Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Space Ship Earth (petite version)

So remember the biospheres?
The class project?
Okay, you gotta look here.
So the sealed environments have been, well, sealed for almost a week now.
Houston, we have a problem.
It seems the kids don't listen too well.
Okay, here's what a couple of them looked like on day one:




All of them installed various kinds of fishes in the aquatic portion and some kind of plant in the upper terra part of the biosphere. Some included aquatic plants in the lower section, some chose not to.
One problem was the amount of fishes.
They were briefed on the the hazards regarding the quantity of life forms to be encapsulated.
In this case, more was not merrier.
Okay, this is way too easy to tie into Jared Diamond's book Collapse, so I won't do it.
I will say that it was difficult to watch the kids overload their projects with various small creatures. Well, it was in the name of science, I suppose.
You, the reader, can probably guess the outcome.
As the instructor commented to me, we'll certainly see some interesting effects of decomposition.
Here's a day two example:

If you look closely, you'll some candidates for said decomposition floating near the surface of the water.
This was typical, and as of today, I counted only three biospheres in which some kind of movement could be detected.
It's interesting, for the class is going over the whole carbon/oxygen cycle thing. I think they are having a problem interpreting the scale of it all.
I mean one small aquatic plant is not going to scrub off the CO2 and replenish the O2 of like ten fishes!
This is a great project and hopefully they will be able to relate some of this to Space Ship Earth.
Thursday will be day seven.
We'll see if there are any survivors.

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