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Organisms as Indicators of Ecosystem Health

Kit #555S
Organisms as Indicators of Ecosystem Health

Students examine simulated samples of aquatic macroinvertebrates from the same river collected at three different points in time. They calculate the relative proportion of macroinvertebrates that are intolerant to pollution compared with the total catch. These proportions are an indicator of water quality. They identify patterns in the data and construct arguments for possible cause-and-effect relationships.

Details at a Glance

  • 1-2 Days | 1-2 ~50 minute class periods
  • 1 Activity
  • Accommodates unllimited classes, each with 8 groups of 4 students
  • Meets our criteria for supporting literacy
  • All materials are non-consumable
  • Developed in partnership with SEPUP

Scientific Concepts

Performance Expectation
Disciplinary Core Ideas
•MS-ESS2.A Earth’s Materials and Systems
•MS-ESS3.C Human Impacts on Earth Systems
•MS-LS2.A Interdependent Relationships in Ecosystems
•MS-LS2.C Ecosystem Dynamics, Functioning, and Resilience
Science and Engineering Practices
•Analyzing and Interpreting Data
•Engaging in Argument from Evidence
•Connections to Nature of Science
•Scientific Knowledge Is Based on Empirical Evidence
Crosscutting Concepts
•Cause and Effect
•Scale, Proportion, and Quantity
•Influence of Science, Engineering, and Technology on Society and the Natural World
KEY VOCABULARY: causal relationship, correlation, human impact, indicator, macroinvertebrates, model, pattern, water quality

Guides & Student Sheets

Our kits and modules provide you with everything you need so you can open, review, and teach the material confidently the next day.

  • Full downloadable Teacher Guide with background information, detailed instruction, example data and answers
  • Downloadable Student Sheets with age appropriate background information, full procedure(s), and analysis questions
  • All materials necessary to carry out the investigation
  • Safety Data Sheets

Kit Components

  • 8 sets of three model macroinvertebrate “catches”
  • 24 vials with labels
  • 32 Student Worksheet and Guides
  • 1 Teacher's Guide