Curriculum Filter Results

Invader Species of the Great Lakes

Learners will work in small groups to organize scrambled exotic species cards. Each group will present a different exotic species in a poster or fact sheet to the class, and then the group will act out (charades) a way to avoid the spread of their exotic species.

Objectives:

  • name and visually recognize some invader (nonindigenous/ exotic) species of the Great Lakes
  • understand and analyze the positive and negative impacts of invader species on the Great Lakes ecosystem
  • explain the ways in which invader species are introduced into the Great Lakes
  • describe and act out ways to avoid the spread of exotic species

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Seeing Purple: A Population Explosion

Through a simulation, sampling, and estimation activity, students learn about the impact of purple loosestrife on a wet land due to its exponential growth. They learn about purple loosestrife’s life cycle and appreciate how scientists determine population size in an ecosystem.

Objectives:

  • Recognize purple loosestrife and tell how the seeds are dispersed.
  • Describe that purple loosestrife produces over 2 million seeds and have a concept of how much that really is.
  • Determine the population of purple loosestrife seeds for their wetland ecosystem through sampling.

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Bats and Hot Nuts!

This activity allows students, working individually or in small groups, to retrieve information from pre-assigned web sites, retrieve real-time data to compare nitrate and phosphate concentrations at two open ocean monitoring sites, and construct an EXCEL graph using data from two different sites.

Each student or group will retrieve data for a specific time frame from public data generated at an ocean observatory and generate a graph for each variable. After graphing the data, students will analyze their graphs, discuss and compare their findings with the class. In conclusion, the students will predict how future Global Climate Changes might affect these nutrients in the open ocean.

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What factors influence ice coverage on the Great Lakes?

What impacts do you think ice on the Great Lakes might have on the surrounding area? Ice actually has a considerable impact. Shipping is shut down for a part of the year. Fish spawning can be impacted. Shoreline structures can be damaged. Even the climate itself is impacted by the ice coverage.

Objectives:

  • Develop a hypothesis identifying the major factors involved in ice coverage of the Great Lakes.
  • Design an investigation of relationships in the Earth System.
  • Evaluate your hypothesis and suggest other investigations related to it.

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Snowmaking—Great Lakes Style

Students living near the Great Lakes often feel the chill of lake-effect snowstorms. Students who have been introduced to weather basics can become familiar with the lakes’ effect on winter storms through this mapping exercise. This activity compliments a weather and climate unit.

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Is the Globe Warming? Is there Evidence in the Great Lakes Region?

After completing this activity, students will be able to:
  • Critically interpret graphic data.
  • Evaluate and discuss the difficulties inherent in interpreting and forecasting long- and short-term trends.
  • Analyze data, draw conclusions about whether there is evidence of global warming, and defend their conclusions.

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How is Coastal Temperature Influenced by the Great Lakes and the Oceans?

Objectives:

  • describe how soil and water differ in their ability to absorb and release heat energy and
  • describe how this difference in heat absorbed or released affects the atmosphere immediately above the land and the water

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What Evidence of Glaciation Exists in the Great Lakes Region?

The Great Lakes Basin was once covered by the ice of continental glaciers. About 15,000 years ago the last ice melted to expose the lake basin. There have been minor advances and retreats of glaciers since then causing the level of the water in the lakes to rise and fall. How do scientists determine these past lake levels?

Objectives:

  • Identify the evidence of ancient beach ridges.
  • Become aware of the uses of ancient beach ridges today.

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