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Lesson Plans for the INDEX SATAL 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 INDEX SATAL 2010 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

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 regularly from sea. Teachers are encouraged to use the logs from the INDEX SATAL 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. 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

Earth’s Ocean is 95% Unexplored: So What? (PDF, 1.1 Mb)
Focus: Importance of deep ocean exploration (Life Science/Earth Science)
Students will describe at least three different deep ocean ecosystems, explain at least three reasons for exploring Earth’s deep ocean, and explain at least three ways that deep ocean ecosystems may benefit humans.

Let’s Make a Tubeworm! (PDF, 1.9 Mb)
Focus: Hydrothermal vent ecosystems (Life Science)
Students will explain the overall structure of hydrothermal vents and how they are related to the motion of tectonic plates, describe the process of chemosynthesis in general terms, contrast chemosynthesis and photosynthesis, describe the anatomy of vestimentiferans, and explain how these organisms obtain their food.

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Grades 7-8

Walk the Line (PDF, 1.6 Mb)
Focus: Biodiversity and biogeography around Wallace’s Line (Life Science)
Students will discuss the meaning of “biodiversity,” describe at least three ways in which biodiversity in the deep ocean may be important to humans, locate and define Wallacea and Wallace’s Line, and offer at least two possible explanations for the high degree of endemism in Wallacea.

The Tectonic Challenge (PDF, 1.7 Mb)
Focus: Plate tectonics (Earth Science)
Students will describe the motion of tectonic plates; differentiate between three typical boundary types that occur between tectonic plates; infer the type of boundary that exists between two tectonic plates given information on earthquakes and volcanism in the vicinity of the boundary; and explain the relationship between tectonic plate movements and earthquakes, volcanoes, and tsunamis.

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Grades 9-12

Tools of Exploration - CTD (PDF, 1.5 Mb)
Focus: Technology for deep ocean exploration: CTD (Chemistry/Earth Science)
Students will describe typical effects of hydrothermal vents, volcanoes, and cold seeps on chemical and physical parameters of seawater; explain how oceanographers can use CTD data to locate these geologic features; and analyze data from CTD casts for the presence of anomalies.

Tools of Exploration - Multibeam Sonar (PDF, 1.6 Mb)
Focus: Technology for deep ocean exploration: Multibeam Sonar (Earth Science/Physical Science)
Students will describe multibeam sonar, discuss the advantages of multibeam sonar bathymetry compared to two-dimensional topographic bathymetry, and interpret three-dimensional multibeam bathymetric data.

Tools of Exploration - Remotely Operated Vehicles (PDF, 1.3 Mb)
Focus: Technology for deep ocean exploration: Remotely Operated Vehicles (Earth Science/Physical Science)
Students will describe systems and capabilities of science-class remotely operated vehicles (ROVs), typical applications and limitations of imagery obtained with ROVs, and use ROV imagery to make inferences about deep ocean habitats.

Exploring the Unknown (PDF, 1.3 Mb)
Focus: Strategies for deep ocean exploration (Earth Science)
Students will discuss factors that influenced exploration strategies of the Lewis and Clark and Challenger Expeditions; describe the overall exploration strategy developed for the Okeanos Explorer; and discuss the concept of anomalies as it applies to deep ocean exploration, and how scales of measurement influence detection of anomalies.

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Other Relevant Lesson Plans from NOAA’s Ocean Exploration Program

Grades 5-6

When Plates Collide (PDF, 1.1 Mb)
(from the INSPIRE: Chile Margin 2010 Expedition)
Focus: Plate Tectonics - Movement of plates, results of plate movement, and the Chile Triple Junction (Earth Science)
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)
(from the INSPIRE: Chile Margin 2010 Expedition)
Focus: Hydrothermal vents (Earth Science)
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.

The Volcano Factory (PDF, 5 pages, 384 Kb)
(from the 2004 Submarine Ring of Fire Expedition)
Focus: Volcanism on the Mariana Arc (Earth Science)
Students will be able to explain the tectonic processes that result in the formation of the Mariana Arc and the Mariana Trench, and will be able to explain why the Mariana Arc is one of the most volcanically-active regions on Earth.

What’s for Dinner? (PDF, 6 pages, 285 Kb)
(from the New Zealand American Submarine Ring of Fire 2005 Expedition)
Focus: Sources of nutrition for biological communities associated with volcanoes of the Marianas Arc (Life Science)
Students will be able to compare and contrast photosynthesis and chemosynthesis as sources of primary production for biological communities, give at least three examples of organisms that live near hydrothermal vent systems, and describe two sources of primary production observed in biological communities associated with volcanoes of the Marianas Arc.

Unexplored (PDF, 7 pages, 264 Kb)
(from the New Zealand American Submarine Ring of Fire 2005 Expedition)
Focus: Scientific exploration of deep-sea volcanoes (Life Science/Physical Science/Earth Science)
Students will be able to compare and contrast submarine volcanoes at convergent and divergent plate boundaries, infer the kinds of living organisms that may be found around hydrothermal vents, describe three ways in which scientists may prepare to explore areas that are practically unknown, and explain two types of primary production that may be important to biological communities around hydrothermal vents in the Mariana Arc.

Living With the Heat (PDF, 9 pages, 289 Kb)
(from the Submarine Ring of Fire 2006 Expedition)
Focus: Hydrothermal vent ecology and transfer of energy among organisms that live near vents.
Students will 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.

Grades 7-8


Mapping the Deep Ocean Floor (PDF, 1.5 Mb)
(from the INSPIRE: Chile Margin 2010 Expedition)
Focus: Bathymetric Mapping (Earth Science)
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)
(from the INSPIRE: Chile Margin 2010 Expedition)
Focus: Using ocean chemistry to locate hydrothermal vents (Physical Science)
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.

Friendly Volcanos (PDF, 5 pages, 380 Kb)
(from the 2004 Submarine Ring of Fire Expedition)
Focus: Ecological impacts of volcanism in the Mariana Islands (Life Science/Earth Science)
Students will be able to describe at least three beneficial impacts of volcanic activity on marine ecosystems, and will be able to explain the overall tectonic processes that cause volcanic activity along the Mariana Arc.

It's Going to Blow Up! (PDF, 10 pages, 337 Kb)
(from the New Zealand American Submarine Ring of Fire 2005 expedition)
Focus: Volcanism on the Pacific Ring of Fire (Earth Science)
Students will be able to describe the processes that produce the Submarine Ring of Fire, explain the factors that contribute to explosive volcanic eruptions, describe the primary risks posed by volcanic activity in the United States, and identify the volcano within the continental U.S. that is considered most dangerous.


Grades 9-12

The Ridge Exploring Robot (PDF, 1.6 Mb)
(from the INSPIRE: Chile Margin 2010 Expedition)
Focus: Autonomous Underwater Vehicles/Marine Navigation (Earth Science/Mathematics)
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)
(from the INSPIRE: Chile Margin 2010 Expedition)
Focus: Hydrothermal Vent Chemistry (Earth Science/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)
(from the INSPIRE: Chile Margin 2010 Expedition)
Focus: Biochemistry of hydrothermal vents (Life Science)
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)
(from the INSPIRE: Chile Margin 2010 Expedition)
Focus: Deep-Sea Reducing Environments (Life Science)
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.

Let’s Get Specific (PDF, 300 Kb)
(from the 2007: Exploring the Inner Space of the Celebes Sea Expedition)
Focus: Speciation (Biology)
In this activity, students will explain two definitions of species, describe at least two factors that favor increased speciation, and compare and contrast sympatric and allopatric speciation. Students will also be able to locate and define Wallacea and Wallace’s Line and offer at least two possible explanations for the high degree of endemism in Wallacea.

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 Big Balancing Act (PDF, 9 pages, 383 Kb)
(from the New Zealand American Submarine Ring of Fire 2005 Expedition)
Focus: Hydrothermal vent chemistry at subduction volcanoes (Chemistry/Earth Science)
Students will be able to define and describe hydrothermal circulation systems, explain the overall sequence of chemical reactions that occur in hydrothermal circulation systems, compare and contrast “black smokers” and “white smokers.” and make inferences about the relative significance of these systems to ocean chemical balance compared to terrestrial runoff from data on chemical enrichment in hydrothermal circulation systems.

What's the Difference? (PDF, 7 pages, 261 Kb)
(from the New Zealand American Submarine Ring of Fire 2005 Expedition)
Focus: Volcanic processes at convergent and divergent tectonic plate boundaries (Earth Science)
Students will be able to compare and contrast volcanoes at convergent and divergent plate boundaries, identify three geologic features that are associated with most volcanoes on Earth, and explain why some volcanoes erupt explosively while others do not.

Where There's Smoke, There's ... (PDF, 6 pages, 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.

It Looks Like Champagne (PDF, 7 pages, 276 Kb)
(from the New Zealand American Submarine Ring of Fire 2005 Expedition)
Focus: Deep ocean carbon dioxide and global climate change (Chemistry/Earth Science)
Students will be able to interpret phase diagrams, and explain the meaning of “critical point” and “triple point”, define “supercritical fluid,” describe two practical uses of supercritical carbon dioxide, and discuss the concept of carbon dioxide sequestration.

Where Did They Come From? (PDF, 10 pages; 296 Kb)
(from the Submarine Ring of Fire 2006 Expedition)
Focus: Species variation in hydrothermal vent communities (Life Science)
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.

Hydrothermal Vent Challenge (PDF, 9 pages; 288 Kb)
(from the Submarine Ring of Fire 2006 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; explain the origin of mineral-rich fluids associated with hydrothermal vents; explain how “black smokers” and “white smokers” are formed; and hypothesize how properties of hydrothermal fluids might be used to locate undiscovered hydrothermal vents.

Roots of the Mariana Arc (PDF, 11 pages; 312 Kb)
(from the Submarine Ring of Fire 2006 Expedition)
Focus: Seismology and geological origins of the Mariana Arc (Earth Science)
Students will be able to explain the processes of plate tectonics and volcanism that resulted in the formation of the Mariana Arc; describe, compare, and contrast S waves and P waves; explain how seismic data recorded at different locations can be used to determine the epicenter of an earthquake; and infer a probable explanation for the existence of ultra-low velocity zones.


 

For More Information Contact:

Paula Keener
Education Director
NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research

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