Students will learn the 5th grade life science content through a real-world problem: How can a game be designed that simulates the survival of plant and animal populations in an ecosystem as it undergoes environmental changes? Some of the changes that might occur are the introduction of a new population (including invasive species), the removal of a population, introduction of a virus, population crash and boom, competition, and changes due to natural disasters such as fire. Other concepts covered include energy transfer and food webs, symbiotic relationships, and predation.
Engineering Design Challenge
A new television show, “Apex Predator Den”, is seeking young entrepreneurs! In their first episode, they are looking for the next big educational game to hit the market! They want kids to have fun while learning about ecosystems. Your task is to design a game, create a prototype, and audition to pitch your idea to a panel of investors on a kids’ show inspired by Shark Tank. Your game must teach about organisms’ roles in an ecosystem, how energy flows between them, food chains and webs, and the relationships between organisms. It must also demonstrate how changes in an ecosystem affect the populations of organisms that live there. The investors will be assessing the games and deciding in which ones they would like to invest, giving the opportunity to appear on the first episode.