Curriculum 7th Grade
Populations and Ecosystems - Semester 1
Look around . . . you’re in an ecosystem. How do you know? Because there are organisms everywhere. An ecosystem is an organized unit of life on Earth, including a physical environment and the organisms that live there. This course explores how populations change within ecosystems. The driving question for the course is how do organisms, matter, and energy interact in an ecosystem?
Organisms depend on their ecosystem for survival. Energy and matter, in the form of food, flow through an ecosystem. Photosynthetic organisms create food which is what allows the rest of the organisms in the ecosystem to exist. Change to one element of the ecosystem changes every member of the system. Changes may produce pressures in the ecosystem. When change is harmful a population may die off.
One powerful change agent in just about every ecosystem on Earth is humans. Human mobility, technology, and institutions place pressures on many ecosystems. The first step toward stopping harmful pressure on natural systems is understanding how they work and what they need to remain healthy.
This course provides students with the first steps along the path of ecological understanding, with the hope that their future steps will be considered and measured, serving the interests of all life.