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Creative thinking in science: human impacts on biodiversity

Practice creative thinking while exploring human impacts on biodiversity.

Why is understanding Earth’s biodiversity important?

By now you should have completed some lessons about biodiversity on Khan Academy. If you haven’t yet, we suggest completing the Biodiversity and Humans and biodiversity lessons before reading any further.
Ok, let’s revisit your species number estimate from the first article in this series. How many species did you estimate exist on Earth? Now, think about your estimate in light of what you’ve learned on Khan Academy, and try to answer the following questions. You can write your answers down on a piece of paper, or you can type them out.
  • Why do you think it’s important to estimate and catalog the species on Earth?
  • What are the limitations to counting only species number, and not including other aspects of biodiversity?
  • How do you think that species number is likely to change in your lifetime?
  • How might this pattern affect you?
The left side of the illustration shows a teenager sitting in a green ecosystem with trees, grass, and birds. The teenager is looking toward the right side of the illustration, which shows a dry and lifeless ecosystem.

A creative call to action

As we’ve learned, human impacts are driving an overall decrease in Earth’s biodiversity. So, here’s your call to action:
What can you do to slow or stop the loss of Earth’s biodiversity?
To answer this question, you'll need to use creative thinking. Remember, creativity includes coming up with new and useful ideas, taking risks, and breaking complex problems into smaller, more manageable ones.
An important part of whatever action you take will be communicating about it to your peers, your family, government officials, or to the general public. This process will also take creative thinking: you’ll need to come up with novel modes of communication and create effective visual designs.
With this in mind, what kinds of materials can you create to raise awareness of Earth’s decreasing biodiversity? How can you present your actions and ideas to the world?
One teenager is shown presenting a poster and another is shown presenting a digital slide to a group of people.

Onward, creative thinkers!

We hope you had fun applying creative thinking to some important scientific questions. For those who think of themselves as linear, scientific thinkers, we hope you realize that you’ve been doing lots of creative thinking all along. And for those who think of themselves as artistic, creative thinkers, we hope you realize that your skills will lend themselves to scientific disciplines, as well!
Now, go off into the world and create something new!
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This article is brought to you with support from Adobe, our official creativity partner.

Want to join the conversation?

  • blobby green style avatar for user Samuel
    bro we need to stop using extra toilet papers
    (5 votes)
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  • piceratops seed style avatar for user Vic Johnson
    Through the years will humans be more responsible about the ecosystem and animals and how to keep caring for them and others.
    (1 vote)
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    • starky tree style avatar for user PenGwen
      Some humans may be more responsible, by making electric cars instead of gasoline cars. Or reducing the amount of fossil fuels. But some people don't care and some ways of helping CO2 might make other things harder or worst. We just need to keep solving the problems with small solutions, until we can get everything resolved probably in the next 100 or so years. It already took some people many centuries to realize what's going on, so let it be you who takes the first step to helping the earth by solving the problems with small solutions. The smallest thing can make the greatest difference.
      Let me know if this helps!
      (5 votes)
  • female robot ada style avatar for user blessthelord16
    Personally I would like to contribute on a smaller local level. Living in a place facing much population and business growth in the near future, I hope to make connections with those who live around me to create a support system in my neighborhood to keep food, transportation and business simple and local. Think about community gardens and farmers markets within walking and biking distance. No cars or electricity needed! It's easier to reduce waste and plastic use on a smaller scale as well. Local composting station, reusable milk and soda bottles, sustainable or reduced packaging and little food waste. Do what you can.
    (2 votes)
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  • leafers sapling style avatar for user Empress Samirah
    .) Why do you think it’s important to estimate and catalog the species on Earth?
    So that we can truly appreciate the number and the beautifulness of the world, and also so se can keep track of them all and be aware if they are dying.
    .) What are the limitations to counting only species number, and not including other aspects of biodiversity?
    We won’t see how many are per ecosystem and how important those are. Some species need more in the world, some have less, and those numbers don’t need to be equal or it would mess up ecosystems.
    .) How do you think that species number is likely to change in your lifetime?
    If you follow the current line, I think it will go down and there will be less. Still, there are people that care so it could go up!
    .) How might this pattern affect you?
    It would make me sad, and the world and nature would suffer, and that would hurt me too. I love nature, and want to preserve it.
    (2 votes)
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  • blobby green style avatar for user 27jtourjee
    What if there was no electricity in the world?
    (2 votes)
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  • female robot grace style avatar for user Britta
    Electricity isn't helping because we burn gasoline and other things to get it.
    (1 vote)
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  • blobby green style avatar for user JacobM
    what if there was no power
    what would people do then
    (1 vote)
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  • piceratops seed style avatar for user daivon.milner
    Electricity isn't helping because we burn gasoline and other things to get it.
    (0 votes)
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