Endangered Species Kit
- Use evidence to support claims for how changes in environmental conditions may result in changes to species populations.
- High school laboratory investigation with enough materials for 40 student players.
- Carolina Kits 3D®Labs that use phenomena to support NGSS and 3-dimensional instruction.
Students explore the phenomena of population decline and extinction through an endangered species population modeling game, Struggle for Survival. Each student assumes the role of 1 of 40 endangered or threatened species. In the pre-lab simulation, students begin the game with an equal number of chips, each representing a fraction of the total species population. Throughout the game, students pair up, trade threat cards or conservation cards, and lose or gain chips to see what happens to the species population as the game progresses. After reflecting on what that model shows in the pre-lab, students propose game changers in the investigation that improve upon the basic game and make it more closely model what can happen in natural systems. Throughout the investigations students strive to answer the driving question, “How can environmental changes affect species populations?
Teacher prep, 20 minutes. Pre-lab, investigation, and assessment, approximately 4 class periods.
Includes 1-year access to digital resources that support 3-dimensional instruction for NGSS. Digital resources may include a teacher’s manual and student guide, pre-lab activities and setup videos, phenomenon videos, simulations, and post-lab analysis and assessments.
Systems and System Models
Disciplinary Core Ideas
Science and Engineering Practices
Developing and Using Models
- Model how changes in environmental conditions can affect species populations.
- Identify specific threats that can endanger species, contributing to population decline and even extinction.
- Consider the importance and necessity of conservation efforts for the protection and expansion of threatened and endangered species.
- Evaluate a model and propose changes to improve the model.
Prerequisite Knowledge and Skills
Students should have basic understanding of what biodiversity is and why it is valuable. They should be familiar with the meanings of the following terms: species, population, habitat, ecosystem, extinction, and conservation.
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