integrates computer animation and digitizedimages to create six simulated interactive ecosystems: Forest, Gulf, Lake, Marsh, Park, and Tundra. Students carry out trial-and-error experiments with plants, animals, and insects to: classify organisms, build food chains, introduce environmental change, and to predict the effect of change on the food chain.
Food chains can be built using three or four links within each ecosystem.
Each activity builds on acquired knowledge from previous activities. After classifying the organisms and building food chains, students learn to predict the changes in the food chain caused by various environmental factors.
These include: acid rain, lakeshore management, dumping and filling, green space management, selective herbicides, industrial pollutants, inter-species competition, sudden temperature change, overfishing, pesticides, overpopulation, dredging, forest fire, strip harvesting, and overhunting.
Through observation, students can compare their predictions...
...with what actually happens.
At any time, students can consult a reference section which offers a glossary, an explanation of the scientific method, descriptions of various ecosystems and environmental disturbances, as well as a library of over 60 color photographs of plants, insects, and animals, with information about their habitats and diets.