Turning over a new leaf

May 14, 2018 | Form VI Biology students got their shoes muddy this afternoon as they built miniature ecosystems in mason jars.
Students were given a jar, a variety of soil types, and free reign over the woods behind the gym to build their own mesocosm in Ms. Logan-Chesney’s class this afternoon. These enclosed organic ecosystems, known as mesocosms, are filled with soil and other organisms. Students had to search the forest to find autotrophs, heterotrophs, and nutrient recyclers, and explain why they were including each of these elements in their system. This International Baccalaureate lab also specified that no vertebrates were to be included, although a few worms and spiders made their way into some of the jars. The jars will be sealed and placed in Ms. Logan-Chesney’s classroom until the end of the year, although she hopes to keep some of them over the summer to see just how long these systems will stay self-sustaining.

Bishop's College School is an independent English-language boarding and day school for grades 7 to 12 in Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada.