Matter and Energy in the Ecosystem Webquest


During this six-week project we will be learning about the energy in our ecosystem. Concepts that you will have to be able to explain include photosynthesis, sugar molecules, aerobic and anaerobic respiration, trophic levels, and the recycling of organic molecules; Nitrogen Cycle and Carbon Cycle. In order to demonstrate this knowledge you will be asked to construct models that will support explanations, make observations, collect data, evaluate and analyze the data, and provide a final explanation with evidence. 

This topic covers many other interest and will even blur the line that seperates this unit from the next (Interdependence of Ecosystems). To get started we will take one to two days defining what an ecosystem is; identifying biotic and abiotic factors. Once we have a grasp on what an ecosystem is we will begin to look into the the different biogeochemical cycles that allows matter in our ecosystem to be reused. Next we will dive into photosynthesis and respiration; showing connections between these processes and the biogeochemical cycles. Our learning will continue as we look at how this matter and energy is transferred through an ecosystem, from one trophic level to the next.

It is important to note that this is a journey of learning and may be different then what you have done before. Although there are supportive workshops to help understand content , most of you energy will be spent on inquiry (even within the workshop). Be prepared to be frustrated at times because not all the answer will be simple or given to you. Constantly be asking yourself: Why? How? What?

Your team will also be asked to select one topic to research with the intention of creating an end product that makes people think (persuasive) or offers a solution to a problem. Regardless of the topic and direction your group chooses, the end product must be creative (new, effective, and whole). You will receive an entry document about your research topic later this week.

In addition to learning about Matter and Energy in the Ecosystem you will also be asked to demonstrate growth in creativity, collaboration and communication, ability ro research, and critical think. You will also be expected to use Twitter effectively, Voicethread, a blogging site, and other techie tools.

Big Picture

As a reminder, this webquest is meant to support your teams final product or solution. As a team you will be identifying a topic/issue/problem related to energy in our ecosystems within the next few days. This webquest is intended to give you backgorund knowledge to complete your teams project with high quality visuals, background information, a possible solution, original research,  suppotive documents , and a "call to action". 

Your team will need to select a topic

From the pinterest list of topics your team will select or identify a topic/problem and propose reasons for researching the topic. Using knowledge from this webquest your team is to begin formulating possible solutions, one of which will be presented in your final product. The presenation must be made to an authentic audience. You may use the list of "Ideas for Authentic Audiences" or create your own. Be sure to identify a target audience early, so that you can contact them about presenting your final solution.

Road Map

Week One Road Map 
Week Two Road Map 
Week Three Road Map
Week Four Road Map
Week Five Road Map
  • Produce the End Product
Week Six
  • Share with Peers