Lesson 6 – Global Ocean Acidification Summit
Description: The purpose of the Summit is to achieve a deeper understanding of oceanic CO2 systems from the different research groups’ points of view. In the Summit, participants systematically question and examine issues and data related to the big question and articulate short- and long-term goals for oceanic CO2 concentrations.
Course: Integrated Science, STEM, BioChem, Marine Science, Life Science
Unit: Ocean Acidification, Ecology, Biogeochemical Cycling
See the NGSS buttons in the lefthand panel of this page for an overview of the standards addressed in this lesson. Also, please see the documents on the Standards Addressed page for all NGSS, WA State (Science, Math and Literacy), and NOAA Ocean Literacy Education Standards connections. In particular, for this lesson, due to the variety of experiments completed within classrooms, students will learn and do a variety of activities. Because each student completed different labs, their summit presentation will be slightly different. This means each student will not complete all of the listed standards. However, ideally, they will complete 1-2 sets of performance expectations. 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
- Scientists advise and provide materials for policy makers on important issues.
- Communicating science requires proper visualization and well researched, clear, concise arguments based on evidence.
- Network models are based on evidence – confidence in the model is based on confidence in the data.
- Systems thinking is a useful technique for understanding and communicating complex situations.
- There are many actions one can take in response to environmental issues – motivating others for concerted action often has the greatest effect.
What Students Do
- Students collaboratively present their research findings and recommendations.
- Students use questioning techniques to participate in whole-class discussions.
- Students critically assess their findings and the findings of others to arrive at consensus for recommended actions.
- Students use systems thinking to consider the dynamics of ocean systems and their connected subsystems.
Pacing Guide: Three, 50 minute periods
The purpose of the Summit is to achieve a deeper understanding of oceanic CO2 systems from the different research groups’ points of view. In the Summit, participants systematically question and examine issues and data related to the big question and articulate short- and long-term goals for oceanic CO2 concentrations. The group conversation assists participants in constructing meaning through disciplined analysis, interpretation, listening, and participation.
There are many different ways of holding a mock summit in your classroom. We have adapted the summit suggestions below from helpful sites such as The Paideia Project (http://paideia.org/), but encourage you and your students to creatively implement this lesson to suit your needs and background. More suggestions are also given in the Accommodations section of this lesson.
- Gather images and information to show students that high level leaders participate in global summits. They should also be able to see the types of reports that result from global summits. We have gathered a few such items that are good examples.
- PowerPoint slides with images and information on global summits: Lesson 6 Summit Examples Presentation
- Images and websites used to help visualize global, anthropogenic carbon dioxide:
- Global Carbon Atlas – interactive website to explore carbon emissions worldwide (main website address: http://www.globalcarbonatlas.org/)
- Footprint Comparison of Countries (image and article also found online and on the PBS website)
- Carbon Web – diagram displaying countries and their carbon emissions as of 2011
- Climate Interactive’s En-ROADS – interactive climate solutions simulator
- Reports on Climate Change and the state of global agreements:
- This report was created after the Ocean Acidification Workshop in 2008: The Honolulu Declaration on Ocean Acidification and Reef Management
- This report was created after the 3rd International Symposium on the Ocean in a High CO2 World: Ocean Acidification Summary for Policymakers
- Advertisement for the United Nations Summit on Climate Change in September 2014.
- Newspaper article summarizing the importance of the Paris Climate Summit and UN Talks of 2016 and the post-report and information shared after the summit.
- United Nation’s Climate Change Conference held in Glasgow in 2021
- Key Outcomes of COP26 – In 2021, the “Conference of the Parties” (COP) took place, for the 26th time and this time met in Glasgow. The “parties” refer to the 197 nations that agreed to a new environmental pact, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, at a meeting in 1992.
- List of reports as they are drafted and on their way to being finalized.
- Depending on how you would like your students to present (using butcher paper, preparing formal posters, completing One Page White Papers, or preparing powerpoint presentations), gather needed materials for students (e.g. paper, markers, computers, etc.).
- Having students prepare lab reports or presentations can also be a good way to help students synthesize learning from multiple lessons. However, we have found that having students record necessary items (listed below) on a poster, in addition to working through the activities below, successfully prepares students and allows for data to be easily referenced during the discussion/debate.
Day 1 – Summit Prep (One 50-minute class period with previous homework, or Two 50-minute class periods)
- “What is the main, big picture question of this unit? (Answer: What effect does the increasing atmospheric CO2 have on the ocean and its subsystems?)
- What question and subsystem did you study in your group?” (Answers vary)
- Now that we have begun to answer our main question, we will begin exploring what (if anything) we should do in response. We will do this through presenting and listening during both scientific presentations and a mock global summit.
- Before preparing for the Summit, we must ensure we are ready to work with our group. Spend time synthesizing what you have learned from your experiment(s) with what you have learned through online research. Use this student guide and worksheet (Google Doc | Word Doc) to help you connect your research data with the big picture of this unit. All of this will help you plan for the Summit. (This worksheet can be completed for homework or completed individually in the computer lab.)
- Title of their interest group and members’ names
- Investigative question
- Data summary and experimental results displayed in a table and/or graphic
- Statement of whether or not their hypothesis is supported by data (Claim – Evidence – Reasoning statements accomplish this task nicely)
- Group recommendations for short- and long-term response/action
Day 2 – Interest Groups Present Posters (One 50-minute class period)
- Arrange the group presentation order so that similar content and/or interest groups present in a logical order.
- Arrange the classroom desks in a horseshoe or circle to facilitate future discussion. Interest groups should sit together.
- Pedagogy for facilitating whole class discussions are included below. To learn more strategies for whole-class discussions, please visit the Northwest Association for Biomedical Research’s (NWABR) website: https://www.nwabr.org/teacher-center/education-strategies
Reference data (yours and/or others’) to support reasoning.
Give thoughtful consideration of the topic.
Provide relevant and insightful comments.
Speak at an appropriate level to be heard.
Stay on topic and focused on the discussion.
Talk to/with the other students (not the teacher).
Share “air time” equally with others.
Be respectful of others – listen carefully; speak to ideas, not the personality.
No side conversations
First group member to present:
1. Title of interest group and members’ names
2. Investigative question
Second group member to present:
4. Data Summary and Experimental Results
Third group member to present:
5. Claim – Evidence – Reasoning
Fourth group member to present:
6. Group recommendations for short- and long-term response and/or action.
Day 3 – Global Summit Debate and Resolution on Atmospheric CO2 (One 50-minute class period)
- Consider assigning a moderator to keep the discussion on track.
- Arrange the chairs in a horseshoe or circle to facilitate discussion.
- Have posters from Day 2 visible on the walls.
- Have Discussion Norms visibly posted in the classroom.
- As stated above in item #4 from Day 2, have your evaluation tracking form/method at the ready.
- Print out the worksheet for students to score their summit participation (one copy for each student).
- Each interest group has 2 minutes to persuasively argue for their short- and long-term solutions before the ‘assembly.’
- After a round-robin of arguments, the floor is opened to further questions and counter-arguments. Interest groups may form coalitions.
- A. Have interest groups develop a final take on the ocean CO2 network. They can complete a hand-drawn network, they can use cytoscape to create their own network, or they can use these slides. If they use the slides they can draw the arrows showing connections with a + or – to show increasing/decreasing, strengthening/opposing, or positive/negative. In all cases, students should be instructed to look for reinforcing or balancing loops and/or positive or negative feedback loops. Or they can use the free online tool Loopy.
- Interest group network diagram (possible “answer” key – please note that network diagrams are often hypotheses until they move toward being workable, confident models)
- Diatom network diagram (possible “answer” key)
- B. What unanswered questions do you have? What future research or additional information is needed? Often decisions must be made on the basis of incomplete information.
- C. In a perfect world, what do you believe atmospheric CO2 levels should be? What data support your contention?
- D. What is the Summit-recommended atmospheric CO2 level? Is this fair to your interest group? Can your interest group compromise and live with the result?
- E. What is your role in the network?
- F. What actions can you take or what can you do to positively impact your network?
- G. Use the carbon footprint calculators and websites from Lesson 5b to try different variations on how to best impact your network. What types of actions have the greatest impact?
- H. Have students write a short position paper as themselves (not in their interest group role) as a final assessment or produce an email to a government official outlining their position.
AssessmentHow will I know they know?
- Students’ completed notes, posters, worksheets, and lab books, along with your tracking sheets, should be able to tell you if students met the above stated and linked objectives. Specifically, look to see if students were able to:
- collaborate in their groups to prepare an informative poster?
- collaborate in their groups to deliver a concise, clear presentation?
- use claim-evidence-reason to defend their ideas?
- participate suitably in the discussions?
- participate in the process of a group decision on suitable recommendations and actions?
- reflect and evaluate their findings as well as the system-level impacts and reverberating effects on this system?
- reflect and evaluate their learning, future actions, questions and/or responses?
- Mini-Surveys: As part of our effort to ensure quality STEM learning experiences, we invite you to participate in short, but informative surveys. You can complete one, all or any variation between. Here is a downloadable Teacher Overview to guide you through all surveys.
- A mini-survey is a short survey (1-3 minutes) that students and teachers will use several times over the course of the module. The questions are identical each time, so the same link can be used each time.
- Student Mini-survey link (https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/OA_StudentSurvey). Please provide 2-4 minutes for students to complete the mini-survey while in class. It should take most students one minute or so, especially after the first survey or two (because the questions remain the same).
- When prompting students to take this survey at this final timepoint (#5), please remind students that this survey covers information taught over the entirety of Lesson 6. Here is an example prompt for students: Take this mini-survey while thinking of the lessons we completed on [Monday and Tuesday] that allowed you to plan and present your work and recommendations at a mock global summit.
- Please complete the teacher survey while students are taking the mini-survey, or at the end of the day. Please take it on the same day the students take theirs (https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/OA_TeacherSurvey).
- Retrospective Pre/Post Survey for students – This is an 8-minute survey that students will complete at the end of the module.
- Survey purpose: This will provide insight into how students’ ideas about science, technology, engineering, math, and careers may have changed while completing the module. The post-survey helps us understand how the module helps students build on STEM pathways across their lives.
- Retrospective Pre/Post Survey – https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/SEEClassroom2019-2020
- Here is the entire Survey Teacher Guide that you can use when implementing these surveys. Thank you!
- Teacher Resource – Summit Introduction PowerPoint Presentation (Google Slides | PowerPoint)
- Student Resource – Summit Preparation Worksheet (Google Doc | Word Doc)
- Teacher Resource – Summit Assessment Template (Google Doc | Word Doc)
- Student Resource – Student Note Taking Form (Google Doc | Word Doc)
- Teacher and Student Resource – Examples of Possible Network Diagram Slides (Google Slide | PowerPoint)
- Student Resource – Student Self-Assessment Form (Google Doc | Word Doc)
- Student Resource – Post Assessment Hard Copy (Google Doc | Word Doc); Post Assessment Survey Monkey Link
- Teacher Resource – Post Assessment Answer Key (Google Doc | Word Doc)
This lesson should be adapted based on your students and your class dynamics. One option for very large classes is to complete the Day 3 Summit in two parts. One-half of the class can present and discuss in a circle. Meanwhile, the other half of the class would sit in chairs. Each person in the 2nd group would be responsible for evaluating a person currently presenting in the 1st group. The groups then swap roles halfway through the class. This works well to encourage discussion and participation. For more on this type of format, see Part III from Lesson 6 of NWABR’s Using Bioinformatics: Genetic Testing introductory bioinformatics curriculum for socratic seminar instructions.
Also, for students who need more tactile, clearly articulated steps for a summit of this type, the California Academy of Sciences has a terrific lesson that can be quickly adapted to fit the content in this module. Also, the SEE team worked with Brian Erickson of Oregon State University on a modified module, which also integrates a culminating summit. Download the PDF here.
Scientists who are studying ocean acidification, as well as policy makers and stakeholders, are generally very passionate and more than willing to discuss their work with interested teachers and students. Through field testing, we learned that students love having a guest speaker Skype into the classroom. We suggest searching online to find such people. Teachers or students can find and suggest someone to the class. Emails can be sent directly to that person giving a description of who you are and what you are interested in learning about. People are happy to spend 20 minutes talking to students about their work. As mentioned in the Extension of Lesson 4, you can contact us to talk to a scientist or reach out to the many other labs that work on ocean acidification. You can also find fisherfolk and policymakers through news articles on these topics. Generally, you can find contact information online once you know that individual’s name and affiliation.
Many teachers and scientists participated in the creation of these lessons and content. Please see above for more information and view the list of credits for this work.