Implementing OpenSciEd 7.5 Ecosystem Dynamics

Implementing OpenSciEd 7.5 Ecosystem Dynamics

Thu, January 19 4:00 PM - Thu, February 2 2023 6:00 PM


  • William Baur
  • Fa Fairbank
  • Melisa Hacievliyagil


Explore the question: How does changing an ecosystem affect what lives there?

This unit on ecosystem dynamics and biodiversity begins with students reading headlines that claim that the future of orangutans is in peril and that the purchasing of chocolate may be the cause. Students then examine the ingredients in popular chocolate candies and learn that one of these ingredients--palm oil--is grown on farms near the rainforest where orangutans live. This prompts students to develop initial models to explain how buying candy could impact orangutans.

Students spend the first lesson set better understanding the complexity of the problem, which cannot be solved with simple solutions. They will figure out that palm oil is derived from the oil palm trees that grow near the equator, and that these trees are both land-efficient and provide stable income for farmers, factors that make finding a solution to the palm oil problem more challenging. Students will establish the need for a better design for oil palm farms, which will support both orangutans and farmers. The final set of lessons engage students in investigations of alternative approaches to growing food compared to large-scale monocrop farms. Students work to design an oil palm farm that simultaneously supports orangutan populations and the income of farmers and community members.

Participants should create an account with OpenSciEd in order to access the materials. If you are new to OpenSciEd curriculum, we encourage you to watch this webinar to learn more about how to navigate the website and materials.  The Zoom link will be sent out to participants the week before Session 1. Asynchronous course material will be hosted on Canvas, and participants will receive a link to the Canvas course at Session 1.

These courses are focused on Washington State educators' needs and standards, and all session times listed are Pacific Time.


  • Thu, January 19 2023
    4:00 PM - 6:00 PM
  • Thu, February 2 2023
    4:00 PM - 6:00 PM


Event # 151598

Registration Ends
Saturday Jan 14, 2023 4:00 PM
Registration is now closed.

Professional Hours

Clock Hour Number: OLAG0270
6.00 Clock Hours $23.00
6.00 STEM


Science STEM


STEM Science