Learning Goals and Standards
Working through the "Bighorn Sheep" unit, students will develop a deeper understanding of the following big ideas:
1. Ecological and Biological Concepts in the Context of Human Impact
- Habitat is the full area and physical environment where an organism lives.
- Habitat fragmentation, when an ecosystem is broken into pieces, can threaten the survival of some species.
- A population is a group of individuals of one species living in the same area that interbreed.
- Small populations may result in inbreeding, which can often cause health problems.
- Inbreeding is when close relatives mate and reproduce.
- Inbreeding can cause health problems or death in individuals by making it more likely for defective traits to occur.
- DNA is a tool scientists use to understand genetic exchange amongst interbreeding populations:
- Populations that interbreed (exchange genes) will be more genetically similar to one another than populations that do not breed.
- Scientists can study the similarities/differences in DNA to measure how frequently interbreeding/gene exchange occurs and whether populations are isolated from one another.
2. Human Impact in the Context of Daily Life
- The daily lives of people impact the ecology of their surroundings.
- Highways and other human activities can cause habitat fragmentation and threaten species survival.
- Highways, built to help people move around, can isolate populations from one another leading to inbred populations that are less able to survive.
3. Nature of Science
- Science is based on evidence, which take many forms and is referred to as data. Inference and conclusions are based upon data.
- Scientists are people who ask questions about the natural world and gather and interpret data to address those questions.
- Communication is central to science so that others can verify data and build upon research.
- Scientific research can help people learn about how daily life interacts with the natural world.
- Science is a human endeavor.
4. Data Representation
- Scientists use different tools to represent data.
- These tools help scientists compare and interpret data.
- Measuring distance on a map can help interpret meaning from data.
- Some representations are better than others based upon the type of data collected and the needs of analysis.
Next Generation Science Standards
Common Core Standards
Science as Inquiry, Content Standard A
- Abilities necessary to do inquiry
- Understandings about scientific inquiry.
Life Science, Content Standard C
- Populations and Ecosystems
- The Interdependence of Organisms
- Reproduction and Heredity
Science in Personal and Social Perspectives, Content Standard F
- Populations, Resources and Environments
- Environmental Quality
- Natural Hazards and Human Induced Hazards