Students will use the engineering design process to design their own cloud catchers based on the "harp collector" created by biologist Greg Goldsmith to study the low-lying clouds in the Monteverde Cloud Forest in Costa Rica.
Students will examine environmental factors that make surviving in an ecosystem difficult for organisms, focusing on the tropical montane cloud forest of Monteverde, Costa Rica. The adaptations used by organisms to increase chances of survival in the forest will also be studied.
Students will consider the definitions of biodiversity and generate a method to accurately estimate the number of plant species growing epiphytically in the cloud forest canopy. Students will gain a basic understanding of biodiversity sampling and the need for replication.
Students will determine what resources are required to support plant life and how plants acquire these resources. They will evaluate and expand their prior knolwedge by investigating interactive panoramic photographs and video from the Monteverde Cloud Forest in Costa Rica.
Students will investigate the diversity of resources present within the cloud forest and how humans could benefit from this rich ecosystem. A debate structure is provided, through which students will discuss the role that humans should play in utilizing the cloud forest ecosystem of Monteverde, Costa Rica.
Students will use questions they develop regarding water and the local ecosystem to design and perfom an original ecohydrology experiment. The results of their independent study and background research will be communicated in a written paper which encompasses all the steps of the scientific method.
Students will investigate light and shadow in the context of the cloud forest. They will arrive at a correct explanation for how shadows form and begin to develop an understanding of how plants use light.
Students conduct research and create a presentation in which they become an organism or species that resides in the tropical montane cloud forest of Monteverde, Costa Rica. Living history projects are non-written, alternative assessments in which studnets embody a particular object, organism, or person other than themselves.
Students will collect data on the quantity of sunlight penetrating different locations within the cloud forest and relate this data to the percentage of green plant growth observed. Students will also have an opportunity to study a light gap within the forest, comparing the information they previously gathered with this important site.
Students will explore the life that is supported by the microhabitat provided by a fallen tree as they consider the question: Why does a rotting log make a desirable home for certain plants and animals? Students will examine rotting logs first-hand and will record data about the condition of the wood as well as the animals and plants found on/in/under the log.
Students will be shown examplesof plant species from the tropical montane cloud forest in Monteverde, Costa Rica. They will then create original hypotheses regarding the habitat of the plant and adaptations the species have evolved in response to water availability.
Students will investigate the necessity and usefulness of plant defense mechanisms through examination of local plants, as well as plants within the tropical montane cloud forest of Monteverde, Costa Rica via the Clouds in the Canopy website.
Students will use the Canopy in the Clouds panoramas to examine plants on the ground and in the canopy of the cloud forest. They will observe root structures of large and small terrestrial and aerial plants at different sites. Students will also relate rooting strategies to nutrient availability.
Students will examine the soils of a tropical montane cloud forest. As they visit a series of panooramas, they will record data about the soil's color, water content, organic content, and other characteristics. Students will then create two trend graphs: one which represents the relationship between altitude and water content, and another that relates altitude to organic content. Students will then suggest explanations for each trend.
Students will examine several examples of nutrient cycling in the tropical montane cloud forest ecosystem. Students will learn basic plant nutrients and relate specific nutrients such as carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus to the organisms involved in cycling them.
Students will examine a variety of organisms within the tropical montane cloud forest ecosystem and learn about the different forms of symbiosis.
Students will learn about the process of transpiration and the environmental factors that can change transpiration rates in plants. Students will examine data sets gathered from the tropical montane cloud forest of Monteverde, Costa Rica and media from Canopy in the Clouds to deepen their understanding of how hot water in an ecoystem can affect transpiration.
Students will use data sets to examine meteorological conditions in the cloud forest over a one year period. Students will graph the data and interpret their results to make a case for (or against) seasons in the cloud forest.
Students will collect data to reinforce the concept that most of the earth is covered in water. The cycle of that water, and the other phases that it exists in, will be studied using the Canopy in the Clouds media and small modeling demonstrations.
Students will use Canopy in the Clouds media to examine the effect of water on decomposition. Students will create an original procedure to test a scientific question about decomposition and then build and deploy decomposition bags in their local ecosystem.