Science 7

From Alberta Program of Studies: Trace and interpret the flow of energy and materials within an ecosystem

Activity: Create a display that demonstrates how energy flows throughout an ecosystem

Application 1: HopSCOTCH

What it is: This is an basic coding application. Students can design games by putting blocks of code together in a puzzle-like manner.

Use in Classrooms: Although this application is made for children ages 9-11, it is simple enough for high school students that have no previous experience programming. Students can use this application to make an interactive story. They can also make a game that demonstrates how humans interact/have an impact on their environment.

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Application 2: Food Web

What: This is an application developed by the University of Western Australia. This applications demonstrates the flow of energy in an ecosystem. This application allows the user to manipulate the feeding relationship between plants and animals. All the plants an animals available are indigenous to western Australia.

How: This application is rated 4+, which means that it should be usable by all students. Students are able to manipulate a food chain and can see how energy moves through an ecosystem. It is more complex as students can develop a food web. Students can develop food webs that they can e-mail to their teacher or post on a class site. Additionally, students learn about actually species within another country so not only are they demonstrating their knowledge, but also building new knowledge as well.  

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Application 3: Tayasui Sketches

What: This is a very cool drawing app developed by This application basically simulates drawing on paper and offers a variety of art supplies to the user. It is very intuitive for users.

How: For students who are artistically inclined this application is another way for students to demonstrate their knowledge of energy flow through an ecosystem. It offers a novel alternative to the traditional "make a poster" approach. It also offers students to use art techniques and supplies that are often not available in schools. It is rated 4+ therefore it is intuitive enough for most students to use.

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Application 4: Life Cycle App

What: This is in interactive application for iPad and iPhone developed by Nth Fusion LLC brings science to life! It is rated for children four years of age and up. Users can view life cycles, water cycles and the impact of pollution in action.

How: For the purpose of this activity, students could work through a selection of activities that the app offers and take screen shots of their completion. This application offers students the opportunity to review they have learned in class or it could be used as a teaching method so it does not necessarily go along with the activity. The draw back to this program is that it is only available in English which would make it difficult for students are are ESL learners. The application does offer review questions which does make it valuable for use as well.

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Application 5: OmniGraffle

What: This application was developed by The Omni Group and offers the users multiple ways to map out information. It offers a variety of drawing tools for the user to develop their mind map and connect ideas.

How: This application is a cool alternative for this assignment. Students can design their own unique concept map that demonstrates how energy is flowing through a system. There are wide variety of tutorials offered by the developers to help users make the most of the tools. Again it offers a different venue to poster making for students who are less artistically inclined. The big drawback to this application is that it is quite costly ($49).

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