Build A Biosphere – Ecology and Sustainability Project


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Build a Biosphere Project Preview


Looking for a fun way to wrap up your ecology unit? This Build a Biosphere project brings ecosystems to life and captures imaginations as students answer the question: What would it take to create a self sustaining habitation on another planet?


This project begins by introducing the concept of a biosphere with this free reading on the Phoenix Biosphere. (File also included in your project download.)


Then your students will be guided through the process of designing the first true extraterrestrial human colony! With an ecology focus, this project guides students through the following steps in a 20 page booklet:


  • Choose A Planet
  • Biosphere Inhabitants¬†(Who will you bring?)
  • Recreation in the Biosphere¬†(What will your inhabitants do for fun?)
  • Food in the Biosphere¬†(How much farm land will be required?)
  • A Meal in the Biosphere¬†(What really goes into making your favorite dish?)
  • Water in the Biosphere¬†(How much fresh water is needed to support the humans and their farms?)
  • Oxygen in the Biosphere¬†(How many trees would it take to support your population?)
  • Biosphere Wilderness¬†(What kinds of natural wilderness will you incorporate?)
  • Biome 1¬†(Plan biodiversity)
  • Biome 2
  • Biosphere Brainstorm¬†(Design the look and size of your biosphere.)


Optionally, have students build models of their design.


Who is this resource for?

This resource can be used by classroom teachers, tutors, and parents of students in grades 6-9.


How Can I Use this Resource?

  • Formative or Summative Assessment
  • Inquiry based instruction
  • Creation of Independent Work Packet for students who are not able to be present for direct instruction.
  • Extension activity for early finishers or for students who show a special interest in the topic


What’s Included?

  • Teacher Tips
  • Pre-Reading with answer key
  • Student Booklet (20 pages)
  • Student Booklet Google Slides & Google Docs
  • Sample Completed Project
  • Rubric


Purchase includes a printable PDF file in color. On page 2 of this resource you will find a link to a student friendly Google Slide version of this file. You will be able to copy this file and use it with Google Classroom or any other paperless initiative.


Please take a look at the preview file & video to see more of this resource.


Check out this blog post to see more examples of student work!


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Analyze and interpret data to provide evidence for the effects of resource availability on organisms and populations of organisms in an ecosystem. Emphasis is on cause and effect relationships between resources and growth of individual organisms and the numbers of organisms in ecosystems during periods of abundant and scarce resources.
Construct an argument supported by empirical evidence that changes to physical or biological components of an ecosystem affect populations. Emphasis is on recognizing patterns in data and making warranted inferences about changes in populations, and on evaluating empirical evidence supporting arguments about changes to ecosystems.
Evaluate competing design solutions for maintaining biodiversity and ecosystem services. Examples of ecosystem services could include water purification, nutrient recycling, and prevention of soil erosion. Examples of design solution constraints could include scientific, economic, and social considerations.
Develop a model to describe the cycling of matter and flow of energy among living and nonliving parts of an ecosystem. Emphasis is on describing the conservation of matter and flow of energy into and out of various ecosystems, and on defining the boundaries of the system. Assessment does not include the use of chemical reactions to describe the processes.
Construct an explanation that predicts patterns of interactions among organisms across multiple ecosystems. Emphasis is on predicting consistent patterns of interactions in different ecosystems in terms of the relationships among and between organisms and abiotic components of ecosystems. Examples of types of interactions could include competitive, predatory, and mutually beneficial.



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