This product, by It’s Not Rocket Science, is designed to be used as a project-based learning resource for students to learn about ecological interactions of an ecosystem and the biogeochemical nutrient cycles. In this inquiry-based investigation, students will create an ecosystem simulation using 2-Liter bottles to explore the cycling of the essential elements carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, and phosphorous through biotic and abiotic components of an ecosystem. Students will need a minimum of two 2-Liter bottles for this project – one to represent an aquatic ecosystem and one to represent a terrestrial ecosystem. Students will work with a partner to design a way to connect these two bottle ecosystems so that nutrients can cycle appropriately and life can be sustained for a month-long period. They will assemble their ecosystems in class and collect daily observations throughout this month. At the completion of their observation month, students will write a report of their findings, relating their observations back to what they know about the cycling of nutrients and the interrelationships of organisms.
• 7 pages of teacher implementation notes, including accommodations
• 10 pages of student handouts and rubrics
• 5 pages of helpful hints with pictures, to make set-up as simple as possible
• Sample student work.
Why should I use this product in my classroom?
I love to use this product because it is every student's favorite from the whole year! It is a truly hands-on experience where they can gain real world experience by applying what they've learned in class to a living, breathing mini-ecosystem. This is one of those investigations that the students never forget!
This investigation is aligned with five Next Generation Science Standards*: HS-LS1-5, HS-LS1-7, HS-LS2-3, HS-LS2-4, and HS-LS2-1.
What if I want to see a sample of how you write up projects?
Download my Children’s Book Project freebie HERE!
What if I want more?
This product is part of my Ecology Unit bundle. Be sure to check it out by clicking here!
What if I have a question?
Email me at email@example.com I’d love to answer any questions you have!
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*Note: NGSS is a registered trademark of Achieve. Neither Achieve nor the lead states and partners that developed the Next Generation Science Standards were involved in the production of this product, and do not endorse it.