Virtual Urchin, Stanford University
Suggested lessons take about three to four 45-minute classroom periods.Learn more about Teaching Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness»
See how this Activity supports the Next Generation Science Standards»
High School: 3 Performance Expectations, 4 Disciplinary Core Ideas, 8 Cross Cutting Concepts, 9 Science and Engineering Practices
About Teaching Climate Literacy
Other materials addressing 3a
About Teaching Climate Literacy
Other materials addressing Life affects climate; climate affects life
Other materials addressing 5c
Other materials addressing 7d
Other materials addressing 7e
7.3 Environmental quality.
3.5 Ecosystems are affected by availability of energy..
Notes From Our Reviewers
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Teaching Tips | Science | Pedagogy |
- Educator should work through the interactive thoroughly before students start.
- There are two options on the interactive lab bench section that asks if students want to use the signals that indicate is a correct lab technique choice has been made. It is strongly suggested that students use this.
- Based on length of classroom time, educator may need to break up the virtual lab experience into two class periods, completing part one in the first class and part two in the second class.
- Students should share their data on the board and create a class data table and graph, which could also include data from other classes doing the same activity.
- VirtualUrchin website has several interactives that students can explore prior to doing the ocean acidification lab.
About the Science
- In exploring the effects of ocean acidification on larval development of sea urchins in a virtual lab, students consider ocean carbonate chemistry, pH, predator - prey relationships, marine calcifiers.
- Comments from expert scientist: This is an exceptional activity. The activity explores the science of ocean acidification and how that acidification can affect the calcification of marine organisms. The activity is accurate and in depth. Understanding ocean acidification requires tackling some difficult chemistry. This activity illustrates the chemistry with interactive diagrams that are intuitive and scientifically accurate. What makes this activity outstanding in my opinion is the acidification lab, where a student conducts an experiment investigating the response of sea urchin calcification to different environmental pH levels.
About the Pedagogy
- VirtualUrchin website includes 8 interactive tutorials, plus teacher resources and links. Our Acidifying Ocean is the 8th tutorial in the series.
- Interactives teach students about the concepts of pH and ocean carbonate chemistry in easy pop-up menus.
- Interactives and virtual lab are well constructed and easy to follow.
- The slide describing the carbon cycle in the ocean is fairly complex and difficult to understand for grade 6-10 students.
Technical Details/Ease of Use
- There is not a lot of background science content information provided for educator in the teacher resource section. However, the content material in the interactives is clear, simple and concise.
- The video that shows the life cycle of a sea biscuit (very similar to sea urchin) in Part 1 is excellent.
Related URLs These related sites were noted by our reviewers but have not been reviewed by CLEANhttp://virtualurchin.stanford.edu/index.html
Next Generation Science Standards See how this Activity supports:
Performance Expectations: 3
HS-PS1-5: Apply scientific principles and evidence to provide an explanation about the effects of changing the temperature or concentration of the reacting particles on the rate at which a reaction occurs
HS-ESS3-5: Analyze geoscience data and the results from global climate models to make an evidence-based forecast of the current rate of global or regional climate change and associated future impacts to Earth systems.
HS-LS2-2: Use mathematical representations to support and revise explanations based on evidence about factors affecting biodiversity and populations in ecosystems of different scales.
Disciplinary Core Ideas: 4
HS-PS1.B2:In many situations, a dynamic and condition-dependent balance between a reaction and the reverse reaction determines the numbers of all types of molecules present.
HS-ESS2.D4:Current models predict that, although future regional climate changes will be complex and varied, average global temperatures will continue to rise. The outcomes predicted by global climate models strongly depend on the amounts of human-generated greenhouse gases added to the atmosphere each year and by the ways in which these gases are absorbed by the ocean and biosphere.
HS-LS2.C1:A complex set of interactions within an ecosystem can keep its numbers and types of organisms relatively constant over long periods of time under stable conditions. If a modest biological or physical disturbance to an ecosystem occurs, it may return to its more or less original status (i.e., the ecosystem is resilient), as opposed to becoming a very different ecosystem. Extreme fluctuations in conditions or the size of any population, however, can challenge the functioning of ecosystems in terms of resources and habitat availability.
HS-LS2.C2:Moreover, anthropogenic changes (induced by human activity) in the environment—including habitat destruction, pollution, introduction of invasive species, overexploitation, and climate change—can disrupt an ecosystem and threaten the survival of some species.
Cross Cutting Concepts: 8
HS-C1.5:Empirical evidence is needed to identify patterns.
HS-C2.1:Empirical evidence is required to differentiate between cause and correlation and make claims about specific causes and effects.
HS-C2.2:Cause and effect relationships can be suggested and predicted for complex natural and human designed systems by examining what is known about smaller scale mechanisms within the system.
HS-C3.1:The significance of a phenomenon is dependent on the scale, proportion, and quantity at which it occurs.
HS-C4.3:Models (e.g., physical, mathematical, computer models) can be used to simulate systems and interactions—including energy, matter, and information flows—within and between systems at different scales.
HS-C5.2:Changes of energy and matter in a system can be described in terms of energy and matter flows into, out of, and within that system.
HS-C6.2:The functions and properties of natural and designed objects and systems can be inferred from their overall structure, the way their components are shaped and used, and the molecular substructures of its various materials.
HS-C7.2:Change and rates of change can be quantified and modeled over very short or very long periods of time. Some system changes are irreversible.
Science and Engineering Practices: 9
HS-P1.1:ask questions that arise from careful observation of phenomena, or unexpected results, to clarify and/or seek additional information.
HS-P2.3:Develop, revise, and/or use a model based on evidence to illustrate and/or predict the relationships between systems or between components of a system
HS-P3.1:Plan an investigation or test a design individually and collaboratively to produce data to serve as the basis for evidence as part of building and revising models, supporting explanations for phenomena, or testing solutions to problems. Consider possible confounding variables or effects and evaluate the investigation’s design to ensure variables are controlled.
HS-P3.4:Select appropriate tools to collect, record, analyze, and evaluate data.
HS-P3.5:Make directional hypotheses that specify what happens to a dependent variable when an independent variable is manipulated.
HS-P4.1:Analyze data using tools, technologies, and/or models (e.g., computational, mathematical) in order to make valid and reliable scientific claims or determine an optimal design solution.
HS-P5.2:Use mathematical, computational, and/or algorithmic representations of phenomena or design solutions to describe and/or support claims and/or explanations.
HS-P6.4:Apply scientific reasoning, theory, and/or models to link evidence to the claims to assess the extent to which the reasoning and data support the explanation or conclusion.
HS-P7.5:Make and defend a claim based on evidence about the natural world or the effectiveness of a design solution that reflects scientific knowledge and student-generated evidence.