As you may have inferred, each of the specially crafted sculptures dictates a science concept to immerse the viewer in the world of science. The artists have chosen to connect each of these ideas to a universal theme involving the world, peers, or the school environment. To fully understand the purpose and meaning of each of the works of art, one must have the knowledge coincided with the sculptures. The conceptual thoughts include symbiosis, predator/prey, and camouflage. Never heard of these phrases? Read on...
Above: Three types of symbiotic relationships; mutualism, commensalism, parasitism.
When you hear the term symbiosis, think together. Think relationship. Think three. Wait three? Where did three come from? There are precisely three types of symbiotic relationships, in which include mutualism, commensalism, and parasitism. Wow! A lot of "ism"s! Don't worry, each are very different! First off, symbiosis is a close relationship between two species that benefits at least one of the duo. Mutualism is when both species benefit from the interaction. Think of a beautiful butterfly eating nectar from a growing flower, the butterfly is receiving nutrients and food from the nectar and the flower is pollinated by the butterfly. See! Win-win! Commensalism is a relationship in which one species benefits while the other just simply doesn't care. When a soaring bluejay decides to burrow in a tree hole, the bluejay is given a home while the tree is neither helped nor harmed. Finally, there is parasitism. Ew! Sounds terrifying! This unfortunate encounter is when an organism benefits while the other is severely harmed. Just like Dracula sucks your blood, a tick may suck a humans blood and cause the individual to develop an inimical disease. Well, that wasn't too bad! Whenever you hear symbiosis, just think together. Think relationship. Think three!
Roar! Eek! Predator. Prey. A predator is an organism that kills another for food. Sounds evil! Yet, the creature only follows through to survive. If a predator didn't kill another organism to eat, it wouldn't live! A prey is the organism killed by the predator and is on the more unfortunate side of the equation. Although, this may seem maniacal and selfish for the predator, it is all balanced in the ecosystem in which the two organisms inhabit. Correspondingly, the predator and prey populations rise and fall in related cycles. For example, if there are an abundance of predators in the community, there is a decrease in the prey population. Or if there is a meager number of roaming prey, there is a decline in the predator population due to the lack of food. To sum up, predator = roar! And prey = eek!
Camouflage: Think of a time when you observed a green, slimy caterpillar on a fresh, sparkling leaf. Alright, got it? You probably couldn't see the caterpillar too well due to the similarity in color between the creature and the plant. In the ecosystem, this is known as camouflage. The caterpillar is protecting itself from predators (see above) using this unique technique. Now, you might be wondering, how is the caterpillar acting in self defense by blending in with the leaf? This special organism is hiding from it's enemies so that it has a lesser chance of being spotted and eaten. In other words, if a bird was flying past the leaf searching for breakfast, the bird won't be able to see the caterpillar hiding in plain sight due to it's camouflage usage. Sometimes we all wish we could camouflage into our surroundings during a competitive game of hid-and-seek!