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Through this on-line learning module students explore relationships between carbon dioxide, ocean pH and the ability of marine organisms to build and maintain their skeletons (aragonite saturation states). Designed as an inquiry, students will use real data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and information from interactive web maps, apps, videos, and high-resolution images to predict whether ocean conditions will support the growth and survival of shell-building marine life.
The module provides lessons at five different levels, beginning with basic graph interpretation (Levels 1 & 2) and building towards activities that challenge students to ask questions and develop their own data investigations (Levels 4 & 5).
Level 1. Entry: How does rising CO2 impact ocean pH?
Students are provided with information to review the role of the ocean in the global carbon cycle. They view a virtual case study of the Mauna Loa volcano to witness how CO2 levels have increased over time. Students interpret graphs and other data sources provided to understand that much of this increase has impacted the world’s oceans and ocean pH in particular.
Level 2. Entry: Measuring changes in Ocean pH
Students use an ocean acidification module that explains the relationship between ocean carbon dioxide levels, pH and acidification. They examine data on the short and long-term changes in ocean pH and run a scientific model to observe how pH is expected to change over the next century.
Level 3. Adaptation: Examining acidification along the coast
Students analyze ocean chemistry data to compare coastal and ocean acidification. They consider what additional factors influence acidification closer to shore, learn what tools are used to determine pH levels and review data that illustrates the greater impacts along the coast and the factors involved.
Level 4. Interactivity: Acidification’s impact on shell-building animals
Students examine carbonate data in a coastal ecosystem and explain the relationships between global increases in CO2, ocean pH and the rate of shell dissolution . Through video and case study presentations students examine the impact of acidification on shell-building animals and the chemistry that is involved. After reviewing longitudinal data on studies of shell deterioration over time, students launch a module that allows them to predict how saturation rates will change over the next century.
Level 5. Invention: Designing your own investigation.
Students apply what they have learned about ocean acidification to answer an important question concerning the future of the soft-shell clam harvest, an important industry in the Gulf of Maine. Specifically they will use current data and modelling to determine the effect acidification will have on these clams and other shell-building creatures?
Some or all of these lessons can be integrated into biology, environmental science, chemistry and geography units. The organization of the module effectively supports both in-class and individual learning.
The following tool will allow you to explore the relevant curriculum matches for this resource. To start, select a province listed below.
|Consideration of Alternative Perspectives||Good|
Students analyze data provided by a number of reliable sources compiled by NOAA and apply their findings to investigate problems and make predictions.
|Consideration of Alternative Perspectives: |
|Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions||Good|
Lessons four and five in particular incorporate the economic & social consequences of the impacts of ocean acidification on the shellfish industry.
|Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions: |
Effectively addresses the environmental, economic and social dimensions of the issue(s) being explored.
The relationship between human activities and increasing carbon dioxide levels and the resulting decline in ocean ph and aragonite saturation are made clear.
|Respects Complexity: |
The complexity of the problems/issues being discussed is respected.
|Acting on Learning||Poor/Not considered|
Student action in the community is not included in the lessons.
|Acting on Learning: |
Learning moves from understanding issues to working towards positive change — in personal lifestyle, in school, in the community, or for the planet
|Values Education||Poor/Not considered|
|Values Education: |
Students are explicitly provided with opportunities to identify, clarify and express their own beliefs/values.
|Empathy & Respect for Humans||Poor/Not considered|
|Empathy & Respect for Humans: Empathy and respect are fostered for diverse groups of humans (including different genders, ethnic groups, sexual preferences, etc.).|
|Personal Affinity with Earth||Good|
Students are connected to the harmful effects of anthropological climate change on the world's oceans.
|Personal Affinity with Earth: |
Encourages a personal affinity with -the natural world.
While the use of current events and case studies and authentic data makes the lessons relevant to the lives of the learners, the focus is not local.
|Locally-Focused Learning: |
Includes learning experiences that take advantage of issues/elements within the local community.
|Past, Present & Future||Good|
Examining longitudinal change and predicting future trends based on the data provided is at the core the resource.
|Past, Present & Future: Promotes an understanding of the past, a sense of the present, and a positive vision for the future.|
Using information from a range of multi-media tools, students draw their own conclusions and make their own predictions regarding future trends in ocean acidification.
Lessons are structured so that multiple/complex answers are possible; students are not steered toward one 'right' answer.
The module incorporates knowledge and skills from mathematics, science and geography.
|Integrated Learning: |
Learning brings together content and skills from more than one subject area
Students are challenged to make predictions using information and data provided in the module. In lesson five they apply what they have learned in the earlier lessons by investigating their own questions concerning the soft shell crab industry.
|Inquiry Learning: |
Learning is directed by questions, problems, or challenges that students work to address.
The range of tools in which information is provided in this multi-media resource will appeal to a wide range of learners. The design promotes independent learning and does not include strategies for those with learning difficulties.
|Differentiated Instruction: |
Activities address a range of student learning styles, abilities and readiness.
All of the lessons involve students working with current scientific data and models to make predictions on oceanographic changes that have real world implications.
|Experiential Learning: |
Authentic learning experiences are provided
|Cooperative Learning||Poor/Not considered|
The module is designed primarily to allow students to work independently.
|Cooperative Learning: |
Group and cooperative learning strategies are a priority.
|Assessment & Evaluation||Satisfactory|
Self-check questions are provided with each lesson. The student workbook provides teachers with an opportunity to assess understanding.
|Assessment & Evaluation: Tools are provided that help students and teachers to capture formative and summative information about students' learning and performance. These tools may include reflection questions, checklists, rubrics, etc.|
|Peer Teaching||Poor/Not considered|
Opportunities for peer teaching are not included.
|Peer Teaching: |
Provides opportunities for students to actively present their knowledge and skills to peers and/or act as teachers and mentors.
|Case Studies||Very Good|
Relevant case studies are featured prominently in this module.
|Case Studies: |
Relevant case studies are included. Case studies are thorough descriptions of real events from real situations that students use to explore concepts in an authentic context.
|Locus of Control||Satisfactory|
While much of the content is scripted, in lesson five, students raise their own questions to investigate and can use any of the tools from the earlier levels to arrive at answers.
|Locus of Control: Meaningful opportunities are provided for students to choose elements of program content, the medium in which they wish to work, and/or to go deeper into a chosen issue.|