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  • Biome
The Benefits of Biodiversity
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Students toss coins to determine what traits a set of mouse parents possess, such as fur color, body size, heat tolerance, and running speed. Then they use coin tossing to determine the traits a mouse pup born to these parents possesses. Then they compare these physical features to features that would be most adaptive in several different environmental conditions. Finally, students consider what would happen to the mouse offspring if those environmental conditions were to change: which mice would be most likely to survive and produce the next generation?

Subject:
Technology and Engineering
Genetics
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering NGSS Aligned Resources
Author:
Engineering K-PhD Program,
Mary R. Hebrank (project and lesson/activity consultant)
Date Added:
10/14/2015
Biodomes
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Students explore the biosphere's environments and ecosystems, learning along the way about the plants, animals, resources and natural cycles of our planet. Over the course of lessons 2-6, students use their growing understanding of various environments and the engineering design process to design and create their own model biodome ecosystems - exploring energy and nutrient flows, basic needs of plants and animals, and decomposers. Students learn about food chains and food webs. They are introduced to the roles of the water, carbon and nitrogen cycles. They test the effects of photosynthesis and transpiration. Students are introduced to animal classifications and interactions, including carnivore, herbivore, omnivore, predator and prey. They learn about biomimicry and how engineers often imitate nature in the design of new products. As everyday applications are interwoven into the lessons, students consider why a solid understanding of one's environment and the interdependence within ecosystems can inform the choices we make and the way we engineer our communities.

Subject:
Technology and Engineering
Biology
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Lesson Plan
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering NGSS Aligned Resources
Author:
Christopher Valenti
Denise W. Carlson
Malinda Schaefer Zarske
Date Added:
11/11/2008
Biodomes Engineering Design Project: Lessons 2-6
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In this multi-day activity, students explore environments, ecosystems, energy flow and organism interactions by creating a scale model biodome, following the steps of the engineering design process. The Procedure section provides activity instructions for Biodomes unit, lessons 2-6, as students work through Parts 1-6 to develop their model biodome. Subjects include energy flow and food chains, basic needs of plants and animals, and the importance of decomposers. Students consider why a solid understanding of one's environment and the interdependence of an ecosystem can inform the choices we make and the way we engineer our own communities. This activity can be conducted as either a very structured or open-ended design.

Subject:
Technology and Engineering
Ecology
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering NGSS Aligned Resources
Author:
Christopher Valenti
Denise Carlson
Integrated Teaching and Learning Program,
Katherine Beggs
Malinda Schaefer Zarske
Date Added:
10/14/2015
Biomes and Population Dynamics - Balance within Natural Systems
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With a continued focus on the Sonoran Desert, students are introduced to the concepts of biomes, limiting factors (resources), carrying capacity and growth curves through a PowerPoint® presentation. Abiotic factors (temperature, annual precipitation, seasons, etc.) determine the biome landscape. The vegetative component, as producers, determines the types of consumers that form its various communities. Students learn how the type and quantity of available resources defines how many organisms can be supported within the community, as well as its particular resident species. Students use mathematical models of natural relationships (in this case, sigmoid and exponential growth curves) to analyze population information and build upon it. With this understanding, students are able to explain how carrying capacity is determined by the limiting factors within the community and feeding relationships. By studying these ecological relationships, students see the connection between ecological relationships of organisms and the fundamentals of engineering design, adding to their base of knowledge towards solving the grand challenge posed in this unit.

Subject:
Technology and Engineering
Ecology
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering NGSS Aligned Resources
Author:
Amber Spolarich
Megan Johnston
VU Bioengineering RET Program,
Wendy J. Holmgren
Date Added:
09/18/2014
Desert Biome
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Educational Use
Rating

This video segment from NOVA: A Desert Place describes the physical characteristics and organisms that define the desert biome.

Subject:
Life Science
Ecology
Forestry and Agriculture
Material Type:
Lecture
Provider:
PBS LearningMedia
Provider Set:
PBS Learning Media Common Core Collection
Author:
National Science Foundation
WGBH Educational Foundation
Date Added:
09/26/2003
Environments and Ecosystems
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Educational Use
Rating

Students explore the biosphere and its associated environments and ecosystems in the context of creating a model ecosystem, learning along the way about the animals and resources. Students investigate different types of ecosystems, learn new vocabulary, and consider why a solid understanding of one's environment and the interdependence of an ecosystem can inform the choices we make and the way we engineer our communities. This lesson is part of a series of six lessons in which students use their growing understanding of various environments and the engineering design process, to design and create their own model biodome ecosystems.

Subject:
Technology and Engineering
Ecology
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Lesson Plan
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering NGSS Aligned Resources
Author:
Christopher Valenti
Denise W. Carlson
Integrated Teaching and Learning Program,
Malinda Schaefer Zarske
Date Added:
09/18/2014
Google Expedition - Ecosystems
Conditional Remix & Share Permitted
CC BY-NC-SA
Rating

Google Expeditions is an excellent app for giving students a virtual reality experience, allowing students to visit and experience new places and locations. This activity takes students on a virtual field trip through six different ecosystems. This resource was developed as a part of the Creating Lessons Using Transformative Technology - Platteville Public Schools OER Grant.

Subject:
Life Science
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Learning Task
Lesson
Author:
Denise Huser
Date Added:
08/02/2019
A Mini World
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Educational Use
Rating

As students learn about the creation of biodomes, they are introduced to the steps of the engineering design process, including guidelines for brainstorming. Students learn how engineers are involved in the design and construction of biodomes and use brainstorming to come up with ideas for possible biodome designs. This lesson is part of a series of six lessons in which students use their growing understanding of various environments and the engineering design process, to design and create their own model biodome ecosystems.

Subject:
Technology and Engineering
Art and Design
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Lesson Plan
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering NGSS Aligned Resources
Author:
Denise W. Carlson
Integrated Teaching and Learning Program,
Katherine Beggs
Malinda Schaefer Zarske
Date Added:
09/18/2014
Population Density: How Much Space Do You Have?
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Educational Use
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Students learn about population density within environments and ecosystems. They determine the density of a population and think about why population density and distribution information is useful to engineers for city planning and design as well as for resource allocation.

Subject:
Technology and Engineering
Art and Design
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering NGSS Aligned Resources
Author:
Christopher Valenti
Denise Carlson
Integrated Teaching and Learning Program,
Malinda Schaefer Zarske
Date Added:
10/14/2015
Working Together to Live Together
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Educational Use
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Students experience civil and environmental engineering by planning a housing development in an existing biome, while also protecting the native species that live there. They conduct research, draw plans, make brochures and give presentations, with each team having a member serving as a project manager, civil engineer, environmental engineer and graphic designer. The best designs creatively balance the needs and resources necessary to support both the native species and human infrastructure.

Subject:
Technology and Engineering
Art and Design
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering NGSS Aligned Resources
Author:
Marissa H. Forbes
Myla Van Duyn, (Davis High School, Houston ISD)
National Science Foundation GK-12 and Research Experience for Teachers (RET) Programs,
Date Added:
09/18/2014