Should we try to remove
contaminated sediments and risk polluting the water?
|Earth systems, chemistry, geology, biology, environmental issues|
|This activity satisfies
portions of the following National Science Education
Standards for grades 7 through 12.
Additional information about the NSES can be found at the
following web address: http://www.nap.edu/html/nses/
Science as Inquiry [grades 6-8]
kinds of questions suggest different kinds of scientific
Science and Social
Perspectives [grades 6-8]
Science and Technology
Science and Social
Perspectives [grades 9-12]
Ohio Science Education
Earth System Science
Science and Technology.
Scientific Ways of
Earth Systems Understandings
[click HERE for explanation]
|#2 -- Human activities,
collective and individual, conscious and inadvertent,
affect planet Earth
#3 -- The development of scientific thinking and technology increases our ability to understand and utilize Earth and space
#4 -- The Earth system is composed of interacting subsystems of water, rock, ice, air and life
#7 -- There are many people with careers that involve study of Earths origin, processes and evolution.
Length of Activity
|Activity 1: one
Activity 2: one - two class periods
|Computer access, Internet connection, podium|
Prior Knowledge Needed
Students should have a prior understanding of pollution and how pollution enters the environment. It may also be beneficial for students to know about concepts such as turbidity, water column, sedimentation, and habitat remediation.
Students should have an
understanding of the process of bioaccumulation and the
effects it can have on higher level consumers in the food
chain. It would also be beneficial for students to
know how to make concept maps and work cooperatively in
|When students have
completed these activities they will be able to:
* Describe methods for removing contaminated sediments from the environment
* Model the process of dredging contaminated sediments
* Evaluate data to determine the success of dredging
* Make a decision based on scientific data
* Develop a concept map
pages of data: Tables of PAH change over time
in river sediments, and percentage of brown bulleads with
To understand the data, students will need to examine the key words in their Part 2 Worksheet.
|This lesson has two
activities. Each activity can be used separately as
a supplement to existing curricula on bioaccumulation and
environmental pollution, or can be used together as a
complete curriculum insert. The following text will
describe the lesson in detail and will provide the
student activity sheets and data necessary to utilize
these activities in your science classroom.
It may be helpful for you to
read the EPA report on how dredging of the Black River
affected the prevalence of fish tumors: http://www.epa.gov/glnpo/sediment/Bullhead/report.html
|Toxins are threatening
the fauna (including humans) in many aquatic
ecosystems. Efforts are underway to reduce the
amount of toxins being released into the environment,
however, the problem of what to do with toxins already in
the environment has become a pressing issue. The
student Worksheets contain background information for
|Activity 1 Student Procedure
Activity 1 Teacher Notes: Show the Dredging Sediments Powerpoint introduction for student orientation to the task.
Show the Dredging Sediment Powerpoint (317kb ppt file) introduction for student orientation to the task.
Activity 2 Teacher Notes:
|Answers to Activity Questions|
|Create a concept map for
dredging toxic sediments based on the information in
these activities. Make sure to include connections
between the hydrosphere (water), lithosphere (sediments),
and biosphere (living organisms). Rubric for
|Students could do a web
search for more data on the effects of dredging in Ohio
rivers and lakes to see if the new data would influence
their decision-making process. Check for information
about the Hudson River dredging controversies.
References and Resources
|Baumann, P. and
Harshbarger, J. (1996). Decline in liver neoplasms in
wild brown bullhead catfish after coking plant closes and
environmental PAHs plummet. Environmental
Health Perspectives. 103(2):168-170.
Ashtabula River report updating toxin information: http://www.fws.gov/midwest/AshtabulaNRDA/
2004 update on PCBs and HCBs in the Ashtabula River, from US Fish and Wildlife Service [pdf file].
Ohio EPA Website: http://www.epa.gov/glnpo/aoc/ashtabula.html
King, High School Science Teacher, Ohio
Web assistance by Ann Froschauer and Rosanne Fortner
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Making Activities for the Great Lakes, Contaminated
Developed by the Ohio Sea Grant Education Program, The Ohio State University. © 2003