Topic 1: Systems & Models

Holiday homework - create students pages, upload work to student pages & discuss

Go to: SharePoint -> Year 11 Student Resources -> Diploma Programme -> Group 4 -> ESS -> - Teaching Point PowerPoints
Look at the second one listed there, 1.1.1.& Discuss as a group
(The password, for all of the PowerPoints is: CHLOROPHYLL)

Try the activity with the sticks! (take a photo of your creations :-)
After viewing the PowerPoint, complete this worksheet (you may print it, or you could simply create a table in Word to complete it on your laptop)

Look at the first powerpoint listed in SharePoint, 1.1.1-1.1.3 & discuss
Consider, define & note down some examples of other types of systems; economic, social & value systems

Here are the syllabus dot points that are key to the information presented there:

Biosphere 2:

The Gaia Hypthesis

Lesson 3


The water cycle; a) identify the processes, b) then identify aspects as being transfers, transformations, storages

"Inputs and outputs from systems are called flows and are represented by arrows in system diagrams.
The stock held within a system is called the storage and is represented by boxes." (Pearson, p10)

Inputs, outputs, processes and storage - an ICT example:

Systems thinking in management:

Lesson 4


1.1.5 & 1.1.6 Equilibrium & Feedback

For the chemists: The concept of equilibrium

Equilibrium quick experiment - chromate ions

For the biologists: Homeostasis

- The Development of Predation Theory (1st paragraph of this section)

A classic predator-prey example to be familiar with:
The Canadian Lynx and the Snowshoe Hare Case Study (in both texts), further information:

What is a feedback loop?

Animation of a negative feedback loop -

Is maintained by negative feedback loops

Steady-state equilibrium eg. the body (homeostasis)
Dynamic equilibrium eg. predator-prey relationships

Is lost if positive feedback loops occur

Eg. oxytocin during labour, an atomic bomb reaction, unregulated population growth
- the introductory quote from -
- Systems and Feedback section from -

Gizmo`s - Homeostasis and Rabbit Population
Do the Rabbit population gizmo in class, and the homeostasis one at home
The class code for our ESS Gizmo's can be accessed from SharePoint -> ESS

Time for a hot chocolate!
And let`s produce a systems diagrams for it :-)


Odum`s systems diagrams

Evaluation of models

For a more explanations, examples and practice questions:

Pavan Sukhdev: The Environment, Value & Profit
Pavan Sukdev presents a situation and narrative that is much like the kind of analysis, research and commentary we`ll engage in and develop during our study of ESS.

"Pavan Sukhdev is Special Advisor and Head of UNEP's Green Economy Initiative, a major project suite to demonstrate that the greening of economies is not a burden on growth but rather a new engine for growth, employment and the reduction of persistent poverty".

(UNEP = United Nations Environment Programme. )

Jonathan Klein: Photos that changed the world
Confronting, inspiring.
Deeper meanings behind ESS?

"Jonathan Klein co-founded Getty Images, Inc. in March 1995. At the core of Getty Images is a fundamental belief that imagery is a powerful force for change. This approach has achieved recognition from many sources, including the Business Excellence for Innovation award from the Global Business Coalition on HIV/AIDS. In May 2005, Jonathan received top honors on American Photo’s list of the “100 Most Important People in Photography,” he is a recipient of the Entrepreneur of the Year Award in Washington and was named in the March 2006 Fast Company issue as one of “The Fast 50 – The people who will change the way we work and live over the next ten years.”

2. Collaboration Task in Student Pages:
Syllabus reference 1.1.1 - think of, discuss and research economic, social and value systems.

7.1.1 Environmental Value Systems

Hexagon review activity

Complete the review questions from the textbooks
Update your glossary
Could you create one concept map for this topic?

Our focus is 1.1.1-1.1.4, as this provides us with an understanding of systems.
Our first examples focus on ecosystems.
We will extend this to define and give examples of value systems.
Then furthering our research to begin to gain an understanding of the broad spectrum of environmental value systems (7.1.1).


Taken from: ESS Guide, p22-23