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Populations and Ecosystems (5-8)

* A population consists of all individuals of a species that occur at a given place and time.   * Populations of organisms can be categorized by the function they serve in an ecosystem: producers make their own food (plants), consumers obtain food by eating other organisms (animals), and decomposers consume waste materials and dead organisms (bacteria and fungi).   * Energy from the sun flows through ecosystems.   * Organisms depend on available resources. (NSES, 1996)

In the rectangle above, you will find the fundamental concepts and principles that underlie this standard. Below you will find a list of recommended "learning tools" for this standard. All links are in yellow, just click the link. Numbers are for reference only. Use our "Tell a Friend" feature, at the bottom,  to send this page to a friend!

1

Build-A-Prairie is a “learning tool” developed by The Bell Museum of Natural History.  Students must turn a barren plain into a healthy prairie by choosing the best plants and animals while avoiding dangerous exotic species! Then watch the prairie come to life in exciting animations!

2

The Great Salt Lake has a relatively simple food chain. This wonderfully clear learning tool is called the Great Salt Lake Ecology and does a great job of explaining the living factors and the non-living factors which keep this ecosystem running. This site comes to us from an amazing site for genetics called The Genetics Science Learning Center which is produced from the University of Utah.

3

Secrets at Sea is a “learning tool” that invites students to solve a mystery by tracking down ecological clues in an interactive story format. Topics woven into the mystery include food webs, bioaccumulations, killer whales, salmon, plankton, salinity, and others. Click on "Chapter 1: What's with those Whales?" to get started.

4

The name of this exceptional "learning tool" is called Zoo Matchmaker. How can zoos help save endangered species? By breeding them in captivity, in hopes of someday releasing animals back into their original habitats. This interactive places you in charge of a breeding program for endangered tigers. Choose from several breeding plans, then make the best matches to ensure tiger survival. Along the way, you'll learn about tiger genetics and the basic rules of inheritance. Presented and developed by the Minnesota Zoo.

5

NASA continues to be a leader in science education! This "learning tool" is called the "Earth Observatory: Data & Images". Here you can explore data sets in a very visual way. Scroll your mouse over Atmosphere, Oceans, Land, Life on Earth, and Heat & Energy to see the specific variables you can choose. Select the variable and then build an animation to see it change over time. In LAND , you might want to select Landcover Classification to see ecosystems over time.

6

This "learning tool" is an applet which clearly explains the predator prey relationship in ecology. The name of this interactive is Predator and Prey, it uses the classic relationship of the Canadian Lynx and the Snowshoe rabbit. On the second page make sure you hit the "Graph" button to get to the interactive graph. This tool is brought to us by McGraw Hill.

7

This "learning tool" is called Food Chain.  One of the most innovative science education companies is Explorelearning.com, they call their simulations, Gizmos. They are a subscription site, but they allow you to see this Gizmo for 5 minutes.   Shockwave is required.

8

This "learning tool" is called Estimating Population Size.  One of the most innovative science education companies is Explorelearning.com, they call their simulations, Gizmos. They are a subscription site, but they allow you to see this Gizmo for 5 minutes.   Shockwave is required.

9

NASA has always been a leader in science education. The name of this "learning tool" is called Invasive Species, and it allows students to control an outbreak of an invading species on an island. This comes to us from the NASA Computational Technologies Project Science Interactives.

10

NASA has always been a leader in science education. The name of this "learning tool" is called Predator-Prey.  This simulation is conceptually clean and clear. From  NASA CT Science Interactives. Thanks.

11

 This learning tool is called Worm World and teaches students about worms as decomposers in our environment. Students also can hear from the Worm Woman and meet Wendell the Worm's other cousins. This learning tool comes from the Discovery Kids.

 

 

 

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