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Commotion in the ocean

The chemistry of our ocean is changing

The chemistry of our ocean is changing

Why is this happening? Why do we care? How does it affect your family or even the world around you? As oceanographers, we will take a dive into our ocean to analyze what is happening at a molecular level. 

With researching potential areas of concern and creating data visualizations of the ever changing dynamics of our ocean and its ecosystems, we will set out to inform the public of harmful impacts, potential risks and possible solutions.

As an oceanographer, students will create a public service announcement looking at the cause and effect of ocean acidification levels for an ecosystem or region of their choice. Students will work independently and use their peers as accountability and feedback resources.  

Project creation

As part of your public service announcement you will explain the Cause and Effect by:

  • Using science background knowledge of the acidification process
  • Using specific data from your ecosystem/region of choice
  • Create a digital data visualization highlighting the decline in the ecosystem/ region of your choice
  • Provide possible solutions to this problem

Units & abilities

Units you will learn

  • Matter and Energy
  • Solutions, Acids, and Bases
  • Stability and Change in Earth’s Ecosystems

Abilities you will practice

  • Working with Data
  • Open Minded Discussion
  • Conducting Research

Essential questions

  • What is pH? What does the pH scale tell us? How do we test for acidity/basicity? What are the characteristics of acids vs. bases? How is our oceans pH changing?
  • What happens at a molecular scale in our oceans? What is the carbon cycle? What is a chemical reaction? How do molecules break down causing the acidity to rise?
  • Why is there a decline with certain species in our oceans? What are humans doing to contribute to it? How does the rising ocean acidification affect/impact you specifically?
  • How can you digitally inform the public about this issue? How can we show the decline of a particular ecosystem using technology or data visualizations? Are there any solutions to this problem?