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The Sixth Extinction

How can we reduce our impact on and repair the damage to ecosystems?

Students will explore the concept of the Sixth Extinction, an environmental catastrophe which might wipe out a million species within the next few decades. They will investigate the different ways in which our society damages the environment and the ecosystems within it, from how we produce food and how we manage our waste, to how we over-exploit our resources.

 

Using what they learn, students must develop a solution to protect our ecosystems from collapse  

 

Key tasks

  • Modelling ecosystems. Students create an ecosystem in a jar to observe the dependences between different living organisms. They also explore the interconnections within an Antarctic ecosystem to explore the likely impact of a reduction in krill numbers across the ecosystem 

  • Experiments. Students conduct different experiments to model the impact of human activity on ecosystems. These include creating hydroponics, burying and digging up rubbish to observe biodegradation, and exploring how wetlands can filter water and remove toxins and pollutants 

Key facts:

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Curriculum information

Science - Biological Sciences – Ecosystems & energy flow 

ACSSU176 | VCSSU121 | SC4-14LW

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Duration

15 - 20 lessons