Module Summary – Environments
The study of the structures and behaviors of organisms and the relationships between one organism and its environment builds knowledge of all organisms. With this knowledge comes an awareness of limits. Such knowledge is important because humans can change environments.
The Environments Module has four investigations that focus on the anchor phenomenon that animals and plants interact with their environment and with each other. The driving question for the module deals with structure and function—How do the structures of an organism allow it to survive in its environment? Students design investigations to study preferred environments, range of tolerance, and optimum conditions for growth and survival of specific organisms, both terrestrial and aquatic. Students conduct controlled experiments by incrementally changing specific environmental conditions to determine the range of tolerance for early growth of seeds and hatching of brine shrimp, and use these data to develop and use models to understand the impact of changes to the environment. Students explore how animals use their sense of hearing and develop models for detecting and interpreting sound. They graph and interpret data from multiple trials of experiments and build explanations from evidence. Students gain experiences that will contribute to the understanding of crosscutting concepts of patterns; cause and effect; scale, proportion, and quantity; systems and system models; energy and matter; structure and function; and stability and change.
For a description of each investigation in ENVIRONMENTS and the correlations to the National Science Education Standards, download the ENVIRONMENTS Module Overview PDF.
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