School: CAPSHAW MID
Area of Science: Eniviromental Sciences
Question: Can we use StarLogo, a computer modeling program, to demonstrate how man-made siltation and turbity in the Rio Grande affect the Silvery Minnow, and therefore find a way to bring back the minnow population in the Rio Grande. Which is the best scenario, A, B, or C?
Why and how is the Silvery Minnow population becoming endangered in the Rio Grande River? At least 25 miles of the Rio Grande have dried up and that is the minnows' main habitat. Biologists think the Rio Grande is drying up because of siltation and turbidity. Biologists need to find out a way to help the Minnow population grow back to their original number. Minnows are very important to the environment because they indicate the health of a river and they are also a source of food for other animals. If they can find a way to help the Minnow populations get back to their original number it will save the Minnow
The goal of this project is to find out if subtle changes in the minnows' environment can keep the river from drying up and therefore save the minnow. In the simulation, "fishes" will swim about and eat "crabs". This would work out, but the banks of the river are also interceding on the fish and will kill them when it reaches them. Our goal is to find out if small changes such as more food, the creation of dams, and, an irrigation lines can make a difference in the minnow population.
Hypothesis: The hypothesis is that one of these scenarios will be able to help us find a way to save the minnow population
Procedure: We wrote a code that sets up the minnows in different situations in their habitat, the Rio Grand. We allowed the program run through different scenarios in order to model ways to help the population stay stable. The three different scenarios we have conceived are as follows.
A, or the building of dams to stop the flow of silt and mud,
B, or introducing a system of canals to let the fishes and water move freely,
And C, creating a new source of food for the minnows so their population will rise.
We will test each of these scenarios individually, in order to find, (by the process of elimination) the most fitting solution. In testing these solutions, we will learn about their everyday lifestyle.
Sponsoring Teacher: Makoena Simon