Table 3-5. Excerpt from Life Science Standard, 9-12

As a result of activities in grades 9-12, all students should develop understanding of:

Interdependence of organisms

  • Energy flows through ecosystems in one direction, from photosynthetic organisms to herbivores to carnivores and decomposers.

  • Organisms both cooperate and compete in ecosystems.

  • Living organisms have the capacity to produce populations of infinite size, but environments and resources are finite. This fundamental tension has profound effects on the interactions between organisms.

  • Human beings live within the world’s ecosystems. Increasingly, humans modify ecosystems as a result of population growth, technology, and consumption. Human destruction of habitats through direct harvesting, pollution, atmospheric changes, and other factors is threatening current global stability, and if not addressed, ecosystems will be irreversibly affected.

Matter, energy, and organization in living systems

  • The distribution and abundance of organisms and populations in ecosystems are limited by the availability of matter and energy and the ability of the ecosystem to recycle materials (p. 186).

Table 3-6. Excerpt from Science in Personal and Social Perspectives Standard, 9-12

As a result of activities in grades 9-12, all students should develop understanding of

Environmental quality

  • Natural ecosystems provide an array of basic processes that affect humans. Those processes include maintenance of the quality of the atmosphere, generation of soils, control of the hydrologic cycle, disposal of wastes, and recycling of nutrients. Humans are changing many of these basic processes, and the changes may be detrimental to humans.

  • Materials from human societies affect both physical and chemical cycles of the earth.

  • Many factors influence environmental quality, including population growth, resource use, population distribution, overconsumption, the capacity of technology to solve problems, poverty, the roles of economic, political, and religious views, and different ways humans view the earth (p. 198).

factors interact. In one discussion, for example, the physical factors team suggests that temperature determines the number and kinds of organisms. The chemical factors team reports that the numbers and kinds of organisms influence how much oxygen and carbon dioxide are present. In one highly energized session, the students realize that an investigation of water quality is a search for relationships

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