Dr. Dean Goodwin
AP Environmental Science Teacher
KUA, Meriden, NH
Learning is most exciting when there is opportunity to experience and discover what
happens. Food Chain offers a practical way to conduct experiments and investigate
a simple lake ecosystem. Students deepen their understanding of natural systems
as they learn by doing.
Biology and Environmental Science classes at all levels, from middle school through
high school and introductory college courses, use Food Chain to explore a virtual
lake ecosystem and conduct computer simulation-based experiments to test hypotheses.
Food Chain challenges students to think critically as they hone their skills in
applying the scientific method. Students are guided through the steps of formulating
and testing hypotheses, interpreting data, analyzing graphs, and suggesting reasons
for the results.
Systems Thinking concepts introduced while exploring a lake ecosystem are reinforced
in an optional Generalizing section. Students are challenged to apply concepts like
“feedback loops” and “unintended consequences” to issues in their own life.