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Natural sciences

Grade 8


Module 38

Ecological problems and solutions

Many of the difficulties that are presently being experienced in nature are caused by humans.

The major problems stem from what is known as the HIPPO dilemma.

H - Habitat loss

I – Invader species

P – Pollution

P – Population growth

O - Over-population

Activity 1:

To realise what man’s role in ecological problems is, and to attempt to find solutions

Man is guilty of all five of these indiscretions. We deforest and simply destroy forests because we want to build roads, houses and industries. Just think of the Amazon: there has been a terrific loss of plants that have to contribute to our oxygen supply in the air.

We allow foreign species, especially plants and insects, to invade areas where they have no natural enemies and thus present major dangers for the indigenous species which are easily crowded out by the aggressive foreign species. Prime examples of this problem are the rooikrans trees on the Cape Flats or the black wattle trees along the rivers in the Boland.

Foreign bees are also a threat to our indigenous bees.

Pollution is obviously one of the most serious problems. We pollute the air, the soil and the water with chemicals, oil, plastic, other materials that are not bio-degradable, and also with noise.

All of this is made worse because the population is increasing by the day. (This has already been dealt with in the module on Biodiversity.)

The massive increase in population also causes over-utilization of all natural resources. The resource that is the most limited is naturally WATER.

Prepare a three-minute speech on the following topic: “Man is not part of an ecosystem, and as soon as he becomes involved in an ecosystem, he disturbs the system.”

Activity 2:

The following project focuses on the meaningful utilization of water as one of our most important natural resources


Divide into groups of four. Plan the following:

1. how you are going to determine the water consumption at your school;

2. how you are going to present the findings in a report;

3. which possible cases of water wastage you will be investigating;

4. which recommendations you will make.

  • Your teacher will fix a date for the submission of the report.
  • Each group will present its report to the class.
  • A summary of the final findings can be submitted to school management. A class discussion on the recommendations that are to be submitted would be valuable.
  • It would be useful to examine the following as part of the research assignment:

1. Wasting water at taps

You can determine the water consumption of the average learner by following these steps:

Divide into groups of four. You will need a large measuring cylinder, a stopwatch and a bucket.

One person in the group is the time-keeper.

Two people drink.

One person notes down the observations in a table.

When the stopwatch starts running, open the tap normally and drink, using your hand as you would normally do. In the bucket, catch up the water that runs off. The time-keeper will tell you to stop after 30 seconds. One person now pours the wasted water into the measuring cylinder and measures how much water has gone to waste. Repeat the procedure for the second person and find an average.

Questions & Answers

Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
what school?
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
Damian Reply
sciencedirect big data base
Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
Praveena Reply
what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
characteristics of micro business
for teaching engĺish at school how nano technology help us
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
there is no specific books for beginners but there is book called principle of nanotechnology
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.
what is the Synthesis, properties,and applications of carbon nano chemistry
Abhijith Reply
Mostly, they use nano carbon for electronics and for materials to be strengthened.
is Bucky paper clear?
carbon nanotubes has various application in fuel cells membrane, current research on cancer drug,and in electronics MEMS and NEMS etc
so some one know about replacing silicon atom with phosphorous in semiconductors device?
s. Reply
Yeah, it is a pain to say the least. You basically have to heat the substarte up to around 1000 degrees celcius then pass phosphene gas over top of it, which is explosive and toxic by the way, under very low pressure.
Do you know which machine is used to that process?
how to fabricate graphene ink ?
for screen printed electrodes ?
What is lattice structure?
s. Reply
of graphene you mean?
or in general
in general
Graphene has a hexagonal structure
On having this app for quite a bit time, Haven't realised there's a chat room in it.
what is biological synthesis of nanoparticles
Sanket Reply
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
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Source:  OpenStax, Natural sciences grade 8. OpenStax CNX. Sep 12, 2009 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col11050/1.1
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