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Environmental Science Curriculum

ScienceBridge Labs (professionally designed): 

Ocean Acidification

Ocean acidification is a phenomenon related to current global climate changes, and is becoming a major threat to marine ecosystems ranging from tropical coral reefs to the chilly waters of the Antarctic. In this lesson, students observe and investigate the mechanisms driving ocean acidification. The lesson and lab make connections to basic chemical principles such as acids/bases and the pH scale.

Socrates (graduate student designed):

Behavioral Ecology of Bees

Graduate Fellow Meg Eckles & Teacher Partner Jeff Kepper

Ecology is a grand synthesis of biological interactions, and can be overwhelming in its complexity. Using the biology of bees as a guide, we have developed curriculum designed to make these interactions and relationships more accessible to students.

Biodiversity: Patterns and processes

Graduate Fellow Sheila Walsh & Teacher Partner Frank Luera

San Diego bird biodiversity is used as a case study to teach students about biodiversity patterns and processes (San Diego is a biodiversity hotspot, and is threatened with habitat loss). 

Environmental Spices1 / Daphnia Toxicity2 / Kool Aid Chromatography3

Graduate Fellow Nellie Shaul & Teacher Partner Lisa Yoneda

1: A year-long activity in which students design and implement a water sampling and analysis plan to look for presence of baking and cooking spices in local water supplies. 2: Introduces students to the experiment toxicologists use to determine how toxic substances are to model organisms. 3: This lesson introduces students to solid phase extraction chromatography. 

Evolution and Natural Selection: Adaptations seabirds have evolved to thrive at sea

Graduate Fellow Ignacio Vilchis & Teacher Partner Jennifer Jackson

Students explore seabird evolution over geologic time. The lifestyle of seabirds dictates the shape and size of their wings. Graphing this ratio helps students understand and illustrate these adaptations. 

Kinesthetic Kinetics1 / Plenty of Plastics2

Graduate Fellow John Goeltz & Teacher Partner Rachel Stein

1: Students explore the concept of activation energy kinesthetically. 2: Students experimentally determine relative densities of recycleable plastics and solutions. 

Lost in Translation: The depletion of collagen in C. elegans

Graduate Fellow Lindsay Lewellyn & Teacher Partner Darci Kimball

RNA interference is explored through the use of nematodes. Students deplete proteins in the roundworms and watch as the worms become short and fat. 

Releasing Stored Energy in Pond Scum

Graduate Fellow Jillian Blatti & Teacher Partner Jenelle Javier

Students explore the principles behind biofuels.

Roundworms (Nematodes) in the Classroom

Graduate Fellow Gloriana Gallegos Trujillo & Teacher Partner Jessica McSwain

Students explore biodiversity, genetics, and ecology through the discovery of nematodes in their local soil.

SOS: Save Our Shells

Graduate Fellow Kate Hanson & Teacher Partner Rachel Stein

Students observe and investigate the mechanisms driving ocean acidification. The lesson and lab make connections to basic chemical principles such as acids/bases and the pH scale.

X-citing Chemistry: X-Ray fluorescence of deep-sea mud

Graduate Fellow Johnnie Lyman & Teacher Partner Duke Raley

Using fluorescent beads, students explore the use of light as an investigative tool in oceanography. Using this knowledge, they then analyze a real deep-sea scenrio involving changes in lead concentration off the coast of San Diego.