Resilient Planet: Ecology, Biodiversity, Invasive Species

Investigate the health of our environment and discover how to protect our planet’s most diverse ecosystems.

Students connect with scientists from the Great Lakes WATER Institute, National Geographic, Ocean Exploration Trust, and NOAA to:

  • Investigate alien invaders in the Great Lakes
  • Protect whales in the Atlantic Ocean
  • Discover why there are so many sharks on the reefs of Hawaii and
  • Snorkel over a coral reef in the Gulf of Mexico

Resilient Planet takes students to Earth’s critical ecosystems to investigate nature’s strategies for regeneration, learn roles of ecosystem management, understand human-induced changes, and recognize their responsibility for defending biodiversity. Students engage with these five missions through a series of articles, activities, videos, and games to form a deeper understanding of ecological conservation.

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Mission 1: Invaders – A Constant Ecological Battle

Students are introduced to Great Lakes WATER Institute Senior Scientist, Dr. Russell Cuhel, who studies invasive species that affect the ecology of Lake Michigan. They then discover the fundamentals of major ecosystems ecology and food webs.

Target Audience:

Grades 4-12

Examples of Key Vocabulary:

Ecology, Food chain/web, species, biotic & abiotic, chemosynthesis, photosynthesis, and nitrogen cycle.

Relevant Games:

Arctic Food Web, Resilient Planet- Vocab Challenge- Mission 1

Mission 2: Survivors – Securing a Niche

Students meet STEM career role model Dr. Robert Ballard to explore why geological features are important to the ecosystem. Ecological disturbances can lead to different survival strategies including behavior changes and development of favorable adaptations. In this mission, students use multimedia resources (articles, videos, games, and activities) to discover the competitive strategies within a resilient ecosystem.

Target Audience:

Grades 4-12

Examples of Key Vocabulary:

Ecological succession, mutualism, symbiosis, population, vertical stratification, pioneer species

Relevant Games:

Resilient Planet- Vocab Challenge- Mission 2

Mission 3: Paradise Lost – A Fragile Environmental Recovery

In this mission, students use their foundational knowledge of ecological succession and population recovery to explore ecosystem restoration in the Chesapeake Bay. Guided by STEM career role model and National Geographic Explorer-In-Residence, Dr. Sylvia Earle, students embark on a journey of articles, games, videos, and activities while learning about vulnerable habitats and the role that they could play in their restoration.

Target Audience:

Grades 4-12

Examples of Key Vocabulary:

Estuaries, transitional habitats, nitrogen pollution, algal bloom, wetlands, the four R’s of conservation

Relevant Games:

Resilient Planet- Vocab Challenge- Mission 3

Mission 4: Paradise Found – Earth’s Natural Treasures

STEM career role model Dr. Enric Sala teaches students about pristine and near-pristine environments, and familiarizes students with his research. In this mission, students continue to build their knowledge of ecology and ecosystems, but also begin to understand the way that these systems might exist within pristine development. Students explore how these environments come to be, and what their ecological models look like.

Target Audience:

Grades 4-12

Examples of Key Vocabulary:

Pristine ecosystem, biodiversity, habitat fragmentation, mini-ecosystems, carrying capacity

Relevant Games:

Resilient Planet- Vocab Challenge- Mission 4

Mission 5: The Rescue – Protect the Biosphere

STEM career professional and NOAA Ocean Noise Specialist, Dr. Leila Hatch, teaches students how she uses her research to advocate for the protection of whales in the ocean. In this final mission, students use videos, activities, articles, and games to interconnect their knowledge and reflect on how they can defend Earth’s biodiversity through personal action and community involvement.

Target Audience:

Grades 4-12

Examples of Key Vocabulary:

Endangered resources, interconnectedness, ecological footprint, global rescue, habitat rescue

Relevant Games:

Resilient Planet- Vocab Challenge- Mission 5

Student Edition (Print & Digital)

This 120-page, full-color magazine introduces the host researchers and Argonaut teams, provides the science background knowledge and the tools to help students solve each Mission challenge. It also contains a “getting started” tutorial, reference charts, a glossary, and interdisciplinary connections.

Teacher Edition (Print & Digital)

This 144-page, two-color manual includes facsimile Student Edition pages, wrap-around teacher notes, lesson plans, extentions, worksheets, and resources.

Videos

60 minutes of videos introduce teachers and students to some of the world’s top explorers and key science concepts. Our video content is seamlessly woven throughout the curriculum, offering a gateway into the exciting world of exploration and adventure.

Digital Labs and Games

Digital Labs allow students to explore the scientists’ work through interactive online games such as the “Operation: Resilient Planet Game,” JASON’s award-winning 3D underwater adventure.

Interested in Bringing JASON Learning to Your School?

For Superintendents & Principals:
Schedule a Demo
For Teachers & Classrooms:
Buy Online Now