Science
Strand III
Use Scientific Knowledge from the Life Sciences in Real-World Contexts

 

Science/Strand III
Content Standard 5
All students will explain how parts of an ecosystem are related and how they interact; explain how energy is distributed to living things in an ecosystem; investigate and explain how communities of living things change over a period of time; describe how materials cycle through an ecosystem and get reused in the environment; and analyze how humans and the environment interact. (Ecosystems)

 

Science/Strand III/Content Standard 5
High School

 

Science/Strand III/Content Standard 5/High School
Benchmark 6
Explain the effects of agriculture and urban development on selected ecosystems (SCI.III.5.HS.6).

Benchmark Clarification

Agriculture and urban development have had many effects on ecosystems.

Students will:

  • Identify the specific impacts of agriculture, manufacturing, recreation, and urban development on ecosystems
  • Research how decisions that impact the environment are made by governments and businesses
  • Debate the value of protecting the environment vs. the economic impact of those decisions
  • Discuss how natural resources can be protected and at the same time used

Key Concept / Real World Context / Instructional Example / Assessment Example / Resources

 

Science/Strand III/Content Standard 5/High School/Benchmark 6
Key Concept
Common factors that influence ecosystems:

  • pollution of ecosystems
    • fertilizer
    • insecticides
    • other chemicals
    • land management
    • biodiversity
    • sustainability
    • loss of habitat

See Risk/benefit analysis (SCI.IV.1.HS.1).

See Water pollution (SCI.V.2.HS.2).

 

Science/Strand III/Content Standard 5/High School/Benchmark 6
Real World Context
Common factors that influence ecosystems:

  • pollution of ecosystems from:
    • agriculture
    • industry
    • urban development

 

Science/Strand III/Content Standard 5/High School/Benchmark 6
Instructional Example

Benchmark Question: What are the effects of agriculture and urban development on selected ecosystems?

Focus Question: What is the impact of pollution on an ecosystem?

Students will work in small groups to develop an experiment to determine the impact of a specific pollutant on a specific population of plants and animals. Each student will summarize, discuss, and analyze the effects on an ecosystem in a lab report.

Example:

Predict how different concentrations of phosphate detergents and liquid fertilizer high in nitrogen will affect the growth of duckweed*. Design an experiment to test how different concentrations of nitrates and phosphates affect the growth of Duckweed. Count the number of leaflets in the population at the beginning and the end of the experiment**.

* Duckweed can be found in most freshwater ponds and can be grown in an aquarium for a long period of time.

** Any lab dealing with populations of organisms will require monitoring over several days or weeks.

Extension: Students may want to test the effects of used motor oil concentrations on the duckweed populations. Remember to dispose of oil at a recycling center.

Constructing: (SCI.I.1.HS.1), (SCI.I.1.HS.2), (SCI.I.1.HS.5).

Reflecting: (SCI.II.1.HS.1), (SCI.II.1.HS.3), (SCI.II.1.HS.5), (SCI.II.1.HS.6).

 

Science/Strand III/Content Standard 5/High School/Benchmark 6
Assessment Example

With a partner, students will create a comic book that illustrates the effects of a selected pollutant on a habitat in their area. The comic book should include both dialogue/captions and illustrations. The book should include the following concepts:

  • Source of the pollutant (farm, sewer system, power plant, etc.)
  • Mechanism of dispersal for pollutant (e.g., wind, groundwater, etc.)
  • Short-term effects on one organism
  • Long-term effects on one organism
  • Short-term effects on the entire habitat
  • Long-term effects on the entire habitat
  • Social concerns of humans
  • Economic concerns of humans

(Give students rubric before activity.)

Scoring Rubric

Criteria

Apprentice

Basic

Meets

Exceeds

Completeness of contents

Answers with fewer than three correct responses from list above.

Answers with three correct responses from list above.

Answers with four correct responses from list above.

Answers with more than four correct responses from list above.

Accuracy of concepts

Conveys concepts inaccurately.

Conveys some concepts accurately.

Conveys all concepts accurately.

Conveys all concepts accurately with creativity and quality.

 

Science/Strand III/Content Standard 5/High School/Benchmark 6
Resources

Webliography.
http://mtn.merit.edu/mcf/SCI.III.5.HS.6.html

Human Impact.
http://www.aqua.org/education/teachers/chesapeake.html