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Final Project Guidelines: Closed-System Ecosystem
A 3 to 5-minute presentation PowerPoint; a 625-word/2.5-page written
report detailing the ecosystem and the outcomes, will be turned in with the presentation. Students must do
background research on their ecosystem using a minimum of three academic sources and/or peer-reviewed
articles. Proper documentation and a bibliography using APA format are required; students will be graded
based on a rubric – students are expected to be able to follow a rubric and to use these as mandatory
guidelines. Students are expected to be able to paraphrase articles; for each directly-quoted sentence, the
paper will be dropped by one letter grade (10 points).
Final Paper Guidelines: Label each section. Email as a pdf or Word doc
Title Page: Include a short and descriptive title; student’s name; EV-103
Introduction: Minimum of one page (250 words). Describe the specific ecosystem that you are
mimicking, its natural resources and organisms, nutrient and water cycles, variables such as humidity
and temperature. Use scientific sources for all information regarding the conditions (such as gas
exchange, soil microbes, and chemical compounds) in the biome that you are simulating (minimum of
1 peer-reviewed article and 2 academic or scholarly sources). Discuss any threats it faces due to human
interactions – look online for pollutants in the area via state and federal websites – and how these
affect organisms in the ecosystem. Include a hypothesis about what you predict will occur.
Methods and Materials: Be descriptive and write in paragraph form – include specific amounts and
outline the steps you have taken precisely. This is similar to writing a recipe – if someone else wants to
do your project, they would have the same outcome if they followed your instructions precisely.
Include photographs or drawings of the initial design. Describe what the steps you are taking to supply
organisms with nutrients. Find out the names of the organisms that you include. Decide on one
variable to monitor over time (such as pH of water or height of plants) – you will need to take
measurable, quantitative (numerical) data to measure as a way to determine the health of your
ecosystem and its organisms – this should relate to your hypothesis. Write approximately half a page
Results: Describe what occurred during the course of your experiment. Include dates and events.
Graphs and charts of your measurements go here. Be descriptive, write at least half a page (125
words). Include pictures of final outcome. Use your measurable variable to make a line graph (such as
height of a plant over time). You will need to take at least 5 measurements (such as height of a plant)
over the course of the term.
Conclusions: Write approximately half a page (125 words). Explain why you think you got these results.
Answer the questions: What did you learn from this project? What have you learned about your
community as an ecosystem? If you redid the experiment, what would you change?
References: Anything that does not pop out of your head – websites to books to documentaries – need to be
given credit. No direct quotes will be accepted – for each directly-quoted sentence, the paper will be dropped
by one letter grade (10 points). Use APA format.
A minimum of 3 scientific/academic sources is required: 1 peer-reviewed journal article, 2 scholarly sources
(these must be at a college-level) such as academic books and data from scientific organizations, to define and
explain functions and interactions within your simulated ecosystem.
University and governmental sources such as NASA are acceptable as a scholarly source as long as they are not
geared to children – note that these sources are not the same as peer-reviewed articles. You need to read a
minimum of one peer-reviewed journal and use the information in it in your paper.
You must properly use APA format.
Your Presentation needs to include:
Introduction: detail what type of ecosystem you are modeling from your community;
– What sort of climate, organisms, history
Impact of people on it
This includes research into pollution and health effects on organisms
Discuss peer-reviewed scientific research that has been done on it, such as gas
production from soil microbes, or long-term studies of exposure to health
Methods/Materials: what procedures and materials used (good place for picture of it)
Results: what happened
Graphs and pictures
Variables depicted in line graph
Conclusions: What does this all mean? Did you mimic it successfully? What could be changed?
Include a title for each section at the top of slides or above section on poster.
Project presentations should last from 3-5 minutes.
Each person in a group is expected to speak and answer questions
If someone in your group has not be doing their work, let me know
Each teammate will write their initials/name at the bottom of each slide that they worked on.