Unit 2 Culminating Project: Think Tank & Letter

Mammoths and camels are not the only species that have experienced change in San Diego County. Many other species are also affected by changes in their environment as a result of human activity. As we watch more and more species struggle with the changing environmental conditions, the question becomes: Should we intervene or should we allow nature to take its course?

A “Think Tank” is a body of experts that provides advice and ideas on questions like these, but first they must have the opportunity to discuss, argue, and problem-solve the specific issue. As a group, you will prepare for a “Think Tank” discussion centered around the question: Should we intervene on the behalf of species that are affected by environmental change or allow nature to take its course?

To prepare for this discussion, your group will:

  • Research a species affected by changing environmental conditions caused by human activity – such as climate change, deforestation, habitat loss, resource scarcity, etc.
  • Use your own research and the scientific concepts you learn throughout the unit to decide whether humans should intervene to save this species or not. 
  • Develop an argument to support your position.

As individuals, you will write a letter to a local organization stating your position on whether or not humans should intervene to help increase this species’ chance of survival.

Your letter should include:

  • A brief introduction about you and this unit/project
  • Research and evidence about your selected species, citing sources
  • Your opinion about whether humans should intervene to help this species or not
    • If not – why not?
    • If so – how should we intervene?

Possible Organizations:

This letter will assess your understanding of “ESS3-4: Construct an argument supported by evidence for how increases in human population & per-capita consumption of natural resources impacts Earth’s systems”.

Emergent – 1 Progressing – 2 Proficient – 3 Exceptional – 4
Student constructs an argument for whether or not humans should intervene on behalf of threatened or endangered species and uses no evidence or scientific reasoning to support their argument Student constructs an argument for whether or not humans should intervene on behalf of threatened or endangered species, but uses insufficient evidence or scientific reasoning to support their argument Student constructs an argument for whether or not humans should intervene on behalf of threatened or endangered species and uses multiple sources of evidence and accurate but partial scientific reasoning to support their argument Student constructs an argument for whether or not humans should intervene on behalf of threatened or endangered species and uses multiple sources of evidence and accurate and complete scientific reasoning to support their argument

Access the Project Outline Here!