Course: Life Science, Integrated Science, STEM, BioChem, Marine Science
Unit: Ocean Acidification, Ecology, Biogeochemical Cycling
See Standards Addressed for all NGSS, WA State (Science, Math and Literacy), and NOAA Ocean Literacy Education Standards. In particular, for this lesson, due to the variety of activities completed, the students will learn and do a variety of items. However, to give you a broad, big picture overview, in addition to the aligned objectives linked above, for this lesson, here is an overview of:
What Students Learn:
- It is important to prepare and plan time accordingly for successful wet bench work that leads to understanding – this includes using laboratory “down time” wisely.
- Scientists share resources and build off each other’s work.
- There are many sources for online, real-time data and supplemental evidence.
- Scientists use multiple ways of obtaining evidence in ocean studies, directly and through proxies, by measuring changes in solids, liquids, and gases. These include ice core sampling, in place (in situ) mesocosms and sensors, aerial observations, and others.
What Students Do:
- Students use their time outside of the lab to explore reliable resources on ocean acidification that connect to their interest groups and experiments.
Purpose: The purpose of this lesson is for students to model the scientific process – which includes the experimental bench work they are completing in Lesson 5a and the collaboration and connection to others’ research. This lesson gives students the time and resources to learn from the work being completed by scientists and through their online contributions.
Why is this lesson important?
Just as networks are comprised of many parts, scientific research is similarly comprised of many parts or tasks. These include, but of course are not limited to, bench work (wet labs and experimentation), data analysis, presentation, publication, and a great deal of planning, reading, and learning about others’ work. Science today is very collaborative. While all oceanographers are not able to go to Antarctica to directly analyze ice core samples, they are able to benefit from that data. Generally, data gathered by scientists are recorded into shared databases. These databases are freely available to scientists and the public. Scientists often experience great success when they productively use not only their time, but also their data, others’ data, and all available resources. These skills are extremely necessary when the research involves living organisms and cells. Cells divide and exist as they will and it is important to plan time around the mandated cell counting times. In the classroom, this is even more difficult, given the time constraints. In order to foster the development of this time management skill in students, AND allow for easy implementation of lab experiments in your classroom, Lesson 5b focuses on providing a variety of supplemental activities that students can complete according to the amount of time they have available while running their experiments. Below is a list of possible materials outlined according to how
a teacher might use the activities. Prior to 2018, we had the page outlined according to topics. Use this link
to view that archived page.
As you consider how to bring these supplemental activities to your students, a good place to start is with our Cool Finds and Resources page
. There are many great resources in this document in addition to those listed below. We will be updating this document frequently as we learn about new resources.
The activities students complete should match the focus and content of their interest group and lab experiment. For instance, the students in the Marine Calcifying Organisms group would benefit from the Virtual Sea Urchin lab. This is absolutely true if that group is completing an activity such as measuring the percent mass change of sea shells in marine water with various pH levels. This is a less time intensive lab experiment (as compared to someone growing and counting diatoms). Having the students complete this online lab helps with classroom management and learning.
Introducing students to these self-driven activities
Complete this optional, supplemental lesson once students have fully begun their experiments (from Lesson 5a). Day 2 of their experiments is an optimal time. Begin the class period by asking them, “When you envision a scientist, what do you imagine them doing?” Give them a moment to write some thoughts down in a lab notebook. Then ask a few students to share. Generally, students imagine scientists doing experiments, mixing chemicals, and/or working with scientific materials (beakers, pipets, colorful solutions). Share with them that most scientists complete their bench experiments and/or field work and then spend a significant amount of their time learning about other people’s research, analyzing data, building mathematical models, developing visualizations, and sharing their own data and methods with others. Effective scientists make great use of their time by coordinating events so that they can have experiments running, data gathering, and learning happening as stategically as possible. This lesson contains activities that students can use in order to learn as much as they can about our oceans while they manage their experimental goals. Here is one example of a collaborative animation that compiles many types of data to help others understand the history of atmospheric carbon dioxide levels. This animation is a product that numerous scientists and programmers contributed to so that we can better understand Trends in Atmospheric CO2.
- Walking students through this 3-minute animation is very important and well worth the time. There is a lot of information in the animation, which can be easily lost when first viewed or when viewed by students without teacher guidance.
- It is a VERY powerful visual that gives us insight into our past and future. It also is a terrific example of the understanding that can come from combining multiple data types and sources.
- One of the key things to point out to students is that the rate of change in carbon dioxide levels in our atmosphere is 10-100 times faster than ever observed through our geologic records.
- Tell students that there are many such terrific, reliable resources online that can be used to further their understanding and help them make sense of what is happening with their experiment. The work that they do in this lesson will also help them as they begin preparing for the Summit that culminates this unit.
Student Guided Worksheets/Labs
Teachers can print out these worksheets in advance for when students have “down time” from their experiment. Below are the links to the websites and the accompanying worksheets. Note: The carbon footprint calculators do not have a worksheet. Have students record their results in their lab notebooks to be used for class discussion at a later time.
- Virtual Sea UrchinLab (Bad Acid) – Our Acidifying Ocean
- Puget Sound Exploration: gives current information on water surface conditions for Puget Sound o Website: http://www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/eap/mar_wat/surface.html o Worksheet available making use of the Department of Ecology’s Eyes Over Puget Sound
- Mauna Loa Exploration: gives current information on atmospheric CO2
- Lesson 5C- Using Ocean Acidification Models to Make Predictions Choose one or both of the NetLogo simulation models and science readings to have students get a feel for how carbon, oxygen, nutrients, pH, silica-shelled diatoms, and coccolithophores might impact and affect each other and the entire ocean system.
- Download NetLogo onto your computer. Follow the instructions and prompts on the NetLogo website. The program is free, but registration is necessary.
- These model simulations Ocean Acidification.nlogo and Nutrient and light.nlogo along with companion scientific readings and self-guided worksheets can be found in Lesson 5C (*If you have any issues running the simulations, try putting all NetLogo program files and the model file into one folder on your desktop.)
- Earth4U: for more on carbon dioxide and temperature, Mari Knutson Herbert, a SEE teacher, recommends this and created a worksheet to guide students through using the site.
- Carbon Footprint Calculators: here are three that are easy to use:
- Conservation International: short calculator based on several quick answers then suggest how much money to offset the student’s footprint. This calculator contains questions that students generally know the answers to or they can select the “US average” answers.
- The Nature Conservancy: asks questions more in depth about electricity, etc (students will need a rough estimate of costs of some things); can calculate for individual or household and has handy pie charts
- EPA: the most in depth of the list but also easy to use and very informative
Activities (requiring teacher prep)
These activities are available for teachers to set up as an additional lab experience for students with “down time” or could be used as whole class activity (time permitting). The activities do required prep and interaction by teacher.
- Carbon Cycle Jigsaw
- Pamela Schwenk of the NEOGEO Program at Kent State University developed an activity for students in grades 7-11 to explore how biological, physical, and geologic processes interact to create equilibrium in the carbon cycle.” See the NEOGEO site to download the materials.
- Background Reading for Teachers
- See also the Biological Pump Module from the University of WA High School Climate Science program. It is a great resource to teach students about Biological Pumps. An overview of the lesson’s questions and goals can be found on the Climate Science website. Specifically, the slides from the PowerPoint could be used for students to build a network diagram using Cytoscape. Again, see Lesson 2 of Ecological Networks for more information on Cytoscape. Also, the PowerPoints on the Climate Science webpage on how scientists use proxies are very helpful for both teacher background information and for teaching students.
- Ice Core Studies:
- Lab Activity from the University of Washington’s Climate Science program – adapted by SEE teacher Mari Knutson Herbert. See the Climate Science page for more information and more resources.
- Background information for Ice Core Studies:
- For background on ice cores and carbon dioxide: B. Geerts’ website – Chapter 1: Ice Cores. Text cleaned up in a Word Document.
- For more background information see the article, “The Geological Record of Ocean Acidification,” by B. Hönish et al., Science, 2 March 2012, Vol. 335 no. 6072 pp. 1058-1063. A PDF can also be downloaded from many sites such as:http://droyer.web.wesleyan.edu/Honisch_et_al_2012_Science_ocean_acidification.pdf .
- Chapter 12 of the textbook, BSCS: An Inquiry Approach (Level II) gives a nice description of how foram shells can be used to measure the ratio of oxygen isotopes to better understand the past.
- Teacher Resource linking to articles and key words for learning more about long term effects and studies.
Data Collection in the Real World
The following websites have real-time data for students to examine. There are a couple worksheets that can be printed out to lead students through some of the websites and answer some real time data questions. Teachers can use this to have students just research how data is collected or can be used as a comparison to their lab experiment. It can be incorporated many ways, but the data worksheet will at least keep students on task and examining the websites with a clear objective.
Here is a good precursor to the data collection worksheet. How do scientists get data?
This is an important question and the answer is not always easy for students to visualize. This video, Inches of Snow and Tide
, from the Olympic National Park discusses sea level rise and climate change research. Beginning at minute 10.00 and going to 13.00, two scientists work on downloading a year’s worth of intertidal zone temperature data. The visual on the sensors, the STEM process, and on being a scientist who gets their hands dirty, are terrific and beneficial for students to see.
Interactive Data Websites (with guided worksheets):
For more on carbon dioxide and temperature – this model is helpful (CCEarth4U). Mari Knutson Herbert, a SEE teacher, put together this worksheet to guide students through the activity. For an engaging well done video, see Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey, Episode 12, The World Set Free The entire episode is about climate change and carbon dioxide’s role in this change. The episode is available at: http://www.cosmosontv.com/watch/270803523723 SEE Teacher, Megan DeVault, created this guide to assist in watching the video: Student Guide, Student Example, and Teacher Key (link coming soon) Here are several segments from the episode if entire viewing is not desired: Weather vs Climate – this contains a terrific analogy of the difference: http://channel.nationalgeographic.com/channel/cosmos-a-spacetime-odyssey/videos/weather-versus-climate-change/ The Diary in the Snow – how CO2 is calculated from ice: http://channel.nationalgeographic.com/channel/cosmos-a-spacetime-odyssey/videos/the-diary-in-the-snow/