Time Required: 200 minutes
In The Lab, students will:

Participate in a Biodiversity Nature Walk in order to identify organisms inhabiting the schoolyard ecosystem and create a diagram of how organisms are connected to one another within the schoolyard ecosystem. They then will roll the “Dice of Destiny” to encounter an environmental stressor and predict how the environmental stressor could impact on the biodiversity within the schoolyard ecosystem.

Develop a model to describe the cycling of matter and flow of energy among living and nonliving parts of an ecosystem. [Clarification Statement: Emphasis is on describing the conservation of matter and flow of energy into and out of various ecosystems, and on defining the boundaries of the system.] [Assessment Boundary: Assessment does not include the use of chemical reactions to describe the processes.]
Construct an argument supported by empirical evidence that changes to physical or biological components of an ecosystem affect populations. [Clarification Statement: Emphasis is on recognizing patterns in data and making warranted inferences about changes in populations, and on evaluating empirical evidence supporting arguments about changes to ecosystems.]
Evaluate competing design solutions for maintaining biodiversity and ecosystem services.* [Clarification Statement: Examples of ecosystem services could include water purification, nutrient recycling, and prevention of soil erosion. Examples of design solution constraints could include scientific, economic, and social considerations.]