Should Chlorine Be Banned from the Great Lakes?
A classroom debate allows students to visualize a complex issue from many different perspectives, describe the legislative process, its functionaries (agencies, individuals involved in creating legislation), and the time involved in creating environmental legislation, and appreciate the difficulties in consensus-building in environmental disputes.
Where do all the toxins go?
When students have completed this activity, they will be able to demonstrate how chemicals accumulate in fish fat, the biopathways of the toxins in the fish’s body, and ways to prepare fish to avoid consuming the toxins.
How Big is a Crowd?
The Great Lakes and the surrounding land provide many resources for the people who live in the area. Water for drinking and industry, fish for food, minerals, and other resources are abundant. However, people change the landscape. They create wastes and add chemicals to the environment when they use resources, and these can be harmful. When many people are concentrated in one area, they may compete for resources. In addition, the wastes these people generate tend to concentrate in the area immediately around them and may cause pollution problems.
In this teacher-facilitated activity, learners will construct the five Great Lakes from string and use wrapped candy or peanuts in shells to investigate the impacts of population centers on Great Lakes fish production and water quality. Students learn to compare the relative sizes of the five Great Lakes and their human populations, as well as describe some of the problems that arise when many people
depend on a limited resource.
When students have completed this activity, they will be able to:
- Compare the relative sizes of the five Great Lakes and their human populations.
- Describe some of the problems that arise when many people depend on a limited resource.
What are some characteristics of Great Lakes fish?
If you know how to construct a dichotomous key, you can make one that classifies real organisms, some fish in the Great Lakes. After building a dichotomous key, students will describe some ways fish differ from each other in appearance and use similar characteristics of fish to group them into categories for classification.
Who Can Harvest a Walleye?
Students play a board game where they learn the meaning of the following terms as they relate to a
biomass pyramid: producer, herbivore, first-order carnivore, second-order carnivore; calculate the relative number of kilograms at each level of the biomass pyramid in a given environment; and analyze how different conditions in the environment affect the pyramid.
Rival for Survival
This game presents real-life choices involving exotic species found in the Great Lakes, such as zebra mussels and purple loosestrife. Students are to analyze a situation related to ecology and make an environmentally sound decision. After playing the game, students organize what they learned into a concept map.
How Can Disappearances Within the Triangle Be Explained?
Investigating multiple hypotheses, students 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, and explain how scientists use multiple working hypotheses to solve complex problems.
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).
- 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.
Where Should I Relocate in the Great Lakes Region?
This activity will allow students to describe the Great Lakes region using a map and identify some of the resources the region has to offer. Also, by using maps and graphs students can demonstrate how they can provide information for decision making. Students will describe a decision making process by which people can evaluate a geographic area as a possible home site.
Impacts on Water: Our Region’s Vital Resource
A concise, easy-to-read flow chart of cascading effects of climate change on Great Lakes water resources.
Ice Cover on the Great Lakes
NOAA’s Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory describes long-term fluctuations in ice coverage in the Great Lakes.