Teachers and families across the country are facing a new reality of providing opportunities for students to do science through distance and home learning. The Daily Do is one of the ways NSTA is supporting teachers and families with this endeavor. Each weekday, NSTA will share a sensemaking task teachers and families can use to engage their students in authentic, relevant science learning. We encourage families to make time for family science learning (science is a social process!) and are dedicated to helping students and their families find balance between learning science and the day-to-day responsibilities they have to stay healthy and safe.
Interested in learning about other ways NSTA is supporting teachers and families? Visit the NSTA homepage.
Now that we understand more about vaccines and how they work, we want to explore more about our second question from above: "Could vaccinating the cattle affect the buffalo and wildebeest populations?" Use Slide 12 to engage students in a discussion about what they suspect is the relationship between vaccinating cattle and population changes in both buffalo and wildebeests.
Guidance. It is not necessary (at this time) for students to figure out all the connections among the population dynamics in play. However, we want to promote student thinking about how changes in one population can affect another population.
Because of that, we will now investigate "Can vaccinating cattle affect the buffalo and wildebeest populations?. Before conducting the investigation (Slide 13), students will make predictions about what they think will happen. Access the Student Activity Sheet to have students document their predictions whether populations will increase, decrease, or stay the same.
Students will now test their predictions by following the instructions on Procedures for Investigation, on page 2 of the Student Activity Sheet. If students need to familiarize themselves with or review how the simulation works, have them do so by watching the optional video in step 3.
The activity sheet is also available in Spanish. (Note: Familiarize yourself with the instructions of the simulation on the student activity sheet and video before running the Serengeti Consumers simulation to collect data. Feel free to "play in the sandbox" with the simulation to explore its various features before collecting data for the investigation.)
After Investigation 1, students will have figured out (slide 14) the following:
Let's look back at what we did:
We conducted an investigation and discovered the following:
So, let's return to our original questions:
Guidance. Here we can take stock of all the things we figured out about the many factors influencing how populations of living organisms in the same area affect one another. Although we did not figure out everything regarding ecosystem interactions, we have learned many things about how and why changes in one animal population can drive changes in another.
To answer our phenomena question How can vaccinating one population affect another?, we have figured out the following: (Slide 17)
Connection Guidance (slide 19). Recall a time when you or someone you knew were vaccinated to prevent an illness. The most common form of this is an annual flu vaccine. Consider how you would explain to a friend how vaccines work to build immunity for various infectious diseases. (This task could also be built in as a formative assessment.)
If your students are conceptually ready to go further, consider having them work through the Daily Do Why Do We All Have to Stay Home? This one makes explicit connections to viral transmission, immunity, and how antibodies function in developing resistance to infection.
NSTA has created a How can vaccinating one population affect another? resource collection to support teachers and families using this task. If you're an NSTA member, you can add this collection to your library by clicking Add to My Library, located near the top of the page (at right in the blue box).
The NSTA Daily Do is an open educational resource (OER) and can be used by educators and families providing students distance and home science learning. Access the entire collection of NSTA Daily Dos.
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