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Icon of ocean food web

Ocean Food Webs Module

The Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) addressed by this module include:

NGSS Disciplinary Core Ideas

NGSS Science and Engineering Practices

  • Developing and using models: students use the trophic pyramid (conceptual model) and VES-V software (computer model), and create a food web (conceptual model).

  • Analyzing and interpreting data: students analyze data about individual organisms to construct a food web, and analyze biomass data from VES-V to make inferences about trophic levels in the Gulf of Maine and Monterey Bay habitats.

  • Using mathematics and computational thinking: students collect biomass data from VES-V and formulate hypotheses based on numerical ratios.

  • Obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information: students gather and share information to build a food web, and gather and evaluate biomass data from VES-V.

NGSS Crosscutting Concepts

  • Patterns: Observed patterns of forms and events guide organization and classification, and they prompt questions about relationships and the factors that influence them.

  • Scale, proportion, and quantity: In considering phenomena, it is critical to recognize what is relevant at different measures of size, time, and energy and to recognize how changes in scale, proportion, or quantity affect a system’s structure or performance.

  • Systems and system models: Defining the system under study—specifying its boundaries and making explicit a model of that system—provides tools for understanding and testing ideas that are applicable throughout science and engineering.

  • Energy and matter: Flows, cycles, and conservation. Tracking fluxes of energy and matter into, out of, and within systems helps one understand the systems’ possibilities and limitations