Bringing ocean acidification research to the classroom: A systems thinking approach

A Sharing Ocean Acidification Resources for Communicators and Educators webinar
Wednesday, April 23, 2014 - 15:00

April 23rd at 6pm EDT (3pm PDT)

Ocean acidification is a complex phenomenon with profound consequences. Understanding 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 global problem. 

In an effort to help high school students understand today's science, the presenters have translated current systems-level ocean acidification research into a 5 week classroom module.  They will present this curriculum and provide guidance for easy implementation in high schools.  Thus far 13 different schools and over 1200 students have field tested this work – they have seen dramatic increases in engagement, and in students’ abilities to use inquiry and to challenge their mental models.  The lessons are hands-on, interdisciplinary, 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 begin by critically assess different pieces of information through news articles and real-time data.  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 how carbon dioxide is produced as well as the consequences of increased CO2 levels on the pH of water, the integrity of seashells, and the life cycle of diatoms. In the culminating activity, students act as delegates when reconvening to discuss the systems consequences of ocean acidification. They make recommendations for further research, policy, and lifestyle changes.  

The module connects to other pertinent lessons being developed locally and globally and provides a clear connection to the Next Generation Science Standards and Ocean Literacy standards. 

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Space is limited.
Reserve your Webinar seat now at:
https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/229162946
After registering you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the Webinar.

Following the presentation there will be a few short informational announcements relevant to the ocean acidfication communication community. Please forward this invitation to interested colleagues. We look forward to seeing you at this event!

More info on the series and upcoming webinars can be found here

This series is jointly sponsored by the NOAA National Marine Sanctuaries and Ocean Acidification Program.

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