My guess is the aim of this project is to teach students how to create a miniature ecosystem in a jar, even if it doesn't properly replicate a real thriving pond, and watch how it evolves and changes over the course of 2-3 months. I'm sure they will test it, monitor it, and learn from their mistakes.
You are correct. This completely sums up the point of this project. My teacher is a environment guru, tree hugger, nature guy, worked for forest service/fish wildlife parks. Anyway he is a really good guy and has good morals (he's taught all my siblings too). Anywho we learned just a tad more today. He supplies the "jars" which are about 1 gallon pickle jars he reuses every year. However, my partner and I are taking it "a step up" and are going to use I don't remember the proper name, but it has 3 seperate hexagon 1 gallon containers that are connected so as organisms can move between sections. One will be aquatic (the jar we were speaking of), one will be terestrial, and the other a "compost" or "landfill" section. We literally had 10 mins to start this so once again don't have full details, sorry. So two groups will be using seperate "3 section ecosystems" while the rest of the class will just be using the gallon jars. Today we put in gravel substrate that he supplied, seemed to have some soil in it. And we filled it with water, took pH, and temperature. We will be monitoring it, testing certain things, etc. throughout the experiment. We will have the option to add plants, fish, snails, shrimp I'm not 100% sure on. Later on we will be visiting ponds/rivers that we will be allowed to bring plants or other organisms from the river to add to our ecosystem as the project continues. This is about all the info. I have at this point. Please continue giving ideas, facts, or anything else. I really appreciate it! :) Thanks so much!