CVGS Senior Science Scenario (S 3 )
To have CVGS seniors analyze, critique and predict current and future ecological events using mathematical modeling in a team environment. Each member of the team will bring a different set of skills and knowledge to the group, with success being achieved only when members' skills are combined to complete the “job”. This project is designed to model actual business and research practices used in understanding sustainability. All of the scheduled class periods for math and science courses will be devoted to this project.
- Seniors take a science (biology or computer science) and mathematics. Teams of 3-4 students will be assigned based on their science and math skills. Each team will have at least one biologist, one computer scientist and one member of the team will be named as the lead mathematician.
- Teams will work through basic mathematical modeling scenarios from the text Interactions: Understanding Ecology Through Active Learning (in press). Included in these biological modeling scenarios are: biology concepts chosen from population modeling and genetics, mathematics topics of probability and calculus used for the models, computer programming to implement the models for large numbers of trials and for visualization of results.
- Teams will research and choose a topic that has potential impact on our biosphere. They will apply mathematical modeling techniques to predict the impact of this topic on life on Earth. They will be answering the question “In 50 years how will a change in _____affect the biosphere?”
- Each team will give a 20 minute presentation on their results. Presentations will incorporate the environmental concepts explored, a detailed description of the mathematical model used and the computer simulations and visualizations created.
- The grade for this experience will make up 15% of each student's science grade and math grade for the semester. ( The senior seminar course continues as usual.)
- A grading rubric will be used to evaluate each team's performance on the basic mathematical modeling scenarios (problems).
- Each student will summarize two journal articles relating to the group's project for an individual grade.
- A grading rubric will be used to evaluate each team's presentation.
- A knowledge quiz will be given to each student. The quiz will cover questions from the biology, mathematics and computer science topics needed to complete the project. Bonus “stipends” are available to teams whose members demonstrate knowledge in all three areas.
The two mathematical modeling scenarios used will be:
- Logistic and predator-prey models for population growth
- Genetics and mutation in a population