PHOTOSYNTHESIS, FOOD, AND POPULATIONS
A Squared Away Unit
Beginning with a puzzle in which they construct an "energy exchange coin"—the glucose molecule that functions as the means of exchange in the food-energy "economy"—students examine the role of simple sugars and other materials involved in photosynthesis and oxidation. Students create food chains and webs for a fictitious meadow and calculate food-energy budgets for its inhabitants, predicting population changes in response to food-energy availability. They then learn how humans must also work with the same food-energy strategies, and how these give rise to some of today’s world crises. The teacher’s guide provides complete procedures, background essays, pre- and posttests, extension activities, assessments, and rubrics. The full simulation runs for five class periods. ©2010.