Curriculum

Where Do All the Toxins Go? (External View)

When they have completed this activity, students should be able to describe how bioaccumulation and biomagnification of toxins in the food chain cause health disorders in humans and animals.

Additional Lessons: Where do all the toxins go? (Internal)

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How Much Land has been Lost?

Students will learn how to use analytical techniques to calculate the amount of land lost through erosion by using aerial photos to calculate the amount of material eroded from a portion of shoreline and to estimate an average rate of recession for a section of shoreline. They will then consider possible economic effects associated with changing shorelines.

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How Does the Estuary Serve as a Nursery?

Among their many functions, wetlands serve as important protective breeding and nursery grounds for fish and other aquatic animals. This activity will help students be able to demonstrate the methods used by ecologists to sample populations of plant and animal life in the water, classify the types of organisms that are found as plankton in an estuary, and predict the effects of some human and environmental forces on conditions in an estuary.

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200 Years of Change

Students role-play different scenes that characterize the impact of European settlement on the Great Lakes in order to gain an understanding of some interactions that help to define Great Lakes history.

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The Incredible Shrinking Cup Lab

Learn how students can develop hypotheses to test the effects of depth and pressure on the volume of Styrofoam cups by deploying the cups off the US EPA’s R/V Lake Guardian in Lake Superior. A great lesson showing the integration of Boyle’s Law and ocean physics.

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Great Lakes Geology and the Necessity of Locks

These lesson plans are intended to integrate an understanding of the geologic processes that resulted in the formation of the Great Lakeswith lock technology that was developed to optimize the Great Lakes as a transportation waterway. The primary focus of the unit is to address technology as defined by the DOE as, ” The innovation, change, or modification of the natural environment to satisfy perceived human needs and wants.”

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How Can Disappearances Within the Triangle Be Explained?

Your class should first study the locations of missing craft and personnel in the activity titled, “What is the Great Lakes Triangle?” Like scientists, you should examine the data for trends and indicators; in this case you examine concentrations of the disappearances and speculate on their causes. The present investigation is actually three activities that are to be performed by different classroom groups simultaneously through cooperative learning. If time permits, all three activities could be done by the entire class.

The activities treat the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald as example of a Great Lakes Triangle tragedy. When all three topics have been considered, there will be a discussion to consider whether the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald was an accident resulting from natural causes or whether other supernatural or extraterrestrial forces might be at work (as proposed in Berlitz’ The Bermuda Triangle).

Objectives:

  • Discuss the values of using several data types and sources to solve a science problem.
  • Demonstrate how bathymetric charts are used and constructed.
  • Demonstrate how weather information is mapped and interpreted.
  • Give an example of how scientists use multiple working hypotheses to solve complex problems.

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What Happened Aboard the Edmund Fitzgerald?

In completing this activity you should be able to:
  • Give examples of the amount of information that can be conveyed in memorable form in a song.
  • Describe how music can convey emotions.
  • Use the ideas from a song in your personal writing.

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