consortium, Concord, 2010, September 28), WWW Document, (https://concord.org/).

APA
Experiment with Ecosystems. (2010, September 28). Retrieved 2016, December 2, from The Concord Consortium: https://concord.org/

Disclaimer: The Concord Consortium offers citation styles as a guide only. We cannot offer interpretations about citations as this is an automated procedure.

Requirements

This activity requires the Java Runtime Environment version 5 (sometimes referred to as 1.5) or later with Java Webstart. You can download it at java.com.

On OS X 10.9 or newer, you will need to install a launcher application to run this Java activity. If you have not already installed it, please:

  • Download the launcher installer
  • Open the downloaded .dmg file and drag the CCLauncher application to your Applications folder
  • Return to this page and launch the resource

The download for this activity will require 36 MB of disk space.

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Evolution ReadinessThis resource is a part of the Concord Consortium's Evolution Readiness project.

Grade Level
Elementary School
Subject
Biology
Focus Area
Modeling and Simulation
Rating
5
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