New Perspectives in Science Education

Edition 13

Accepted Abstracts

Aquatic Ecosystems: Tool for Environmental Education

Melissa Bergman, Universidade de Coimbra (Portugal)


Considering the river basin as a complex system of rivers and their biological communities, Biology classes can be more attractive and better utilized if they are developed in environments that allow the direct study of organisms and their ecological relations (Vaughan et al 2011, Sukhontapatipak & Srikosamatara 2012). The aim of this work was to verify the diversity and ecological aspects of benthic invertebrates of a stream with secondary students, emphasizing its importance in the dynamics of the aquatic ecosystems. The research had a qualitative focus, with the observation of the characteristics, habitat and ecological relations of the benthic invertebrates found in South of Brazil. The study was carried out with seventeen secondary students. The organisms were collected and observed attached to rocks and fallen leaves in the bottom of the stream. They were stored in a container with stream water and transported to the school laboratory. Among benthic organisms, were found flatworms, annelids, crustaceans and insects. Students noticed the advanced process of erosion along the streams banks and the scarce amount of water in some places, where the flow was very small or nonexistent. They also found that leaves of the riparian vegetation are important as substrates for several species, and also are part of the decomposition and cycling of nutrients. Students’s observations of the animals' behavior and local environment demonstrate the importance of classes in outdoor settings, such as river basins. This methodology facilitates learning in science and also develops awareness for environmental issues.

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