Curriculum

The EcoCasting curriculum is aligned to the Illinois State Science Standards, the College Readiness Standards, and the NRC's National Science Education Standards. For a complete listing of of the standards this curriculum address, click here.

Download the whole curriculum here:

Complete Curriculum  (all files updated July 29, 2011)

Student guides only 

Note: The documents are formatted for double-sided printing; if you print them single-sided there will be extra blank pages.

A short description of each investigation follows. To download copies of individual investigations, simply click the title of the activity you are interested in. The documents are formatted for double-sided printing; if you print them single-sided there will be extra blank pages.

Investigation I is an introductory activity that will help the students to see relevance of the unit through a connection with a major current event, the 2010 BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

In Investigation II, students will be introduced to the concepts of trophic levels, predator-prey interactions, food chains and food webs.  Students will use the NetLogo Aquatic Food Chain model to explore population changes among the primary species of the Calumet Harbor food web.

The objective of Investigation III is to familiarize students with bioaccumulation, persistent organic pollutants (POPs), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and the dangers these pollutants pose to living organisms. Students will quantitatively model bioaccumulation and biomagnification using the NetLogo Aquatic Bioaccumulation model and create tables and graphs to analyze their data.

Investigation IV explores how the introduction of a new species into a food web can change feeding relationships amongst the native organisms, and how such invasions can alter the process of PCB bioaccumulation in the food web. Students will use the NetLogo Aquatic Invasive Species model to detect any cause-and-effect relationships focused around the invasion of a new species into an already established environment.