Lesson Plans for the INSPIRE: Chile Margin 2010 Expedition

Educators and scientists working with NOAA developed a series of lesson plans for students in Grades 5 - 12 that are specifically tied to the science behind the INSPIRE: Chile Margin 2010. These lesson plans focus on cutting-edge ocean exploration and research using state-of-the-art technologies.

The lesson plans are grouped into the following categories:

Diamond Icon Grades 5-6
Diamond Icon Grades 7-8
Diamond Icon Grades 9-12 (Chemical, Biological, Earth, and Physical Science)
Diamond Icon Other Relevant Lessons

In addition to being tied to the National Science Education Standards and the Ocean Literacy Essential Principles and Fundamental Concepts, the hands-on, inquiry-based activities include focus questions, background information for teachers, links to interesting Internet sites, and extensions. Web logs that document the latest discoveries and complement the lesson plans, complete with compelling images and video, will be sent back each day from sea. Teachers are encouraged to use the daily logs from the INSPIRE: Chile Margin 2010 expedition, which are posted on this site, to supplement the lesson plans.

Read a description of each lesson plan and/or download them to your computer. All of the lesson plans are available in a PDF format, and may be viewed and printed with the free Adobe Acrobat Reader External Links Icon. To download a lesson plan, click on its title from the listing below. (Note: if you have problems downloading one of these lessons, right-click on the link and save the lesson to your desktop.)

Grades 5-6

When Plates Collide (PDF, 1.1 Mb)
Focus:Plate Tectonics – Movement of plates, results of plate movement, and the Chile Triple Junction
Students will describe the motion of tectonic plates, compare and contrast three typical boundary types that occur between tectonic plates, describe the plate boundaries that occur and the Chile Triple Junction, and explain why a variety of chemosynthetic communities are expected to occur in this area.

A Hydrothermal AdVENTure (PDF, 948 Kb)
Focus:Hydrothermal Vents
Students will explain the overall structure of hydrothermal vents and how they are related to the motion of tectonic plates, and will create a model of a hydrothermal vent.

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Grades 7-8

Mapping the Deep Ocean Floor (PDF, 1.5 Mb)
Focus:Bathymetric Mapping
Students will create a two-dimensional topographic map from bathymetric survey data, create a three-dimensional model of seafloor topography from a two-dimensional topographic map, and will be able to interpret two- and three-dimensional topographic data.

The Oceanographic Yo-Yo (PDF, 1.2 Mb)
Focus:Using ocean chemistry to locate hydrothermal vents
Students will explain the effects of hydrothermal vents on chemical and physical parameters of seawater, and how oceanographers can use these effects to locate hydrothermal vents.

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Grades 9-12

The Ridge Exploring Robot (PDF, 1.2 Mb)
Focus:Autonomous Underwater Vehicles/Marine Navigation
Students will explain a three-phase strategy that uses an autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) to locate, map, and photograph previously undiscovered hydrothermal vents, design a survey program to provide a photomosaic of a hypothetical hydrothermal vent field, and calculate the expected position of the AUV based on speed and direction of travel.

The Tell-Tale Plume (PDF, 1.2 Mb)
Focus:Hydrothermal Vent Chemistry
Students will describe hydrothermal vents, identify changes that they cause to the physical and chemical properties of seawater, and use oceanographic data to recognize a probable plume from hydrothermal activity.

The Chemosynthetic Cafe (PDF, 1.0 Mb)
Focus:Biochemistry of hydrothermal vents
Students will compare and contrast food web energy sources in hydrothermal vent and aerobic environments, and will use models to explain the overall chemistry of autotrophic nutrition.

Reduced Fare (PDF, 1 Mb)
Focus:Deep-Sea Reducing Environments
Students will describe oxidation and reduction, explain the meaning of “reducing environment,” give at least three examples of deep-sea reducing environments, and demonstrate a flow of electric current produced by a redox reaction.

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Other Relevant Lesson Plans from NOAA’s Ocean Exploration Program

Grades 5-6

Call to Arms(PDF, 756 Kb)
(from the Bermuda: Search for Deep Water Caves 2009 Expedition)
Focus:Buoyancy (Physical Science)
In this activity, students will describe the types of motion found in the human arm, and describe four common robotic arm designs that mimic some or all of these functions.

The Robot Ranger (PDF, 964 kb)
(from the Lophelia II 2009: Deepwater Coral Expedition: Reefs, Rigs, and Wrecks Expedition)
Focus:Robotic Analogues for Human Structures (Distance Estimation) (Life Science/Physical Science)
In this activity, students will describe how humans are able to estimate the distance to visible objects, and describe a robotic system with a similar capability.

And Now for Something Completely Different… (PDF, 172 kb)
(from the 2005 GalAPAGos: Where Ridge Meets Hotspot expedition)
Focus:Biological communities at hydrothermal vents (Life Science)
In this activity, students will identify and describe organisms typical of hydrothermal vent communities near the Galapagos Spreading Center, explain why hydrothermal vent communities tend to be short-lived, and identify and discuss lines of evidence which suggested the existence of hydrothermal vents before they were actually discovered.

Entering the Twilight Zone (PDF, 468 kb)
(from the 2002 Gulf of Mexico Expedition)
Focus:Deep-sea habitats (Life Science)
In this activity, students will be able to describe major features of cold seep communities, and list at least five organisms typical of these communities and will infer probable trophic relationships within and between major deep-sea habitats. Students will also be able to describe in
the process of chemosynthesis in general terms, contrast chemosynthesis and photosynthesis, and describe major deep-sea habitats and list at least three organisms typical of each habitat.


InVENT a Deep-Sea Invertebrate
(PDF, 460 kb)
(from the 2002 Galapagos Rift expedition)
Focus: Galapagos Rift Ecosystem - Structure and Function in Living Systems
In this activity, students will design an invertebrate capable of living near deep-sea hydrothermal vents, and in doing so, will learn about the unique adaptations that organisms must have in order to survive in the extreme environments of the deep sea.

Let’s Make a Tubeworm! (PDF, 464 kb)
(from the 2002 Gulf of Mexico Expedition)
Focus:Symbiotic relationships in cold-seep communities (Life Science)
In this activity, students will be able to describe the process of hemosynthesis in general terms, contrast chemosynthesis and hotosynthesis, describe major features of cold seep communities, and list at least five organisms typical of these communities. Students will also
be able to define symbiosis, describe two examples of symbiosis in cold seep communities, describe the anatomy of vestimentiferans, and explain how these organisms obtain their food.

Living With the Heat (PDF, 88 kb)
(from the Submarine Ring of Fire 2002 expedition)
Focus:Hydrothermal vent ecology and transfer of energy among organisms that live near vents.

In this activity, students will be able to describe how hydrothermal vents are formed and characterize the physical conditions at these sites, explain what chemosynthesis is and contrast this process with photosynthesis, identify autotrophic bacteria as the basis for food webs in hydrothermal vent communities, and describe common food pathways between organisms typically found in hydrothermal vent communities.

Animals of the Fire Ice (PDF, 364 kb)
(from the 2003 Windows to the Deep Expedition)
Focus:Methane hydrate ice worms and hydrate shrimp (Life Science)
In this activity, students will be able to define and describe methane hydrate ice worms and hydrate shrimp, infer how methane hydrate ice worms and hydrate shrimp obtain their food, and infer how methane hydrate ice worms and hydrate shrimp may interact with other species
in the biological communities of which they are part.

Grades 7-8


I, Robot, Can Do That! (PDF, 315 kb)
(from the Lost City 2005 expedition)
Focus:Underwater Robotic Vehicles for Scientific Exploration (Physical Science/Life Science)
In this activity, students will be able to describe and contrast at least three types of underwater robots used for scientific explorations, discuss the advantages and disadvantages of using underwater robots in scientific explorations, and identify robotic vehicles best suited to carry
out certain tasks.

Life is Weird (PDF, 315 kb) (from the 2003 Windows to the Deep expedition)
Focus:Biological organisms in cold seep communities (Life Science)
In this activity, students will be able to describe major features of cold seep communities, and list at least five organisms typical of these communities.Students will also be able to infer probable trophic relationships among organisms typical of cold-seep communities and the surrounding deep-sea environment, and describe the process of chemosynthesis in general terms, and will be able to contrast chemosynthesis and photosynthesis.

How Does Your Magma Grow? (PDF, 224 kb)
(from the 2005 GalAPAGos:Where Ridge Meets Hotspot expedition)
Focus:Hot spots and midocean ridges (Physical Science)

In this activity, students will identify types of plate boundaries associated with movement of the Earth’s tectonic plates, compare and contrast volcanic activity associated with spreading centers and hot spots, describe processes which resulted in the formation of the Galapagos
Islands, and describe processes that produce hydrothermal vents.

One Tough Worm (PDF, 476 kb) (from the 2002 Gulf of Mexico Expedition)
Focus:Physiological adaptations to toxic and hypoxic environments (Life Science)
In this activity, students will be able to explain the process of chemosynthesis, explain the relevance of chemosynthesis to biological communities in the vicinity of cold seeps, and describe three physiological adaptations that enhance an organism’s ability to extract oxygen from its
environment. Students will also be able to describe the problems posed by hydrogen sulfide for aerobic organisms, and explain three strategies for dealing with these problems.

Sonar Simulation (PDF, 308 kb)
(from the Bonaire 2008: Exploring Coral Reef Sustainability with NewTechnologies Expedition)
Focus:Side scan sonar (Earth Science/Physical Science)
In this activity, students will describe side-scan sonar, compare and contrast side-scan sonar with other methods used to search for underwater objects, and make inferences about the topography of an unknown and invisible landscape based on systematic discontinuous meas-
urements of surface relief.


Grades 9-12

My Wet Robot (PDF, 300 kb)
(from the Bonaire 2008: Exploring Coral Reef Sustainability with NewTechnologies Expedition)
Focus:Underwater Robotic Vehicles
In this activity, students will be able to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of using underwater robots in scientific explorations, identify key design requirements for a robotic vehicle that is capable of carrying out specific exploration tasks, describe practical approaches to
meet identified design requirements, and (optionally) construct a robotic vehicle capable of carrying out an assigned task.


Sound Pictures (PDF, 1 Mb)
(from the Lophelia II 2009:Deepwater Coral Expedition:Reefs, Rigs, and Wrecks )
Sonar (Physical Science)
In this activity, students will explain the concept of sonar, describe the major components of a sonar system, explain how multibeam and sidescan sonar systems are useful to ocean explorers, and simulate sonar operation using a motion detector and a graphing calculator.

Chemosynthesis for the Classroom (PDF, 274 kb)
(from the 2002 Gulf of Mexico Expedition)
Focus:Chemosynthetic bacteria and succession in chemosynthetic communities (Chemistry/Biology)
In this activity, students will observe the development of chemosynthetic bacterial communities and will recognize that organisms modify their environment in ways that create opportunities for other organisms to thrive.Students will also be able to explain the process of chemosyn-
thesis and the relevance of chemosynthesis to biological communities in the vicinity of cold seeps.


Hydrothermal Vent Challenge (PDF, 412 kb)
(from the Submarine Ring of Fire 2004 expedition)
Focus:Chemistry of hydrothermal vents (Chemistry)
Students will be able to define hydrothermal vents and explain the overall processes that lead to their formation.Students will be able to explain the origin of mineral-rich fluids associated with hydrothermal vents.Students will be able to explain how black smokers and white smokers are formed. Students will be able to hypothesize how properties of hydrothermal fluids
might be used to locate undiscovered hydrothermal vents.

Lost City Chemistry Detectives (PDF, 326 kb)
(from the Lost City 2005 Expedition)
Focus: Chemistry of the Lost City ydrothermal Field (Chemistry/Earth Science)
In this activity, students will be able to compare and contrast the formation processes that produce black smokers and the Lost City hydrothermal field, describe the process of serpentinization and how this process contributes to formation of chimneys at the Lost Cityhydrothermal field, and describe and explain the chemical reactions that produce hydrogen and methane in Lost City hydrothermal vent fluids.

Massif Mystery (PDF, 327 kb)
(from the Lost City 2005 Expedition)
Focus: Structure and Origin of the Atlantis Massif (Earth Science)
In this activity, students will be able to compare and contrast basalt, gabbro, and peridotite; explain what the presence of these rocks may suggest about the origin of formations where they are found;and describe and interpret research data that suggest possible origins of the
Atlantis Massif.

Where There’s Smoke,There’s ... (PDF, 248 kb)
(from the New Zealand American Submarine
Ring of Fire 2005 expedition)
Focus:Hydrothermal vent chemistry at subduction volcanoes (Chemistry)
Students will be able to use fundamental relationships between melting points, boiling points, solubility, temperature, and pressure to develop plausible explanations for observed chemical phenomena in the vicinity of subduction volcanoes.

Where's My 'Bot? (PDF, 492 kb)
(from the Bonaire 2008: Exploring Coral Reef Sustainability with New Technologies Expedition)
Focus:Marine Navigation (Earth Science/Mathematics)
In this activity, students will estimate geographic position based on speed and direction of travel, and integrate these calculations with GPS data to estimate the set and drift of currents.

Thar She Blows! (PDF, 456 kb)
(from the 2002 Galapagos Rift expedition)
Focus:Hydrothermal Vents
In this activity, students will demonstrate an understanding of how the processes that result in the formation of hydrothermal vents create new ocean floor;students will demonstrate an understanding of how the transfer of energy effects solids and liquids.


The Big Burp:Where’s the Proof? (PDF, 364 kb)
(from the Expedition to the Deep Slope 2007 expedition)
Focus:Potential role of methane hydrates in global warming (Earth Science)
In this activity, students will be able to describe the overall events that occurred during the Cambrian explosion and Paleocene extinction events and will be able to define methane hydrates and hypothesize how these substances could contribute to global warming. Students will also be able to describe and explain evidence to support the hypothesis that methane
hydrates contributed to the Cambrian explosion and Paleocene extinction events.

The Census of Marine Life (PDF, 300 kb)
(from the 2007:Exploring the Inner Space of the Celebes Sea expedition)
Focus:The Census of Marine Life (Biology)
In this activity, students will be able to describe the Census of Marine Life (CoML) and explain in general terms the CoML strategy for assessing and explaining the changing diversity, distribution and abundance of marine species from the past to the present, and for projecting the future of marine life.Students will also be able to use the Ocean Biogeographic Information System to retrieve information about ocean species from specific geographic areas.


The Galapagos Spreading Center (PDF, 480 kb)
(from the 2002 Galapagos Rift Expedition)
Focus:Mid-Ocean Ridges (Earth Science)
In this activity, students will be able to describe the processes involved in creating new seafloor at a mid-ocean ridge;students will investigate the Galapagos Spreading Center system; students will understand the different types of plate motion associated with ridge segments and transform faults.


The Roving Robotic Chemist (PDF, 440 kb)
(from the PHAEDRA2006 expedition)
Focus:Mass Spectrometry
In this lesson, students will be able to explain the basic principles underlying mass spectrometry, discuss the advantages of in-situ mass spectrometry, explain the concept of dynamic retasking as it applies to an autonomous underwater vehicle, and develop and justify a sampling
strategy that could be incorporated into a program to guide an AUV searching for chemical clues to specific geologic features.

This Life Stinks (PDF, 276 kb)
(from the 2003 Windows to the Deep expedition)
Focus:Methane-based chemosynthetic processes (Physical Science)
In this activity, students will be able to define the process of hemosynthesis, and contrast this process with photosynthesis.Students will also explain the process of methane-based chemosynthesis and explain the relevance of chemosynthesis to biological communities in the
vicinity of cold seeps.


This Old Tubeworm (PDF, 484 kb)
(from the 2002 Gulf of Mexico Expedition)
Focus:Growth rate and age of species in cold-seep communities.
In this activity, students will be able to explain the process of chemosynthesis, explain the relevance of chemosynthesis to biological communities in the vicinity of cold seeps, and construct a graphic interpretation of age-specific growth, given data on incremental growth rates of different-sized individuals of the same species.Students will also be able to estimate the age of an individual of a specific size, given information on age-specific growth in individuals of the same species.

Where Did They Come From?(PDF, 296 kb)
(from the 2005 GalAPAGoS:Where Ridge
Meets Hotspot expedition)
Focus:Species variation in hydrothermal vent communities (Life Science)
In this activity, students will define and describe biogeographic provinces of hydrothermal vent communities, identify and discuss processes contributing to isolation and species exchange between hydrothermal vent communities, and discuss characteristics which may contribute to the survival of species inhabiting hydrothermal vent communities.


 

For More Information

Contact Paula Keener-Chavis, national education coordinator for the NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration, for more information.

Other lesson plans developed for this Web site are available in the Education Section.