# SLASL: Relationships between differential equations, population dynamics, and global climate change

Institute for the Study of Knowledge Management in Education

UNIT TEMPLATE: Text-Based STEM Inquiry

This template provides an approach for creating a science investigation that includes reading-focused inquiry to build student science literacy skills. The template was created to support library media specialists and STEM teacher cohorts in the School Librarians Advancing STEM Learning project, led by the Institute for the Study of Knowledge Management (ISKME) in partnership with Granite State University, New Hampshire, and funded by the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS).

Part I: Unit Title: Relationships Between Differential Equations, Population Dynamics, and Global Climate Change

Part II: Background on LMS and Science Teacher relationship: This lesson was created by School Media Coordinator Christina Segura, Calculus teacher Brian Smith and Earth and Environmental teacher Jeanne Cooper. Christina’s strengths were identified as text-based inquiry, locating and evaluating sources of information. Brian’s strengths were calculus content knowledge and Jeanne’s strengths were identified as earth and environmental science content knowledge and inquiry.

Part III: Unit Description: This unit includes 5 lessons that culminates in a persuasive argument in the form of letter to congressional member or grant proposal to Duke Energy.

Using inquiry-based reading, students will explore an anchor text and then develop their own supporting questions to guide their research.

Over the course of the unit, students will explore a variety of texts and grow in their knowledge of population dynamics, global climate change and differential equations and in their ability to use informational text to support their inquiry and research

Part IV: Standards

NGSS/State STEM Standards

• AP Environmental Science Objective III B 1 - understand how to analyze a country’s population demographics and how to use those demographics to predict future changes
• AP Calculus Learning Objective 3.5B - Interpret, create, and solve differential equations from problems in context.

NGSS Crosscutting Concepts
• Cause and effect: Mechanism and explanation. Events have causes, sometimes simple, sometimes multifaceted. A major activity of science is investigating and explaining causal relationships and the mechanisms by which they are mediated. Such mechanisms can then be tested across given contexts and used to predict and explain events in new contexts

CCSS Science Literacy Standards
• CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RST.11-12.3 Follow precisely a complex multistep procedure when carrying out experiments, taking measurements, or performing technical tasks; analyze the specific results based on explanations in the text.
• CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RST.11-12.9 Synthesize information from a range of sources (e.g., texts, experiments, simulations) into a coherent understanding of a process, phenomenon, or concept, resolving conflicting information when possible.

Part V: Unit Essential Question

Given current population growth models, what changes, if any, need to occur to sustain the human population?

Part VI: Goals for Using Inquiry: The goal for using inquiry in this unit is to have students develop their own supporting research questions focused on the interactions between global climate change and population dynamics. Students will then examine provided text, select their own additional resources to use, and determine their own solution to the research question. The science teacher, math teacher and the school media coordinator have selected an anchor text about global climate change. Teachers will provide support for students in a set of texts that guide research around population dynamics’ effect on global climate change.

The goal for using inquiry in this unit is to have students examine the anchor text as an open invitation to inquire about global climate change.  Using the anchor text The Consequences of Increased Population Growth for Climate Change as the base and supportive texts The Effect of China's One-Child Family Policy after 25 Years, The Population Bomb, and IPCC fifth summary report about global climate change, students will develop their own set of inquiry questions (ex: “I wonder…”) for a culminating activity about global climate change.  Students will narrow down their inquiry questions to one specific, targeted question that they seek to answer through the culminating activity.

Part VII: Summative Assessment Description and Rubric

Sustainable population growth is a major issue facing our global society. The teenagers of today will be the adults who are tasked with solving this problem. Students will have the option of creating a research proposal presentation or a letter to their congressional representative. Both options will require the students to come up with a future plan of action in response to current climate and population issues.

Presentation Rubric

Letter Rubric

Part VIII: Prior Knowledge Needed

Math - Basic understandings of derivatives and differential equations.

Literacy - An understanding of basic research strategies, i.e. locating & evaluating sources of information and

an ability to read a moderately complex text independently.
Science - Basic understanding of earth processes and ecosystems.

Part IX: Student Learning Objectives

1. The student will be able to calculate carrying capacity, doubling time, and growth rate by reading data from tables, graphs, and equations.
2. The student will be able to analyze the pros and cons of various energy resources and their impact on climate change by reading the anchor text and supporting texts.
3. The student will be able to evaluate reasonable plans for sustainability and population growth by using evidence from the text.
4. The student will be able to create a scientific research proposal by using textual evidence, data and precise details from the article to write a grant proposal or letter to congressional members.

Part X: Text Set Description (used to analyze the purpose and goal of each text they provide to the students)

Part XI: Suggested Lesson Breakdown/Pacing

Part XII: Attachment of Student Work Examples

Part XIII: Teacher and Librarian Reflection on the Implementation of the Unit

Earth and Environmental Teacher:  I was pleased to have an opportunity to work on creating an interdisciplinary lesson for our students that included a literacy focus.  I believe this is important to show students that all subjects are related.  You must be able to read and write...even in a science class.  In addition, literacy...especially the ability to read and understand text...is something that many of our students struggle with.  The scheduling of this event was a challenge because my class meets every other day and the AP Calculus classes meet every day.  However, we were able to work around this for the most part.

I enjoyed working with our media specialist and calculus teacher in developing the joint lesson.  And I learned about open source materials which is something I had been previously unfamiliar with.

Calculus Teacher: This project was a welcome new experience and change of pace for my students and me. I enjoyed getting to know the students’ work and intelligence in a capacity well beyond what I can observe by looking over their work and brief explanations on a math test.

Library Media Specialist: The students really surprised me with their willingness to collaborate with their peers in another class with different content. The collaboration between the students was a cool thing to watch when they were working on content from the other class.

The task of finding an open educational anchor text was intimidating at first. Finding a text to use is normally an easy job for me but finding an open text was a bit more challenging. Throughout the process of finding an anchor text I did learn that asking an author to add the creative commons disclaimer was not as scary as it first sounded. The authors of the text were quite willing to add the disclaimer knowing that there is potential for many to use their resource.

I enjoyed working from the ground up with two teachers that I have never collaborated with in the past. It was fun to create a lesson that we all had input on and knew it tied to each content area. The fear of not being comfortable with their content area went away as we created our lesson together knowing that we all had strengths that helped create this lesson.