Lesson Plans for the INSPIRE: Chile Margin 2012 Expedition

Educators and scientists working with NOAA developed eight lesson plans for students in Grades 5 - 12 that are specifically tied to the science behind the INSPIRE: Chile Margin 2010 Expedition. One new lesson, “Son of ABE (sort of)” has been added to the collection for the 2012 expedition. 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

Activities are correlated with A Framework for K-12 Science Education (in preparation for the Next Generation Science Standards);the Ocean Literacy Essential Principles and Fundamental Concepts; and
the Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts and Mathematics where appropriate. The lessons 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 2012 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 Link. 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.

Grades 7-8

Son of ABE (sort of) (PDF, )
Focus: Autonomous Underwater Vehicles
Students will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of using underwater robots in scientific explorations; discuss ways in which the design of the AUV Sentry has improved on the design of the AUV ABE; and given a specific exploration task, will identify key design requirements for a robotic vehicle that is capable of carrying out this task and describe practical approaches to meet identified design requirements. Optionally, students will construct a robotic vehicle capable of carrying out an assigned task.

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.

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.

Other Relevant Lesson Plans from NOAA’s Ocean Exploration Program

Grades 5-6

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.

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

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.

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 New Technologies 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 measurements of surface relief.

Grades 9-12

Sound Pictures (PDF, 1 Mb)
(from the Lophelia II 2009:Deepwater Coral Expedition: Reefs, Rigs, and Wrecks)
Focus: 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 chemosynthesis 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.

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.

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 chemosynthesis, 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.

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.

 

 

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