Science Classes Create Aquarium Ecosystems


Mykayla Walker

Students study aquarium with Kim Saunders. They were given the project to study sustainability of ecosystems.

Students in science teacher Kim Saunders’ classes have started a new project over ecosystems using plastic bottles. This project will last four weeks before the classes open their original projects to see if they were successful or not.

“We are studying ecosystems and abiotic cycles within ecosystems,” Saunders said. “The student’s requirement is to set up an aquatic and terrestrial ecosystem.”

How fish live and survive in such a small area is interesting [to learn] for all of us.”

— William Tagg

The project involves the creation of an ecosystem that can keep beta fish alive with merely liter bottles. It is not only meant to teach students in-depth thinking abilities of what goes into an ecosystem and the long-term sustainability of such.

“Designing [the ecosystem] was difficult at first, there was a lot of trial and error,” junior William Tagg said. “How fish live and survive in such a small area is interesting [to learn] for all of us”

There were some students that didn’t succeed on their first attempt. Given the long-term nature of the project, many students had to redesign throughout to make it either more stable or sustainable.

“My mistakes during the process of this project helped [me learn] that I should never be afraid of change,” senior Jonathan Wise said. “Changing things like the project that isn’t working out in favor of a more functional one is something that I struggled with but feel more confident with now.”

This project didn’t only teach the students science though. Students also learned how to work together and how to manage the unexpected.

“The project overall ended up being good because we had to work as a team to collect data,” junior Stormy Troyer said. “We will see at the end whether or not it grows, gets smaller and how the plants are doing.”