The purpose of this activity is to familiarize students with:
This investigation explores the concepts of bioaccumulation and biomagnification and the effects of POPs present in an aquatic ecosystem. In Part 1, students will take a self-graded, pre-activity test that will help teachers to determine students' prior knowledge of these topics. Part 2 is a reading from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, "Persistent Organic Pollutants: A Global Issue, A Global Response." The graphic organizer "What is POP (don't you mean soda)?" may be used to help students organize what they learn from this document. In Part 3, students will work in groups to brainstorm ways that they might be exposed to toxins in their environment and then they will determine which of these pathways could also apply to aquatic organisms. In Part 4, students will read two factsheets published by the U.S. EPA and answer questions about polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and their health effects. This investigation concludes with two modeling activities. Part 5 is a hands-on activity that will introduce students to the concept of bioaccumulation and biomagnification. In Part 6, students will use the NetLogo Aquatic Bioaccumulation model to further explore these concepts in a simulated environment. Students will collect model data and analyze it in table and graph format to answer activity questions.
This is the teacher overview, answer key, and student guide for this Investigation within the EcoCasting unit. Note: The documents are formatted for double-sided printing; if you print them single-sided there will be extra blank pages.