FOSS Module Summary

Course Summary – Environments


All living things depend on the conditions in their environment. The study of the relationships between one organism and its environment builds knowledge of all organisms. With this knowledge comes an awareness of limits. Changes in an environment can be hard on organisms. Such knowledge is important because humans can change environments. To do so without awareness of possible consequences can lead to disasters. The Environments Module consists of six investigations that introduce students to these basic concepts in environmental biology.


  • Develop an attitude of respect and understanding for life.
  • Gain experience with the major environmental factors in terrestrial and aquatic systems.
  • Conduct controlled experiments with plants to determine ranges of tolerance.
  • Determine an organism's optimum conditions and environmental preferences.
  • Organize and analyze data from experiments and investigations with plants and animals.
  • Observe and describe changes in complex systems overtime.
  • Relate laboratory studies to natural systems.
  • Apply mathematics in the context of science.
  • Acquire vocabulary associated with environmental biology.
  • Exercise language, math, and social studies skills in the context of biology investigations.
  • Use scientific thinking processes to conduct investigations and build explanations: observing, communicating,comparing, organizing, and relating.

For a description of each investigation in the Environments Module and the correlations to the National Science Education Standards, download the Environments Module Summary PDF. To view the module summary, you must have the Adobe Acrobat Reader plug-in. Acrobat Reader is available free at

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