Science 8: Local Aquatic System Health (Lesson 2)
Students will learn the significant relationship between humans and the ecosystems of which they are part, including the consequences of human activities on the environment. This lesson gives students the chance to get hands-on experience with western scientific approaches to understand aquatic ecosystem health.
Aquatic ecosystems are impacted by human induced threats such as climate change, industrial development (oil and gas, mining), and hydroelectric dams. Understanding threats to the water is critical because people in the Mackenzie River Basin rely on it for food, drinking water, and travel. Traditional Knowledge and observations of land users are important sources of information about these threats. Western science is also a useful way of investigating water quality. This lesson introduces students to different threats facing the Mackenzie River and types of scientific tests that can explain the health of the water. Students will get firsthand experience completing scientific monitoring to investigate levels of water pollution near their community.
Key questions for student inquiry:
What types of threats face areas of the Mackenzie River? How can scientific monitoring be useful for making decisions about these threats?
In classroom or computer lab / scientific testing should take place on the land/water, although can take place in classroom
Length of activity:
1 class period (part 1) / 1 day (part 2) / 1 class period (part 3)