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Ecosystem in a Bottle

Activity Summary
In this activity, students construct an “ecosystem in a bottle” while identifying the biotic and abiotic factors and recognizing that, like Earth, their ecosystem is a closed system. After construction, the ecosystem is left in sunlight to grow for 2-3 weeks, then students make preliminary observations of their growing ecosystem, choose a pollutant to add, make predictions
about the affects the pollutant will have, and finally make observations and conclusions about the affects 2-3 weeks later.

Grade Levels

Learning Objectives
1. Define biotic and abiotic factors and describe their interrelatedness within an ecosystem
2. Explain what is meant by the term “closed system” as used to define their ecosystem and the Earth
3. Analyze the effects of certain pollutants on ecosystems
4. Propose ways to reduce pollution of ecosystems

Lesson Materials (view or download)
Lesson Plan

biome, pollution, human impact, biotic and abiotic factors, closed system

Last updated: 3/3/2015