Population Explosion

Study how populations stay in balance with their environment and respond to various factors such as food supply and predators

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Many factors influence the success and survival rate of a population of living things. Explore several factors that can determine the survival of a population of sheep in this NetLogo model. Start with a model of unlimited grass available to the sheep and watch what happens to the sheep population! Next try to keep the population under control by removing sheep periodically. Change the birthrate, grass regrowth rate, and the amount of energy rabbits get from the grass to keep a stable population.

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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.

Subject
Biology

Focus Area
Modeling and Simulation

Grade Level
High School

License
CC BY 4.0

AAAS Benchmark Alignments (2008)

2. The Nature of Mathematics

2B. Mathematics, Science, and Technology
  • 2B/H1*. By the end of the 12th grade, students should know that mathematical modeling aids in technological design by simulating how a proposed system might behave.
  • 2B/H3*. By the end of the 12th grade, students should know that mathematics provides a precise language to describe objects and events and the relationships among them. In addition, mathematics provides tools for solving problems, analyzing data, and making logical arguments.

5. The Living Environment

5D. Interdependence of Life
  • 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.
  • 5D/M3** (NSES). By the end of the 8th grade, students should know that given adequate resources and an absence of disease or predators, populations of organisms in ecosystems increase at rapid rates. Finite resources and other factors limit their growth.
  • 5D/H1*. By the end of the 12th grade, students should know that ecosystems can be reasonably stable over hundreds or thousands of years. As any population grows, its size is limited by one or more environmental factors: availability of food, availability of nesting sites, or number of predators.
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/M3*. By the end of the 8th grade, students should know that graphs can show a variety of possible relationships between two variables. As one variable increases uniformly, the other may do one of the following: increase or decrease steadily, increase or decrease faster and faster, get closer and closer to some limiting value, reach some intermediate maximum or minimum, alternately increase and decrease, increase or decrease in steps, or do something different from any of these.
  • 9B/H2a. By the end of the 12th grade, students should know that symbolic statements can be manipulated by rules of mathematical logic to produce other statements of the same relationship, which may show some interesting aspect more clearly.
  • 9B/H4. By the end of the 12th grade, students should know that tables, graphs, and symbols are alternative ways of representing data and relationships that can be translated from one to another.

11. Common Themes

11B. Models
  • 11B/M6** (SFAA). By the end of the 8th grade, students should know that a model can sometimes be used to get ideas about how the thing being modeled actually works, but there is no guarantee that these ideas are correct if they are based on the model alone.
  • 11B/H1a*. By the end of the 12th grade, students should know that a mathematical model uses rules and relationships to describe and predict objects and events in the real world.
  • 11B/H4** (SFAA). By the end of the 12th grade, students should know that often, a mathematical model may fit a phenomenon over a small range of conditions (such as temperature or time), but it may not fit well over a wider range.
11C. Constancy and Change
  • 11C/H1*. By the end of the 12th grade, students should know that if a system in equilibrium is disturbed, it may return to a very similar state of equilibrium, or it may undergo a radical change until the system achieves a new state of equilibrium with very different conditions, or it may fail to achieve any type of equilibrium.
  • 11C/H4. By the end of the 12th grade, students should know that graphs and equations are useful (and often equivalent) ways for depicting and analyzing patterns of change.

Copyright
© Copyright The Concord Consortium

Record Link
<a href="">The Concord Consortium. Population Explosion. Concord: The Concord Consortium, 2010, September 15.</a>

AIP
Population Explosion (The Concord Consortium, Concord, 2010, September 15), WWW Document, (https://concord.org/).

AJP
Population Explosion (The Concord Consortium, Concord, 2010, September 15), WWW Document, (https://concord.org/).

APA
Population Explosion. (2010, September 15). Retrieved 2017, March 24, 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 runs entirely in a Web browser. Preferred browsers are: Google Chrome (versions 30 and above), Safari (versions 7 and above), Firefox (version 30 and above), Internet Explorer (version 10 or higher), and Microsoft's Edge.

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Innovative Technology in Science InquiryThis resource is a part of the Concord Consortium's Innovative Technology in Science Inquiry project.

Grade Level
High School
Subject
Biology
Focus Area
Modeling and Simulation
Rating
4
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