Diggin’ Dandelions Overview
All Middle School Grades
Students will collect dandelions and transplant them into different soils in containers. They will grow them in the classroom for one month, making observations along the way, and then culture bacteria and fungi from the rhizosphere and report findings to researchers in the Genomics and Microbiology Laboratory at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences. Students will also do lab experiments to examine properties of soils.
- Students will contribute to a large-scale scientific study (experimental design, collect and analyze data).
- Students will explain how factors such as nutrients, water and space affect populations in an ecosystem.
- Students will understand that a dandelion has a symbiotic relationship with the microorganisms in the surrounding rhizosphere.
NC Essential Standards
- 6.E.2 Understand the structure of Earth and how interactions of constructive and destructive forces have resulted in changes in the surface of Earth over time and the effects of the lithosphere on humans.
- 6.E.2.3 Explain how the formation of soil is related to the parent rock type and the environment in which it develops.
- 6.L.2 Understand the flow of energy through ecosystems and the responses of populations to the biotic and abiotic factors in their environment.
- 6.L.2.3 Summarize how the abiotic factors (such as temperature, water, sunlight, and soil quality) of biomes (freshwater, marine, forest, grassland, desert, tundra) affect the ability of organisms to grow, survive and/or create their own food through photosynthesis.
- 6.TT.1 Use technology and other resources for the purpose of accessing, organizing, and sharing information.
- 6.RP.1 Apply a research process for collaborative or individual research.
- 6.SE.1 Apply responsible behaviors when using information and technology resources.
- 7.TT.1 / 8.TT.1 Use technology and other resources for assigned tasks.
- 7.RP.1 Apply a research process to complete given tasks.
- 7.SE.1 / 8.SE.1 Apply responsible behaviors when using information and technology resources.
- 8.RP.1 Apply a research process to complete project-based activities.
- 8.L.1 Understand the hazards caused by agents of diseases that affect living organisms.
- 8.L.1.1 Summarize the basic characteristics of viruses, bacteria, fungi and parasites relating to the spread, treatment and prevention of disease.
- 8.L.3 Understand how organisms interact with and respond to the biotic and abiotic components of their environment.
- 8.L.3.1 Explain how factors such as food, water, shelter and space affect populations in an ecosystem.
- 8.L.3.2 Summarize the relationships among producers, consumers, and decomposers including the positive and negative consequences of such interactions including:
- Coexistence and cooperation
- Competition (predator/prey)
- 8.L.3.3 Explain how the flow of energy within food webs is interconnected with the cycling of matter (including water, nitrogen, carbon dioxide and oxygen).
Next Generation Science Standards
- MS-LS1-6 Construct a scientific explanation based on evidence for the role of photosynthesis in the cycling of matter and flow of energy into and out of organisms.
- MS-LS2-1 Analyze and interpret data to provide evidence for the effects of resource availability on organisms and populations of organisms in an ecosystem.
- MS-LS2-4 Construct an argument supported by empirical evidence that changes to physical or biological components of an ecosystem affect populations.
- MS-LS1-5 Construct a scientific explanation based on evidence for how environmental and genetic factors influence the growth of organisms.
- ELA-Literacy.RST.6-8.3 Follow precisely a multistep procedure when carrying out experiments, taking measurements or performing technical tasks.
- ELA-Literacy.SL.6.1 Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 6 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.
- ELA-Literacy.SL.7.1 Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 7 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.
- ELA-Literacy.SL.8.1 Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 8 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.
- ELA-Literacy.L.6.1 / ELA-Literacy.L.7.1 / ELA-Literacy.L.8.1
Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.
- ELA-Literacy.L.6.2 / ELA-Literacy.L.7.2 / ELA-Literacy.L.8.2
Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.