Help your students understand flow of energy through the energy pyramid through this fun example that provides a cross-curricular mathematical application and meets NGSS-HS-LS2-4.
While we are often concerned about the Calorie intake of our food, the activity asks students to also think about the Calorie intake that went into growing our food.
In order to complete this activity, students should understand:
Law of Conservation of Energy
Law of Entropy (Energy moves to less usable forms.)
Trophic Levels (producer, primary consumer, secondary consumer)
Students should also have knowledge of basic algebra skills.
HS-LS2-4. “Use mathematical representations to support claims for the cycling of matter and flow of energy among organisms in an ecosystem.”
NGSS DCI: LS2.B.
“Plants or algae form the lowest level of the food web. At each link upward in a food web, only a small fraction of the matter consumed at the lower level is transferred upward, to produce growth and release energy in cellular respiration at the higher level. Given this inefficiency, there are generally fewer organisms at higher levels of a food web. Some matter reacts to release energy for life functions, some matter is stored in newly made structures, and much is discarded. The chemical elements that make up the molecules of organisms pass through food webs and into and out of the atmosphere and soil, and they are combined and recombined in different ways. At each link in an ecosystem, matter and energy are conserved. (HS-LS2-4)”
Answer Key Included!
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