Welcome to Journey to El Yunque (El YOON-kay), a real-life science adventure for you and your middle school students. Journey to El Yunque is unlike other science projects. Filled with mystery, humor, and adventure, this interactive program gives students the opportunity to analyze data and model the work of ecologists and biologists in the rainforest of Puerto Rico. Students will address the ongoing research question of, "What will happen to the rainforest if severe hurricanes strike the rainforest more frequently?" In the process of investigating that research questions, students will address the following Next Generation Science Standards and Common Core:
- MS-LS2-1. Analyze and interpret data to provide evidence for the effects of resource availability on organisms and populations of organisms in an ecosystem.
- MS-LS2-4. Construct an argument supported by empirical evidence that changes to physical or biological components of an ecosystem affect populations.
- RST.6-8.2. Determine the central ideas or conclusions of a text; provide an accurate summary of the text distinct from prior knowledge or opinions.
- RST.6-8.4. Determine the meaning of symbols, key terms, and other domain-specific words and phrases as they are used in a specific scientific or technical context relevant to grades 6–8 texts and topics.
- RST.6-8.7. Integrate quantitative or technical information expressed in words in a text with a version of that information expressed visually (e.g., in a flowchart, diagram, model, graph, or table).
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The development of Journey to El Yunque was supported by grants DRL-9908438 from the National Science Foundation to the NASA Classroom of the Future and DRL-0535942 from the National Science Foundation to The Learning Partnership. The development of Journey to El Yunque was also supported by grants #BSR-8811902, DEB-9411973, DEB-OO8538, DEB-0218039 from the National Science Foundation to the Institute of Tropical Ecosystem Studies (IEET), University of Puerto Rico, and the International Institute of Tropical Forestry (IITFR) as part of the Long-Term Ecological Research Program in the Luquillo Experimental Forest. Additional support was provided by the Forest Service (U.S. Department of Agriculture) and the University of Puerto Rico. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the developer and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.