Interdependence of Life: Organisms and Their Environments

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Science Objects are two hour on-line interactive inquiry-based content modules that help teachers better understand the science content they teach. This Science Object is the first of four Science Objects in the Interdependence of Life in Ecosystems SciPack. It explores organisms and their environments.

All organisms, including human beings, live within and depend on the resources in their environment. These resources include both living (biotic) factors such as food and nonliving (abiotic) factors such as air and water. The size and rate of growth of the population of any species, including humans, are affected by these environmental factors. In turn, these environmental factors are affected by the size and rate of growth of a population. Populations are limited in growth to the carrying capacity of the ecosystem, which is the amount of life any environmental system can support with its available space, energy, water, and food.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Identify and describe biotic and abiotic factors that influence the size and growth rate of a specific population in a particular environment.
  • Describe possible immediate and long-term effects on an individual population that exceeds the carrying capacity of its environment.
  • Given a line graph displaying an individual population size and its rate of growth, infer the carrying capacity of the environment for that population.

  • Elementary
  • Middle
  • High

Community ActivitySaved in 5863 Libraries

Reviews (7)
  • on Thu Nov 29, 2018 11:42 PM

This was very interactive and engaging and I learned a lot. It was easy to follow and well organized. I really enjoyed the process and the modules. Would totally recommend!

Tamar Devorah
Tamar Devorah

  • on Sun Mar 08, 2015 11:25 AM

The simulations, slide shows, and assessments to check for understanding are all excellent. I love the constant feedback and explanations to correct my own misunderstandings.

Robin Willig  (Rye Brook, NY)
Robin Willig (Rye Brook, NY)

  • on Tue Sep 02, 2014 7:31 AM

I really enjoy Science Objects. In 1-3 hours, the Interdependence of Life: Organisms and Their Environments Science Object will help me re-learn, refresh, or learn for the first time some critical science concepts I will have to know to obtain my Science Educator credentials. I appreciate that I can complete them at my own pace, and that, if used as park of a SciPack, I have access to a content expert to go to for help. The NSTA Learning Center Science Objects are very beneficial!

Naomi Beverly  (Marietta, GA)
Naomi Beverly (Marietta, GA)

  • on Thu Feb 21, 2013 12:56 PM

I really liked the Hands-On Activity found in the Population Distribution Density portion of the object. I think that it would be a great activity to do with my students to make science and math real and applicable to them. A lot of the information presented in this SciObject is related to or the same as information in the Resources and Human Impact SciPack.

Christopher Hall  (Vanderwagen, NM)
Christopher Hall (Vanderwagen, NM)

  • on Wed Apr 18, 2012 10:34 AM

This Science Object gives a very thorough explanation of organisms and the environments around them. It is written at about an upper elementary or middle school level with very detailed explanations of the concepts presented. Parts are recorded, there are quizzes to take, simulations to explore, and lots more!

Betty Paulsell  (Kansas City, MO)
Betty Paulsell (Kansas City, MO)

  • on Sat Jul 23, 2016 10:01 AM

I enjoyed going through this Science Object about Organisms and their Environment. The layout was extremely easy to understand and I loved the activities that went along with the information. I learned new information and I was able take concepts that I had previously gained to apply in this science object.

Amber S
Amber S

  • on Thu Dec 20, 2012 10:08 AM

This resource was well put together, well organized and informative. It was understandable and easy to follow.

Erika Bucenec  (Johnstown, NY)
Erika Bucenec (Johnstown, NY)

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