Connecting biodiversity, math, and field studies
View and discuss results of biofilm tests performed at the Center of Marine Biotechnology  from a PowerPoint presentation and integrate math and biodiversity by having students complete the "Let's Calculate Biodiversity", "Try these data" and "Virtual samples" at www.mdsg.umd.edu/Education/biofilm/index.htm


Objectives
The student will be able to; 1. Explain how organisms within the ecosystem depend on one another, 2. Describe the benefits and limitations of the ecosystem model, 3. Develop an appropriate experimental design that tests for biofilm formation in a simple ecosystem model, and 4. Extend what has been learned in the classroom into the field so students can develop simple studies and perfrom biodiversity calculations with naturally occuring populations.
Materials
Model aquatic ecosystem designed by student teams
PowerPoint presentation- see Lesson Resources
"Let's Calculate Biodiversity", "Try these data" and "Virtual samples" at www.mdsg.umd.edu/Education/biofilm/index.htm
Procedure
1.  View and discuss results of biofilm tests performed at the Center of Marine Biotechnology  from PowerPoint presentation and integrate math and biodiversity by having students complete the "Let's Calculate Biodiversity", "Try these data" and "Virtual samples" at www.mdsg.umd.edu/Education/biofilm/index.htm
2.  Observe the biofilms in the aquatic ecosystem model designed by students- ongoing.
3.  Attempt biofilm tests in school pond and/or biodiversity counts of plants on school campus grounds.  There are general guidelines for this in the You're the Expert section of the Biofilms and Biodiversity website, www.mdsg.umd.edu/Education/biofilm/index.htm
References
"Let's Calculate Biodiversity", "Try these data" and "Virtual samples" at www.mdsg.umd.edu/Education/biofilm/index.htm
State Standards
3.5.1- The student will analyze the relationships between biotic diversity and abiotic factors in environments and the resulting influence on ecosystems.
3.5.2- The student will analyze the interrelationships and interdependencies among different organisms and explain how these relationships contribute to the stabilty of the ecosystem.
3.5.3- The student will investigate how natural and man-made changes in environmental conditions will affect individual organisms and the dynamics of populations.
3.5.4- The student will illustrate how all organisms are part of and depend on two major global food webs that are positively or negatively influenced by human activity and technology.
Lesson Resources