Campus Life

How Nuts and Bolts Teach you Environmental Science

This is an ecology class. 

And yes, she's trying to remove that nut from the bolt as fast as she can. 

Because doing so will help teach students about predators and prey and how they fit into an ecosystem. 

Students take turns being the predator. Each bolt represents prey. Removing the nut represents eating that prey. 

Students close their eyes and use their hands to find prey which they then eat. 

One member of the group keeps time, another counts how much prey is eaten, and another moves the prey around while the predator is busy eating. 

Students start with five prey on the table and move up in increments of five. They see how fast they can find the prey and eat it. 

Eventually, even though more prey is available in the ecosystem, the predator will not be able to eat more in the given time frame. 

Students initially see an increase - because they are finding prey faster. But it will start to even out. 

And that's how environmental science is taught using nuts and bolts. 

posted 04/19/2016 in Academics



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