Bon Lin Middle School

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Science (Period 1,2,4)

Instructor
Renee Farrell
Department
Science

Course Description

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What is Biodiversity

What is Biodiversity?

http://www.nwf.org/Wildlife/Wildlife-Conservation/Biodiversity.aspx

Biodiversity is the variety of life.  It can be studied on many levels.  At the highest level, you can look at all the different species on the entire Earth.  On a much smaller scale, you can study biodiversity within a pond ecosystem or a neighborhood park. Identifying and understanding the relationships between all the life on Earth are some of the greatest challenges in science.  

Most people recognize biodiversity by species.  A species is a group of living organisms that can interbreed.  Examples of species include, blue whales, white-tailed deer, white pine trees, sunflowers and microscopic bacteria that you cannot even see with your eye.  Biodiversity includes the full range of species that live in an area. 

Biodiversity at a Glance

Let’s look at the species biodiversity within a local pond.  At first glance, we can identify different plants, including cattails and water lilies.  If we wait a while, we might be able to spot a garter snake, a bullfrog or maybe a red-winged blackbird.  With a closer look, you can see invertebrates and worms under leaves, on grasses and in the pond water. 

Think you’re done? - You have not even scratched the surface of the biodiversity within the pond!  Using a microscope, you would be able to see hundreds or even thousands of different bacteria that inhabit the pond water.  They are all part of the species biodiversity of this small ecosystem!

Biodiversity is More than Just Species

Species diversity is only one part of biodiversity. To properly catalogue all the life on Earth, we also have to recognize the genetic diversity that exists within species as well as the diversity of entire habitats and ecosystems.

Genetic Biodiversity is the variation in genes that exists within a species.  A helpful way to understand genetic diversity is to think about dogs.  All dogs are part of the same species, but their genes can dictate whether they are Chihuahua or a Great Dane.   There can be a lot of variation in genes – just think about all the colors, sizes, and shapes that make up the genetic diversity of dogs. 

Ecological Biodiversity is the diversity of ecosystems, natural communities and habitats.  In essence, it’s the variety of ways that species interact with each other and their environment.   The forests of Maine differ from the forests of Colorado by the types of species found in both ecosystems, as well as the temperature and rainfall.  These two seemingly similar ecosystems have a lot of differences that make them both special. 

Some Biodiversity Facts

Researchers have estimated that there are between 3 - 30 million species on Earth, with a few studies predicting that there may be over 100 million species on Earth!  Currently, we have identified only 1.7 million species, so we have a long way to go before we can come close to figuring out how many species are on Earth!

  • There is more biodiversity within tropical ecosystems than temperate or boreal ecosystems.  Tropical rainforests have the most diversity.
  • The most diverse group of animals are invertebrates. Invertebrates are animals without backbones, including insects, crustaceans, sponges, scorpions and many other kinds of organisms. Over half of all the animals already identified are invertebrates. Beetles are some of the most numerous species.
  • Science has so much more to learn about the biodiversity of microscopic organisms like bacteria and protozoa. 

The Importance of Biodiversity

Biodiversity is extremely important to people and the health of ecosystems.  A few of the reasons are:

  • Biodiversity allows us to live healthy and happy lives.  It provides us with an array of foods and materials and it contributes to the economy.  Without a diversity of pollinators, plants, and soils, our supermarkets would have a lot less produce. 
  • Most medical discoveries to cure diseases and lengthen life spans were made because of research into plant and animal biology and genetics.  Every time a species goes extinct or genetic diversity is lost, we will never know whether research would have given us a new vaccine or drug.
  • Biodiversity is an important part of ecological services that make life livable on Earth. They include everything from cleaning water and absorbing chemicals, which wetlands do, to providing oxygen for us to breathe—one of the many things that plants do for people. 
  • Biodiversity allows for ecosystems to adjust to disturbances like extreme fires and floods.  If a reptile species goes extinct, a forest with 20 other reptiles is likely to adapt better than another forest with only one reptile. 
  • Genetic diversity prevents diseases and helps species adjust to changes in their environment. 
  • Simply for the wonder of it all. There are few things as beautiful and inspiring as the diversity of life that exists on Earth. 

Threats to Biodiversity

Extinction is a natural part of life on Earth.  Over the history of the planet most of the species that ever existed, evolved and then gradually went extinct.  Species go extinct because of natural shifts in the environment that take place over long periods of time, such as ice ages. 

Today, species are going extinct at an accelerated and dangerous rate, because of non-natural environmental changes caused by human activities. Some of the activities have direct effects on species and ecosystems, such as:

Some human activities have indirect but wide-reaching effects on biodiversity, including:

All of these threats have put a serious strain on the diversity of species on Earth.  According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), globally about one third of all known species are threatened with extinction. That includes 29% of all amphibians, 21% of all mammals and 12% of all birds.  If we do not stop the threats to biodiversity, we could be facing another mass extinction with dire consequences to the environment and human health and livelihood. 

Helping Biodiversity in your Own Backyard

You can play a part in protecting the biodiversity of your local community by creating a Certified Wildlife Habitat®. One of the greatest threats to biodiversity is habitat loss. A Certified Wildlife Habitat® provides food, shelter, water and a place to raise young for native wildlife—the essential elements of habitat that wildlife need to survive. A Certified Wildlife Habitat® can provide food and homes for a range of local species that need your help.  

National Wildlife Magazine Articles:

How Many Species Exist?

Homegrown Biodiversity

"Z" is for Biodiversity

Resources:

2010 is the International Year of Biodiversity

Sources:

International Union for Conservation of Nature

Comparing and Graphing Nine Environmental Threats, Researchers Find Unexpected Evils

Encyclopedia of Earth: Biodiversity

World of Biology.  McGrath, Kimberley A., ed.  The Gale Group, Farmington Hills, MI: 1999.

Precious Heritage: The Status of Biodiversity in the United States. Stein, Bruce A., Lynn S. Kutner and Jonathan S. Adams. Oxford University Press, New York: 2000.

Critical Thinking: Biodiversity

  1. What are the three types of biodiversity and why is each important?
  2. Cheetahs have very little genetic biodiversity. Furthermore, there are not many Cheetahs still alive in the wild.  Why do scientist fear that despite their best efforts, Cheetahs could still go extinct?
  3. What are three negative impacts that humankind has had on biodiversity?
  4. What are three conservation efforts that the United States has engaged in to help maintain biodiversity?
  5. What is one thing you can do to maintain biodiversity (excluding recycling and not littering)?

Q1W7 (Sept 18-22)

As a general note, I am really happy how well the students have done this past week. I am impressed with how hard most students have worked and will continue to work. There will be an 8th grade class ring meeting this week.

This week is a continuation of our study in biology. We have learned about scientific naming and classification, and we will begin to learn about adaptations and biomes. We will assess on it next week. Please be advised that students are now doing TC's from through out the year learned thus far (typically a couple of previous ones a week) and are given a few minutes at the beginning of class to review them. This process helps students remember concepts taught throughout the year. Please note, any student that would like a FIT on the gravity unit quiz, as long as there are no missing assignments, will be offered Friday but the student must let me know. Just a heads up. Sometime in the month of October, we have a lab and each student will need liquid Elmer's glue.
 
Here is a look at the week: (please remember that this is subject to change)
Monday: Biodiversity close read and create biodiversity TC
Tuesday: Adaptations TC this will be application based but students should be familiar with the definitions, very familiar, and adaptation lab (Creating a critter and plant). Below is the TC in the event needed.
Wednesday: Begin notes on biomes
Thursday: More notes on biomes
Friday: Gravity FIT,  and Penguins of Madagascar activity
 
Behavioral adaptation: actions that organisms do to help them survive (ex: migration, nocturnal, and hibernation)

Physical adaptations: characteristics or modification in an organism’s body that helps it survive in the environment (camouflage, fur, beaks etc) Physiological adaptation: an individual organisms response to a specific environmental condition (ex: skin tanning, callouses).       

Homework:

Homework is given to reinforce skills in taught in class and to help students practice the application of critical thinking.  This week will be a little different to help students prepare for the previous TC's (they are a combined grade for each unit of study. I have offered for students who make a 100 on TC, to replace the grade instead of average it with the other specific TC). The critical thinking questions will be due Friday and the TC's as noted written 3 times each).

Due Wednesday: Electric generator TC written 3x each

Due Thursday: Magnetic fields TC written 3x each

Due Friday: The following questions

  1. Which has more gravitational pull: two objects closer to one another or two objects farther from each other?
  2. What must be balanced to have an orbit?
  3. Which object has inertia in an orbit?
  4. Draw and label an orbit.
Standards Addressed:
 
0807.5.2 Analyze structural, behavioral, and physiological adaptations to predict which populations are likely to survive in a particular environment.
0807.5.3 Analyze data on levels of variation within a population to make predictions about survival under particular environmental conditions.
-->Explain why variation within a population can enhance the chances for group survival.
0807.5.4 Identify several reasons for the importance of maintaining the earth's biodiversity. 
--> Identify the major factors responsible for reducing the amount of global biodiversity.
 
Learning Outcomes:
  1. Associate physical and behavioral adaptations of plants and animals that enhance their survival for each of Earth's major biomes. 
  2. Make inferences about the habitat of an organism from information about structural, behavioral, and physiological adaptations.
  3. Explain why maintaining biodiversity is important, and identify major factors responsible for reducing biodiversity.
  4. Describe the three types of biodiversity: ecosystem, species, and genetic.  Describe how each contributes to species survival.                                           

Q1W6 (Sept 11-15)

 If you received a request for parent teacher conference, please return that as soon as possible. Conferences are scheduled for Thursday September 14th.
 
Monday: Dichotomous Keys
Tuesday: Dichotomous Key and close read on adaptations
Wednesday: Create TC on adaptations and close read on biodiversity
Thursday: Biomes discussion, introduce adaptations project.
Friday: No school for students
 

Standards covered this week:

0807.5.1 Use a simple classification key to identify an unknown organism. Select characteristics of plants and animals that serve as the basis for developing a classification key.

0807.5.2 Analyze structural, behavioral, and physiological adaptations to predict which populations are likely to survive in a particular environment. 

0807.5.3 Analyze data on levels of variation within a population to make predictions about survival under particular environmental conditions.

-->Explain why variation within a population can enhance the chances for group survival.

0807.5.4 Identify several reasons for the importance of maintaining the earth's biodiversity.

--> Identify the major factors responsible for reducing the amount of global biodiversity.

Learning Outcomes:

  1. Identify an organism using a classification key.
  2. Understand common terms used in classification keys (i.e. symmetric, asymmetric). 
  3. Know the 8 levels of classification and their characteristics in terms of number and relation of organisms, and know that scientific names include genus and species.
  4. Associate physical and behavioral adaptations of plants and animals that enhance their survival for each of Earth's major biomes.
  5. Make inferences about the habitat of an organism from information about structural, behavioral, and physiological adaptations.
  6. Explain why maintaining biodiversity is important, and identify major factors responsible for reducing biodiversity.
  7. Describe the three types of biodiversity: ecosystem, species, and genetic.  Describe how each contributes to species survival.                                          
Homework is on Naiku this week and is due Thursday by the students assigned class period, since there is no school Friday.  Students should each know how to access Naiku through the student portal of power school. In the event, they have forgotten, they should go to Naiku.net,  hit the sign in up top, then enter the following code depending on their class period, select their name, and begin be selecting their name, and begin answering the questions. 
1st period: k3dqp
2nd period: ed995
4th period: 7hcyr
 

Q1W5 (Sept 4-8)

 Wahoo for long weekends! First, I want to express how much I am enjoying your students thus far this year. I appreciate all the small things that they and you are doing to thus far this year. 

Interims come home Tuesday. Last week, students received parent letters with login information for the Power School Parent Portal (please make sure you have registered so that students will be able to register student accounts have easier access to Naiku).  The portal opens September 5. Please ask your student for the letter if they have not given it to you.

With that said, here is a look at this week in Science (please remember that plans are subject to change).

Monday: NO SCHOOL

Tuesday:  TC Solar System and gravity unit review

Wednesday: Mid-quarter test (this may be moved to Thursday and the two days flipped), begin Classification (close read “what is a scientific name”)

Thursday: Create Classification TC and Dichotomous Keys

Friday: Finalize week and Classification TC (time permitting we may begin adaptations and biodiversity)

Standards covered this week: (standards from last week will be addressed Tuesday and Wednesday)

0807.5.1 Use a simple classification key to identify an unknown organism.

Select characteristics of plants and animals that serve as the basis for developing a classification key.

Learning Outcomes:

  1. Identify an organism using a classification key.
  2. Understand common terms used in classification keys (i.e. symmetric, asymmetric). 
  3. Know the 8 levels of classification and their characteristics in terms of number and relation of organisms, and know that scientific names include genus and species.

There is no written homework this week, please take this time to review a few minutes each night the TC’s thus far this year and begin studying for your mid-quarter test.

Q1W4 (Aug 28-Sept 1)

 

Here is a look at this week: (please remember that plans are subject to change but this is a general guideline)

Monday:  Mass vs Weight TC, Gravity Close read, and create TC

Tuesday: Go over Magnetism quiz, Bill Nye Gravity, Blanket demonstration, and Gravity Lab

Wednesday: Gravity TC, introduction to orbits (specifically in solar system) article close read, and create Solar System TC

Thursday: students will examine the effect of gravity on their bodies with specific mention of the dependent and independent variables

Friday: Homework due, Solar System TC, and critical thinking questions

Standards addressed this week:

0807.12.4 Distinguish between mass and weight using appropriate measuring instruments and units.    

0807.12.5 Determine the relationship among the mass of objects, the distance between the objects, and the amount of gravitational attraction. 0807.12.6 Illustrate how gravity controls the motion of objects in the solar system.

Learning Objectives this week:

  1. List the tools and units used for measuring mass and weight, define mass and weight, and describe how mass stays constant despite location, whereas weight changes.        
  2. Explain how the amount of mass of an object affects the amount of gravitational force that object has, and how the distance between two objects affects the amount of gravitational force they have on each other.
  3. Describe that the planets orbit around the sun, or a moon's orbit around a planet is a balance of inertia and gravity.  Understand that less massive objects orbit around more massive objects.                                

Homework- Due Friday, use TC’s to answer:

  1. What are mass and weight measured with?
  2. What are the base units for mass and weight?
  3. What is mass?
  4. What is weight?
  5. How are mass and weight different in regards to the amount of gravity at various locations?
  6. Draw the magnetic fields for Earth, a bar magnet, and an electromagnet.
  7. List the properties of the magnetic fields of Earth, a bar magnet, and an electromagnet.
  8. List how the magnetic fields of Earth, a bar magnet, and an electromagnet are similar.

Q1W3 (Aug 21-25)

Open house and club sign ups are Thursday August 24th at 5:30.

Here is a look at the week ahead:

Monday: Solar Eclipse (students must have releases signed and must keep the viewing glasses on)

Tuesday: TC Magnetic Fields from memory, Set up or introduce Naiku and review for magnetism assessment

Wednesday: Magnetism Unit Assessment, close read on mass/weight, and create Mass/Weight TC

Thursday: Mass versus Weight lab (we will need Capri Sun packs (full and empty))

Friday: Mass/Weight TC from memory, gravity close read, and being creating gravity TC

Standards addressed this week:

0807.12.4 Distinguish between mass and weight using appropriate measuring instruments and units.    

0807.12.5 Determine the relationship among the mass of objects, the distance between the objects, and the amount of gravitational attraction.       

Learning Outcomes:

  1. List the tools and units used for measuring mass and weight, define mass and weight, and describe how mass stays constant despite location, whereas weight changes. 
  2. Explain how the amount of mass of an object affects the amount of gravitational force that object has, and how the distance between two objects affects the amount of gravitational force they have on each other.  

Q1W2 (Aug 14-18)

 Wahoo, we have each survived week one of back to school.  If you are anything like me it is hard for you believe that your baby is an 8th grader and will be off to high school before you know it. This week has a been a wonderful week. Thank you so much to everyone that has signed up for my Remind text messages for Science, hopefully you saw this on the signed syllabus or your sweet told you about it.  If you have not, please do so, as I use this as a tool of communication to keep you informed of things happening in class.  Additionally, I strive to send weekly e-mails and update my website weekly as well. This week we began our study of electromagnets and will continue this into next week.  Students will receive a lab grade on Monday by constructing and varying the strength of an electromagnet.  I have “rod” (nails) and conductive wire in class but have asked students to bring in fresher batteries if possible. They are also welcome to bring in other rod material or conductive wire for their build.  Please do not make a special trip to the store but if you have batteries lying around home, we welcome them. If at anytime that you need to reach me, have questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to reach out.  It is together that we are growing tomorrow’s future.

Here is a look at the upcoming week:

Monday: Electromagnet Lab and re-take of electromagnet TC (this is student created)

Tuesday: Electric generator close read and questions, create Electric generator TC, quick write comparing/contrasting electromagnets and electric generators

Wednesday: Begin Earth’s magnetic field, close read and begin creating TC

Thursday: Electric generators TC from memory and critical thinking questions on magnetism unit

Friday: Let’s talk Solar Eclipse

Standards covered this week:

0807.12.1 Recognize that electricity can be produced using a magnet and wire coil.

0807.12.2 Describe the basic principles of an electromagnet.    

--> Produce an electromagnet using a metal rod and a wire coil.                      

--> Experiment with an electromagnet to determine how to vary its strength.                                                                         

0807.12.3 Distinguish among the Earth's magnetic field, a magnet, and the fields that surround a magnet and an electromagnet.

Learning outcomes:

  1. Draw a diagram of a simple electric generator, and describe how it works.
  2. Draw and label a diagram of an electromagnet, and describe how it works
  3. Create an electromagnet, and vary its strength by varying the electric current, the number of loops of wire, and the core material. 4. Draw the magnetic fields that surround a bar magnet, an electromagnet, and Earth.  Identify how they are similar and how they are different.

Homework (due on Friday’s): Use your TC’s…homework is to reinforce skills and to apply our TC’s

  1. What are three ways to reduce the strength of an electromagnet?
  2. What materials are required to create an electromagnet?
  3. What is the purpose of the rod in an electromagnet?
  4. What are two differences between an electromagnet and a bar magnet?
  5. Draw and label a picture of an electromagnet.
  6. What two materials actually create the electric current in an electric generator?
  7. What must you do with the magnet in order to create electricity?
  8. What can be used to show that electricity is being created in an electric generator?
  9. What are three ways to reduce the amount of electricity created by an electric generator?
  10. Draw an electric generator.

Lastly, if you have not sent in $5.00 locker fee to the HR teacher and the $10 technology fee, please do so. Please remember if you send a check, the phone number must be on the check and it must be two separate checks.

Laptops will be issued in the near future, you may pay the insurance by visiting: https://www.localevelevents.com/events/details/3357

A message from BARTLETT CITY SCHOOLS

Parents,

On Monday, August 21, 2017, the moon will pass between the earth and the sun for the first coast-to-coast total solar eclipse since 1918.  Millions of Americans in 12 states will be able to watch this solar spectacle that will turn day into night for a couple of minutes.  Tennessee is among the 12 states that have been declared to be the best place to experience this rare phenomenon.

 

Bartlett City Schools is planning for its students to participate in this event.  BCS has purchased and will supply solar eclipse viewing glasses for students.  Permission slips will be coming home next week. Parents of students in grades K-8 must sign and return all forms no later than Thursday, August 17, 2017.  If your student is in grades 9-12 you will only need to send a form back if you DO NOT want your child to participate.