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Our Acidifying Ocean
http://virtualurchin.stanford.edu/AcidOcean/AcidOcean.htm

Virtual Urchin, Stanford University

This 3-part interactive and virtual lab activity examines the life cycle of the sea urchin, and how the increasing acidity of the ocean affects their larval development.

Suggested lessons around interactive take about three to four 45-minute classroom periods.

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Climate Literacy
About Teaching Climate Literacy

Individual organisms survive within specific ranges of temperature, precipitation, humidity, and sunlight. Organisms exposed to climate conditions outside their normal range must adapt or migrate, or they will perish.
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e on Earth depends on, is shaped by, and affects climate
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Observations, experiments, and theory are used to construct and refine computer models that represent the climate system and make predictions about its future behavior. Results from these models lead to better understanding of the linkages between the atmosphere-ocean system and climate conditions and inspire more observations and experiments. Over time, this iterative process will result in more reliable projections of future climate conditions.
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The chemistry of ocean water is changed by absorption of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Increasing carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere is causing ocean water to become more acidic, threatening the survival of shell-building marine species and the entire food web of which they are a part.
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Ecosystems on land and in the ocean have been and will continue to be disturbed by climate change. Animals, plants, bacteria, and viruses will migrate to new areas with favorable climate conditions. Infectious diseases and certain species will be able to invade areas that they did not previously inhabit.
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Energy Literacy

Fossil and bio fuels are organic matter that contain energy captured from sunlight.
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4.3 Fossil and bio fuels contain energy captured from sunlight.
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Various sources of energy are used to power human activities .
Greenhouse gases affect energy flow through the Earth system.
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2.6 Greenhouse gases affect energy flow.
Physical processes on Earth are the result of energy flow through the Earth system.
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Physical processes on Earth are the result of energy flow .

Benchmarks for Science Literacy
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Changes in environmental conditions can affect the survival of individual organisms and entire species.
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Computer modeling explores the logical consequences of a set of instructions and a set of data. The instructions and data input of a computer model try to represent the real world so the computer can show what would actually happen. In this way, computers assist people in making decisions by simulating the consequences of different possible decisions.
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Notes From Our Reviewers The CLEAN collection is hand-picked and rigorously reviewed for scientific accuracy and classroom effectiveness. Read what our review team had to say about this resource below or learn more about how CLEAN reviews teaching materials
Teaching Tips | Science | Pedagogy | Technical Details

Teaching Tips

  • 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 CLEAN

http://virtualurchin.stanford.edu/index.html

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