Grade 10 Investigate Biodiversity

For the past two weeks, the Grade 10 Biology students have been investigating the idea of biodiversity - its definition, its significance and the many factors that have impacted on it in various ecosystems. Lionfish are an invasive species that has spread throughout the Caribbean region, causing damage to natural environments. Though native to Indo-Pacific oceans, lionfish were both intentionally and unintentionally released into the Caribbean Sea. With their fast reproductive rate, no coevolved predators or prey, and expansive diet, they have decimated the populations of many species within the Caribbean.

Students were placed into groups and given a research assignment regarding Lionfish in Tobago waters. They were tasked as officers of the Environmental Management Authority (EMA) to address target government officials, and other key stakeholders with advice on the problem and plausible solutions. Students had to address issues such as the impact on fishermen and communities, Tobago’s tourism industry, the economy, and the health and sustainability of the reef.

This unit and activity addresses a topic listed in the guide for MYP Eassessment. It also allowed students to build the following ATL skills: Research, Collaboration, Thinking and Communication. Students had to work with each other to develop a cohesive report and action plan. They had to do critical thinking, looking at the best options to utilise in our environment, that could feasibly address the proliferation of the lionfish in our waters. Students then had to communicate with their target audience, and structure their approach to ensure they addressed the concerns of the key stakeholders.

Danette Paynter