Back-of-the-Envelope Calculations: National Debt

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This brief activity acquaints students with rough estimation through problem solving and discussion. This task works especially well as a warm-up in the first meeting of a small class. Though the task is written around the case of national debt, a list of alternative cases is provided.

Biodiversity Final Exam

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This exam consists of five multipart questions related to the biodiversity materials presented in Frontiers of Science. The document provided here contains the questions and associated figures, while the answers are provided in a separate document. Each question requires students to apply their understanding of both content and the scientific habits of mind learned in the biodiversity unit. (Note: We provide the exam questions and answers to guide instructors in designing their own assessments. Since this Web site is freely accessible to anyone, including students, we recommend revising these questions to suit your own course content.)

Biodiversity Final Exam

Discipline:
Resource type:

This exam consists of five multipart questions related to the biodiversity materials presented in Frontiers of Science. The document provided here contains answers, while the full questions and associated figures are provided in a separate handout-ready document. Each question requires students to apply their understanding of both content and the scientific habits of mind learned in the biodiversity unit. (Note: We provide the exam questions and answers to guide instructors in designing their own assessments. Since this Web site is freely accessible to anyone, including students, we recommend revising these questions to suit your own course content.)

Invasive Species and Population Dynamics

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Time series plot of balsam fir growth and moose population in Isle Royal National Park 1959–2003.

In this assignment, students will consider the effects of invasive species on ecosystems, and look at population dynamics in predator-prey relationships. In examining data from previous studies, students will apply their understanding of graphical displays of data and of statistical concepts (mean, standard deviation, variance, correlation, significance) to interpret research findings. This document serves as a student handout; an answer key is provided in an accompanying document.

Invasive Species and Population Dynamics

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Time series plot of wolf and moose populations in Isle Royal National Park 1959–2003.

In this assignment, students will consider the effects of invasive species on ecosystems and look at population dynamics in predator-prey relationships. In examining data from previous studies, students will apply their understanding of graphical displays of data and of statistical concepts (mean, standard deviation, variance, correlation, significance) to interpret research findings. This document serves as an answer key; a student handout is provided in an accompanying document.

Wombats and Bees

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Fruit-set effect sizes of pollen-supplementation experiments, North America.

This assignment requires students to consider data related to diversity in local animal populations. Students will apply their understanding of samples, populations, and statistics to data from several different published studies of biodiversity. This document serves as an answer key; a student handout is provided in an accompanying document.

HR Diagrams

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M55 globular cluster.

This assignment requires students to read and interpret Hertzsprung-Russell (HR) diagrams, showing the correlation between a star's temperature and its luminosity. Students will also gain experience with estimating the magnitude of error, identifying sources of error, identifying the limitations of particular methods of measurement, and interpreting logarithmic scales.

HR Diagrams

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Resource type:

Hertzsprung-Russell diagram.

This assignment requires students to read and interpret Hertzsprung-Russell (HR) diagrams, showing the correlation between a star's temperature and its luminosity. Students will also gain experience with estimating the magnitude of error, identifying sources of error, identifying the limitations of particular methods of measurement, and interpreting logarithmic scales.