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Predators and prey

Predators and Prey 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 develop and use a spreadsheet-based predator-prey model.

  • Analyzing and interpreting data: students analyze data from the spreadsheet model, from historical lynx and hare observations, and from VES-V datasets.

  • Using mathematics and computational thinking: students use math to create the spreadsheet model and to interpret graphs of VES-V results; students employ computational thinking to build the spreadsheet model and to use the VES-V software.

NGSS Crosscutting Concepts

  • Cause and effect: Mechanism and explanation. Events have causes, sometimes simple, sometimes multifaceted. A major activity of science is investigating and explaining causal relationships and the mechanisms by which they are mediated. Such mechanisms can then be tested across given contexts and used to predict and explain events in new contexts.

  • 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.

  • Stability and change. For natural and built systems alike, conditions of stability and determinants of rates of change or evolution of a system are critical elements of study.