Abstract Title

Session S-06A: Novel Actions to Address Ocean Acidification in the Salish Sea

Keywords

Ocean Acidification

Start Date

1-5-2014 5:00 PM

End Date

1-5-2014 6:30 PM

Description

Ocean acidification is a complex phenomenon with complex consequences. Understanding this complexity and the impact of ocean acidification requires systems thinking and collaboration, both in research and in education. Scientific advancement will help us better understand the problem and devise more effective solutions, but executing these solutions will require widespread public participation to mitigate this local and global problem. We have translated current systems-level ocean acidification research into a 5 week high school curriculum module. We will present this curriculum which is easily implemented in schools and has resulted in a high level of engagement and learning. Thus far 13 different schools and over 1200 students have field tested this work – we have seen dramatic increases in students’ abilities to use inquiry and to challenge their mental models. The lessons are hands-on, interdisciplinary, standards-based, and specifically focus on systems thinking, which has been shown to enable behavioral change. In this curriculum, students take on the roles of scientists and delegates as they investigate the consequences of the changing carbon cycle on the chemistry and biology of the oceans. Students critically assess different pieces of information (news articles and real-time data from the Salish Sea and beyond). They combine their findings into a network diagram that interconnects key players of this system. Students align themselves with stakeholders and design collaborative, cohesive experiments to test hypotheses and network properties. They explore the consequences of increased CO2 levels on the pH of water, the integrity of seashells, and the lifecycle of diatoms. The module also connects to other pertinent lessons being developed locally and globally. In the culminating activity, students act as delegates and reconvene to discuss the systems consequences of ocean acidification. They make recommendations for further research, policy-making, and lifestyle changes on both a local and global scale.

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May 1st, 5:00 PM May 1st, 6:30 PM

Bringing critical systems thinking to high school students through ocean acidification research

Room 6C

Ocean acidification is a complex phenomenon with complex consequences. Understanding this complexity and the impact of ocean acidification requires systems thinking and collaboration, both in research and in education. Scientific advancement will help us better understand the problem and devise more effective solutions, but executing these solutions will require widespread public participation to mitigate this local and global problem. We have translated current systems-level ocean acidification research into a 5 week high school curriculum module. We will present this curriculum which is easily implemented in schools and has resulted in a high level of engagement and learning. Thus far 13 different schools and over 1200 students have field tested this work – we have seen dramatic increases in students’ abilities to use inquiry and to challenge their mental models. The lessons are hands-on, interdisciplinary, standards-based, and specifically focus on systems thinking, which has been shown to enable behavioral change. In this curriculum, students take on the roles of scientists and delegates as they investigate the consequences of the changing carbon cycle on the chemistry and biology of the oceans. Students critically assess different pieces of information (news articles and real-time data from the Salish Sea and beyond). They combine their findings into a network diagram that interconnects key players of this system. Students align themselves with stakeholders and design collaborative, cohesive experiments to test hypotheses and network properties. They explore the consequences of increased CO2 levels on the pH of water, the integrity of seashells, and the lifecycle of diatoms. The module also connects to other pertinent lessons being developed locally and globally. In the culminating activity, students act as delegates and reconvene to discuss the systems consequences of ocean acidification. They make recommendations for further research, policy-making, and lifestyle changes on both a local and global scale.