Determining School Population Using Multiple Student Driven Methods
This activity is best used as an introduction to methods used to determine the population of species in an ecosystem. Students will create a logical method to estimate the number of students in their building, collect data, and calculate an estimated student population.
Context for Use
Students will be given 10-20 minutes to establish a method of sampling in order to estimate the student population of the school. A group procedure, including mathematical formulas, should be written up and approved before data is taken.
Resource Type: Activities:Classroom Activity
Grade Level: High School (9-12)
Theme: Teach the Earth:Course Topics:Environmental Science
Description and Teaching Materials
Students will be divided into groups of 2 or 3. Each group will be given the task of determining the student population in the building. Students will develop their own method to arrive at a valid population for the school. Students may choose to take samplings during lunch, during passing time, or during class sessions. Perhaps some may try to conduct a census of some kind. All methods should be encouraged. Students should state, in writing, the complete process and why they feel their process will result in valid data.
When completed, their mathematical model should speak for itself. Each group will need to identify inconsistencies or flaws in their original logic and/or process. This information should be shared with classroom peers. Additionally, their peers should review each model for validity.
Teaching Notes and Tips
9-12,IV.C.3 Interdependence of Life
9-12,IV.C.4 Interdependence of Life