As a high school Chemistry teacher, you can use this set of computer-based tools to help yourself in teaching the pH scale, acids and bases, acidification, and environmental chemistry.
This lesson plan allows students to understand the pH scale and acidification by analyzing the effect of atmospheric carbon dioxide on ocean chemistry. The activity will also explore the potential effects of climate change on ocean acidification, and the possible impacts of ocean acidification on marine organisms. Thus, the use of this lesson plan allows you to integrate the teaching of a climate science topic with a core topic in Chemistry.
Use this lesson plan to help your students find answers to:
- What is the pH value of ocean water? Is it alkaline or acidic?
- What are the main chemical reactions in ocean acidification?
- How could an increase in fossil fuel usage change the pH value of ocean water?
- If ocean water became more acidic, how might it affect oyster and sea urchin populations?
- What are the possible impacts of climate change on ocean chemistry?
About Lesson Plan
|Grade Level||High School|
|Topic(s) in Discipline||• pH Scale, Acids and Bases, Acidification
• Ocean Carbonate Chemistry, Seawater Chemistry,
• Aragonite Saturation State,
• Ocean acidification
|Climate Topic||Climate and the Hydrosphere|
|Languages||English (Visualization tool is available in English, French, German, Portuguese, and Spanish)|
|Access||Online (some material can be downloaded for offline use)|
|Approximate Time Required||120-150 min|
|Visualization (~45 min)||A visualization that introduces the topics of pH scale, pH of different liquids, ocean acidification, and possible impacts of ocean acidification on marine life.
|Video (~6 min)||A video that introduces the topic of ocean acidification and examples of the effects of higher ocean acidity on marine life and on the seafood industry.
|Classroom/ Laboratory activity (60 – 90 min)||A classroom/laboratory activity to explore and analyze the relationship between the growth of oyster larvae and the chemistry of ocean water (aragonite saturation state) by using actual data from the Whiskey Creek Hatchery in Oregon, USA.
Here is a step-by-step guide to using this lesson plan in the classroom/laboratory. We have suggested these steps as a possible plan of action. You may customize the lesson plan according to your preferences and requirements.
|1. Introduce the topic through an interactive visualization||
|2. Play a short video||
|3. Conduct a classroom/laboratory activity||Now, explore this topic in an engaging manner through a classroom/laboratory activity, “Ocean Acidification and Oysters Lab”, created by Hilary Palevsky, UW Oceanography.
This activity will help your students explore how a change in ocean chemistry can affect the growth of marine organisms, specifically, oyster larvae. Students will use actual data from the Whiskey Creek Hatchery in Oregon, USA, to plot graphs in MS Excel, and perform data analysis and interpretation.
- • What is the pH value of ocean water? Is it alkaline or acidic?
- • What are the main chemical reactions in ocean acidification?
- • How could an increase in fossil fuel usage change the pH value of ocean water?
- • If ocean water became more acidic, how might it affect oyster and sea urchin populations?
- • What are the possible impacts of climate change on ocean chemistry?
The tools in this lesson plan will enable students to:
- • describe the pH scale
- • explain ocean acidification
- • discuss the effect of atmospheric carbon dioxide on ocean chemistry
- • determine the potential effects of climate change on ocean acidification
- • explore the possible impacts of ocean acidification on marine organisms
|Reading||A reading, “What is ocean acidification?”, from the European Project on OCean Acidification (EPOCA): http://www.epoca-project.eu/index.php/what-is-ocean-acidification.html|
|Video||A short film, “Ocean acidification: Connecting science, industry, policy and public,” from Plymouth Marine Laboratory: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_BPS8ctVW2s&feature=fvst|
|Laboratory Activity||A hands-on laboratory activity to understand and examine the effect of anthropogenic carbon dioxide on oceans and marine animals: https://serc.carleton.edu/integrate/workshops/risk_resilience/activities/81316.html|
|Interactive Tool, “Our Acidifying Ocean”||Inquiry to Student Environmental Action (I2SEA) project|
|Video, “Ocean Acidification”||The National Science Foundation and NBC Learn|
|Classroom/Laboratory Activity, “Ocean Acidification and Oysters Lab”||Hilary Palevsky, UW Oceanography, University of Washington Program on Climate Change|
|Additional Resources||European Project on OCean Acidification (EPOCA); Plymouth Marine Laboratory;
Richard Rueb (Clackamas Community College) based on an original activity by Sheila Alfsen (Linn Benton Community College) on the InTeGrate program
All the teaching tools and images in our collated list are owned by the corresponding creators/authors/organizations as listed on their websites. Please view the individual copyright and ownership details for each tool by following the individual links provided. We have selected and analyzed the tools that align with the overall objective of our project and have provided the corresponding links. We do not claim ownership of or responsibility/liability for any of the listed tools.