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Tom D.
Science Teacher: Classroom and Experiential, 5+ Years Experience
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Natural Sciences
TutorMe
Question:

In full sentences of your own words, explain what the terms Biotic and Abiotic mean. Give TWO examples of each.

Tom D.
Answer:

Biotic factors are those that are composed of a material that was created by a living thing. Biotic factors are alive or were once living. Biotic examples: a grasshopper, feather, mushroom, cheese, or wooden bench. Abiotic factors are those composed of a material that was never living and was not made by a living thing. Abiotic factors were never alive. Abiotic examples: Rock, Water, Wind, Fire, Light, Heat, Other Radiation. Extension: Can you think of any substances or objects that do not fit into either category? Why? Do humans use mostly biotic resources or abiotic resources? Explain.

Environmental Science
TutorMe
Question:

Draw an energy pyramid to represent a food chain. Your pyramid must contain at least 3 levels. Place specific organisms (ie grass, deer, wolf) in the pyramid and label with the following terms where appropriate: Primary Consumer, Secondary Consumer, Tertiary Consumer, Producer, Herbivore, Carnivore, Omnivore, Decomposer, Autotroph, Heterotroph.

Tom D.
Answer:

Student answers will vary. The objective of this exercise is to allow the student to work out concepts using the energy pyramid as a device. The student should be able to apply terms to natural relationships observed outside of class. "I've seen deer eat plants, that must mean they are an herbivore and also a primary consumer. What eats deer and how would I classify this organism using these terms?" Discussion with the instructor is critical to debrief this task.

Biology
TutorMe
Question:

Local university scientists came to you to help classify a new organism. They tell you that it is multi-cellular, uses photosynthesis to make its own food, and reproduces using flowers. What taxonomic group would you place this organism in?

Tom D.
Answer:

Depending on student level and curricular rigor, this could have multiple answers and extensions. For HS Biology, I would expect Kingdom Plantae. Based on this description, Division Magnoliophyta would also be accurate. This could be differentiated with a word bank or multiple choice answers. Sample Extension: What characteristics would you expect this organism to have on a cellular level?

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