Water: Middle School
Activities: "Bon Voyage to Bad Boating Habits"
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For Grades 6 - 8
Bon Voyage to Bad Boating Habits (Full Article)(PDF) (2 pp, 1.5MB)
Students will learn about common boating-related threats to waterways. They will learn about the problems created in waterways by recreational boaters and discuss ways boaters can change their behaviors to reduce their impact on waterways. Students will also learn about the history of water pollution through a study of the Cuyahoga River. They will create a commercial to raise awareness about boating-related pollution. Exercises will also help students explore the reliability of information on the Internet by comparing various articles on MTBE, a common gasoline additive that can contribute to water pollution, and expose students to the problems associated with unintentionally transporting invasive species in ballast water. An experiment that will help students visualize measurements parts per million is also included.
Individual exercises are designed to be approximately 1/2 hour to 45 minutes long. The time to complete an exercise can be longer if the optional additional exercises are explored. Exercises I, II and V are well-suited for an in-class activity. Exercises III and IV are better suited for individual or small-group research and writing projects.
The time to complete an exercise can be longer if the optional links to related Web sites are explored for a deeper examination of the subject.
Curricular Standards and Skills
- Invasive species
- Units for water quality measurement
- Drinking water standards
- The history of water pollution
- The media
- The Clean Water Act
- Reading comprehension
- Critical thinking
- Public speaking
- Comparing sources
- aquatic environment
- ballast water
- bilge water
- boat mechanic
- Clean Water Act
- invasive species
- marine biologist
- marine police officer
- marine sanitation device
- methyl tertiary-butyl ether (MTBE)
Editorial: The Fire Is Quenched (Post-Gazette article on the restored Cuyahoga River)
The MTBE Resource [BROKEN]
U.S. Geological Survey MTBE Information:
- Note to the Reader
- MTBE and other volatile organic compounds — New findings and implications on the quality of source waters used for drinking-water supplies | PDF Version (2 pp, 48K)
Ballast Water a Vehicle for Exotic Marine Species Invasions (Gulf of Maine Times)