This interactive simulation allows students to explore two classic mathematical models that describe how populations change over time: the exponential and logistic growth models.
The exponential growth model describes how a population changes if its growth is unlimited. This model can be applied to populations that are small and/or have no competition for resources. The logistic growth model describes how a population changes if there is an upper limit to its growth. This model can be applied to populations that are limited by food, space, competition, and other density-dependent factors.
In this Click & Learn, students can easily graph and explore both the exponential and logistic growth models. Students can set multiple model parameters, such as starting population size, time, and carrying capacity, and observe how population growth is affected by changing any of these variables.
The accompanying worksheet guides students’ exploration.
Student Learning Targets
- Interpret and analyze graphs and data tables summarizing population growth over time.
- Describe the assumptions of the exponential and logistic population growth models, and how those assumptions do or do not apply to different populations.
- Use population growth models to project and interpret real biological examples, including human population growth.
antelope, biotic potential, carrying capacity, density, differential equation, emigration, growth rate, immigration, limiting factor, wildebeest
HS-LS2-1, HS-LS3-3, HS-LS4-3, HS-LS4-5; SEP2, SEP5
1.A.1, 1.A.2, 1.A.4, 1.C.1, 1.C.2; SP1, SP2
5.1 5.4, C.1
ELA.RST.9-12.7, ELA.WHST.9-12.1 Math.A-REI.6, Math.N-Q.1, Math.F-IF.7, Math.S-ID.4, Math.S-ID.7; MP2, MP4
CC5; DP2, DP3