Biodiversity Startling Stats and it’s a Wrap!

May 7, 2010 at 10:39 AM Leave a comment

We finished with the string food web game for the local ecosystem, with students taking on the roles of the photos of local wild life they had taken. What if an animal goes extinct? They drop the string and the other organisms pick up the slack, one then the next and the change rattles through the system. A few extinctions can have their roles absorbed by other organisms with overlapping niches. But lots going extinct, then it’s chaos and the system can collapse.

Well, that’s the way it’s supposed to work. If we had enough time. We did a brief version sitting in a circle on the lawn in the dappled light of the ash trees on a beautiful May morning.

Then we did some tipping point games (Jenga and Kerplunk. Kerplunk is a better model by the way) to reinforce the point that you never know exactly where the tipping point is. Leading into another look at the New Scientist graph showing global temperature, fisheries, paper use, vehicles, GNP tracking upward exponentially and the Scientific American article April 2010 “Boundaries for a Healthy Planet” by J.Foley. It’s scary stuff and now they seem sufficiently informed to see that more clearly and calmly. Glad we are taking some action.

It feels like concepts are being woven together for me, if not for them. It’s so fun being more curious with them – what do you think about X now? Have you changed your view since the start? Why? etc. Really enjoying those chats but have to keep an eye on the clock. Only a month for evolution, TAP presentations and Light and Optics. Yeah, right…

“Why don’t those people in developing countries have less kids?” – a shocking question one of my girls asked at the end of the activity. Like she hadn’t really been here this school year. About half the kids raised their hand to say they’d heard adults ask that question.

Well, why are lots of kids a good decision sometimes? Lots of ideas. Touched on equality of women, how it’s more than just knowing about and access to birth control. A good thing for me to know that questions like that are around still.

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Entry filed under: Biodiversity and Ecology. Tags: , , , , .

Kids on STAR tests, multiple choice vs short answer. TAPping on the dominant paradigm!

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