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Ecosystems: Flow of Matter and Energy

Students learn about Earth’s ecosystems and how energy flows from the sun to plants, and from plants to animals. Students create a model to describe photosynthesis and explain how energy from the sun is introduced into an ecosystem. Students use evidence to defend the claim that plants get the materials they need for growth mainly from air and water. Students learn how energy flows through an ecosystem and explore a simulation about how an ecosystem can become unbalanced. Finally, students use the design process to develop an action plan to protect plants and animals in an ecosystem that has become unbalanced due to human activity.