Ecology Module

Tyto Online’s Ecology module addresses the topics of Matter and Energy in Organisms and Ecosystems, and Interdependent Relationships in Ecosystems.

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Ecology Module

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Sandbox: Build an Ecosystem

Build a thriving ecosystem from scratch

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 from five varied ecosystems

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.

Watch a video of people playing the sandbox.

The simulation includes rich features of ecosystems

Many factors, focusing on interdependent relationships, are included in the simulation.

Animals need to eat, based on their preferences for food, and will even share kills. They'll reproduce, and have a maturity time period as they grow. Plants also have reproduction cycles, needing pollination in order to reproduce; if the plants fruit, they also need fruit eaten in order to achieve max reproduction!

Suggested activities teachers can use

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

We've made an entire pre-made sequence of suggested activities 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.

Download the Teaching Guide

Complete the form to receive the teacher guide for the sandbox with detailed feature introductions, game UI guide, in-class activities to supplement the learning, and more!

NGSS Standards


Here’s a quick overview of how the Modules available in Tyto Online map to the Next Generation Science Standards.

Get Full Content Map

Want to read the full details about all the content in Tyto Online, and how it addresses the NGSS standards?  Complete the form below for the download of our full PDF content map document.