Tutor profile: Tom D.
Subject: Natural Sciences
In full sentences of your own words, explain what the terms Biotic and Abiotic mean. Give TWO examples of each.
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.
Subject: Environmental Science
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.
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.
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?
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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