Sunday, April 30, 2017

Adaptation and Species Interaction reading
Answer the questions 1 a, b; 2a, b; and 3a, b on page 31 (last page of the reading)

Traits - Dominant, Recessive
Natural Selection

Reminder on Genes and Traits

1. How did snakes benefit from gene mutation?

Adaptation Video

1. How did the owls evolve over time?  
2. Which trait is favored?  
3. Why was this a factor caused by climate change?

Phet Simulation on Adaptations and Traits.

Peppered Moth Simulation

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Food Web Project and Helping Video Links

Watch this video on food webs and how biotic and abiotic factors in an ecosystem are connected.

Amoeba Sisters Video on Food Webs and Energy Pyramids

Food Web Project

Create a food web for an ecosystem that is within the State of Maine. For example a forest, field, stream, backyard, saltmarsh, or beach. You are encouraged to choose an ecosystem that you are familiar with. You should organize your food web so that relationships between organisms are demonstrated (like we did in class).

A good way to start:
Brainstorm organisms within an ecosystem (you should have 15-20)
Place the organisms into groups: producer, consumer, decomposer (click to find more).

Vocabulary to keep in mind:
decomposer (click here to learn more)
food web
trophic level

Checklist of Required Items
Your food web should:

  • have 15 - 20 organisms represented in the food web.
  • identify the name of each organism (this should be specific, do not just list fish or tree).
  • include arrows to indicate the flow of energy (going in the direction that the energy travels)
  • have at least 2 of every trophic level represented (decomposer, producer, consumer).
  • show many organisms interacting.
  • contain a sketch for each organism (computer printed images are OK if you do not like to draw).
  • use a ruler to draw straight lines.
  • contain color.
  • contain a title (example - A Tidal Pool Food Web).
  • contain your name and group.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Ecology Introduction and Vocabulary

As we begin our new unit on Ecology, here are some important links to get us started:

Link to Sciencesaurus Reading:
Click here to access

Link to Ecology Vocabulary
Click here to access
Make a copy, Replace "Copy of" with your last name, and move to your science folder.

This article links to the food chain that we completed today in class.  It also discusses the idea of invasive species and their impact to an ecosystem in Maine.

Tackling Maine's Pike Problem - Portland Press Herald

Videos on Food Chains

Food Chain Game

Further articles that have links to invasive species and food chains in the State of Maine.

Portland Press Herald


Bangor Daily News

Pike Portland Press Herald Article
Troubled Waters for Wild Brook Trout
Click here to access questions

Read and and pay close attention authors view points. 
Portland Press Herald Article.
Mayday Gulf of Maine in Distress

Monday, April 24, 2017

Trophic Cascades and the Wolves of Yellowstone

Introduction to Ecosystems
NGSS Standards:
MS-LS2.A.2 ( Middle School Life Sciences ): Growth of organisms and population increases are limited by access to resources.
MS-LS2.A.3 ( Middle School Life Sciences ): In any ecosystem, organisms and populations with similar requirements for food, water, oxygen, or other resources may compete with each other for limited resources, access to which consequently constrains their growth and reproduction.
MS-LS2.B.1 ( Middle School Life Sciences ): Food webs are models that demonstrate how matter and energy is transferred between producers, consumers, and decomposers as the three groups interact within an ecosystem. Transfers of matter into and out of the physical environment occur at every level. 
MS-LS2.C.1 ( Middle School Life Sciences ): Ecosystems are dynamic in nature; their characteristics can vary over time. Disruptions to any physical or biological component of an ecosystem can lead to shifts in all its populations.

How the Wolves Changed the Rivers

Link to Worksheet - Click here to access.

Ideas to consider:
1. What is a biotic factor vs an abiotic factor?
2. What is a trophic cascade?
3. How does one organism impact another?

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Informational essay writing

Introductory Paragraph - Click here to watch

TaskYou will be researching and writing an informational editorial article on an ecological or biological topic. You should choose a current event that is of high interest to you in order to share your knowledge and enthusiasm with your audience.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Skin Cancer and Types

Skin Cancer Types

Skin Cancer Types

Animated Video on Melanoma 

UVA and UVB Rays and Sun Screen

Essential Questions:
What are UV Rays?
How do UV Rays effect your body?
Click on the above link and make a copy  

UVA rays cause skin aging and wrinkling and contribute to skin cancer, such as melanoma. Because UVA rays pass effortlessly through the ozone layer (the protective layer of atmosphere, or shield, surrounding the earth), they make up the majority of our sun exposure. Beware of tanning beds because they use UVA rays as well as UVB rays. 

UVB rays are also dangerous, causing sunburns, cataracts (clouding of the eye lens), and effects on the immune system. They also contribute to skin cancer. Melanoma, the most dangerous form of skin cancer, is thought to be associated with severe UVB sunburns that occur before the age of 20.
-summarized from Kids Health

UVA and UVB Sunscreens

Sunscreen Information

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Skin Unit- Integumentary System

Here is a link to the Skin Unit.

The Mini-Unit will consist of:
  • What is the structure and function of skin?
  • What are UV Rays?
  • What is skin cancer?
  • Who is at risk of skin cancer -melanoma?
  • How can you identify skin cancer? - ABCs
  • How is skin cancer treated?
  • What are some risk factors and preventions?  - AWARE

EQ: What are the Structures and Functions of Skin?

Kids Health Link - Click to Access

EQ: What are UV Rays?
How do UV Rays effect your body?
Link to UV Rays Webquest
Click on the above link and make a copy  

What is skin?

UV Rays and Your Skin