Invasive non-native species are causing billions of dollars of damage
to the environment each year, choking out native species and permanently
altering the natural landscape. In this project, students create an
experimental design which could lead to an understanding of how invasive
species take over the habitat of native species and how growth of
invasive plants can be controlled.
For more about Special #2 from
Attention to our Earth! e-mail
DeBear Paye , author
and AT&T Teacher Disseminator.
Gather scientific information through observation and lab and
field experimentation, questions and interviews, and library research
Students read background material and follow a
Guide to design individual control experiments comparing the growth
of a non-native invasive species to a native plant. Noting observations
and steps in a journal, they imagine they are ecologists or ecological
restoration specialists trying
to stop the spread of an invasive plant and to protect
the native one. This helps young scientists better understand each
species' growth, and may lead to designing workable practices for
controlling the spread of invasive plants.
Students create attractive posters or research papers outlining results.
They display and share them with the class, at a science fair, a local
newspaper, and/or students in other schools.
Students identify and explore the role of an Ecological Restoration
Specialist who works towards replanting and repairing damaged land
so it can be restored to a healthy ecosystem.
Invasive Plants edited by John Randall and Janet Marinelli,
1996: Brooklyn Botanical Garden; pots, trays, soil, seeds or cuttings
of an invasive and a native plant, labels, water, trowels, sunny spot
to grow plants, materials for data recording, art supplies, poster
Students research this ecological problem on the Internet. Using a
computer with graphing software, students graph data and word processing
software for an attractive final poster or research paper.
Upon completing experiments, students and teacher use a rubric
for evaluating criteria met for quality of task completion and
comprehension of their invasive plant study.
Students access valuable information on invasive plants at: