Closed Ecosystem Challenge

As we have been working our way through a unit on ecology, I have found the tropical aquarium and frog terrarium in my classroom incredibly helpful.  For concepts like populations, communities, the carbon dioxide – oxygen cycle, and nitrogen cycle, students are presented with concrete examples from classroom pets they have observed all year.

To wrap up the unit, I wanted students to consider and observe the two very important cycles to the preservation of life — the carbon dioxide – oxygen cycle and the nitrogen cycle.  To do this, I divided students into groups and asked them to design a closed ecosystem in which the needs of all organisms are met.  You can check out the assignment pack I gave them, as well as some images of their ecosystems below:

 

Students test their ecosystems for water quality parameters like dissolved oxygen, pH, nitrites, nitrates, and ammonia.

Some students chose to house betta fish in their ecosystems.

Ready, Set, Go!

While I am by no means any sort of skilled photographer, I got to see and photo a few pretty cool fish at the aquarium in Woods Hole.

20140404-072818.jpg

20140404-072837.jpg

The last photo is my favorite and totally begs to be captioned… I’d love to hear your ideas!!

>

20140404-072929.jpg

20140404-072940.jpg