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In this activity students explore the meaning and importance of biodiversity. They collect data and use statistical methods to determine the ecological health of their schoolyard. Students then consider different options and action plans for increasing biodiversity.
Groups of students are assigned a designated area to study. They record both number of species and individuals observed and use this data to calculate a biodiversity index. These results are compiled along with those of their classmates studying other areas to determine the biodiversity index for the school. Students also construct box plots and bar graphs to help illustrate and communicate their findings.
Detailed instructions, recording tables and exemplars are included to help guide students through the data collection and statistical procedures.
This resource provides a great opportunity for teachers to involve students in an authentic application of mathematics (data collection, presentation & statistical methods). Students will enjoy the hands-on and outdoor experience the activities offer.
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