H.E.L.O. (Holographic Environmental Life Observatory)

Ecosystem; producers, consumers, sustainability, food web, predation, ecosystem balance
3+ hours (multiple sessions)

Students can create their own biodome with plants and animals from Earth. Build an ecosystem from the ground up with the H.E.L.O. (Holographic Environmental Life Observatory). Populate holographic biodomes with producers, consumers, decomposers, and pollinators and observe food webs in action. Are you able to build a biodome that can sustain life?

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Standards Covered

MS-LS2-2, MS-LS2-5, MS-LS2-1, MS-LS3-2, MS-LS2-4

Anchoring Phenomena & Topics Covered

Ecosystem; producers, consumers, sustainability, food web, predation, ecosystem balance

Real World Connections

These biodomes have similar needs to real-life ecosystems. Students can explore what happens when there is a disruption in an ecosystem.

Teacher Guide

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What is Tyto Online?

We use a video game to set up problems and phenomena, helping you easily teach using them as storylines. Assign & go!

Learn More about How It Works


Students start with an empty ecosystem and build it up from scratch.

Add species to an ecosystem, after which they begin to eat and reproduce. Start with an empty, barren land and create a thriving ecosystem over time.

Choose an ecosystem for local relevance and/or comparing patterns across ecosystems

Choose from the Mojave Desert, Amazon Rainforest, Great Plains Grassland, Himalayan Forest, and Alaskan Tundra. Each ecosystem has the same patterns, based on ecological roles, but different species that will impact the specific behaviors seen.

Use our set of suggested activities to help ensure students achieve learning outcomes.

We've made an entire pre-made sequence of suggested activities (found in the teacher dashboard) to help you build up your students' knowledge through the Ecology Sandbox! Start students playing and let them encounter their first problems first. Then you can start layering in models, data collection, and other activities to build their knowledge.

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