Found 15 Collections
Students take on a local environmental challenge in the lesson plans of this issue of Smithsonian in Your Classroom. Before deciding on a problem to tackle, they try interviewing local folks about the state of the community's environment and how it has changed through the years.
Click the PDF icon to see the Smithsonian in Your Classroom. Then check out oral-history interviewing tips on the site of the Smithsonian Center for Folklife. Also included below is an audio presentation on deer life by Smithsonian scientist Bill McShea.
In this activity, students will investigate human impact on our most essential resource, water and discover what they can do to make a positive difference.
collection of images based on sea life, art and effects of water pollution to use as reference in a lesson or unit on the effect of ocean and water pollution. This could lead into a lesson based on creation of recycled materials as well as a science integrated lesson about how to clean up local water sources and make an positive impact on the environment.
Look through the photographs. Spend a few minutes looking at each one, then pick three photos and consider the following questions: What are the common elements of the photos? During what time period do you think the photos were taken? In what part of the world were the photos taken? How are they similar? Different? You will record your observations on the quiz at the end of the photograph section.
As you investigate the artifacts, images, and readings in this collection, consider how the environment has been impacted by the development of canoes/boats? How were animals (birds, mammals, reptiles) affected by the launching of canoes/boats? How is the land affected by canoes/boats?
By using the pictures, students will be able for how the first canoe development may have affected the environment; students will construct an explanation of how the environment has since been impacted. They will then work to design solutions for ways of making less of an impact to the environment based on factors that can lead to the disruption of the protected waterways.
Meaning of Canoe:
The word 'canoe' originated from the word 'kenu' - meaning dugout. These seagoing boats were used by the Carib Indians of the Caribbean islands, and were made of large tree trunks which were shaped and hollowed, and were strong enough to travel between the islands.
Students will be able to:
1. Activate students’ prior knowledge. Tell students that they will learn about human-related impacts that threaten the environment.
2. Use a model to explore how the use of canoes effects the environment.
3. Construct explanations and design solutions for impacts of boating on healthy waterways.
4. Identify ways individuals can influence impacts of the boating industry.
1. What are the advantages and disadvantages of the development of the boating issues based on the use of the canoe?
2. How do we assess the environmental, social, cultural, and economic benefits and drawbacks of various solutions to a problem?
3. How do we ultimately decide what solution is the 'best'?
4. What are the major concerns of using the waterways for leisure activities and for business?
- Computer lab with one computer for every student (computers should have Internet access) and the equipment to project onto a screen or white board
- One pair of audio headphones for each student
- Access to the Learning Lab Collections
- Review articles that emphasize the impact of environmental damage do to boating
- http://www.pbs.org/wayfinders/...This website has an activity that will help the students understand the building of the canoe
How does fishing, pollution and human activity affect the energy balance in the ocean?
The oceans are an important resource for much of humanity. In the United States alone, about one in six jobs has something to do with the ocean. Unfortunately, while humans depend on the ocean for many different things, their activities can also have a negative effect on the ocean and its wildlife.
OVERFISHING OF SPECIES
One of the biggest effects humans have on the ocean is through fishing. An increasing demand for protein has led to an increase in large-scale fishing operations, and throughout the 20th century, many countries failed to put safeguards into place to prevent overfishing. As a result, the populations of a number of large fish species have dropped by as much as 90 percent from their preindustrial populations. This depletion has led to disruptions in ocean food chains, removing predators and allowing other populations to grow unchecked. As the populations of targeted fish decline, many operations move down the food chain to other species, and over time this can cause significant alterations to marine ecosystems.
POLLUTION AND DUMPING
Human pollution also has a significant effect on the oceans. In the 1980s, travelers passing through the Pacific Ocean began to notice areas containing a high concentration of plastic trash, apparently collected by the ocean's natural currents into one area. The so-called Pacific Trash Vortex may contain up to 1.9 million pieces of trash per square mile, and a similar patch of garbage exists in the northern Atlantic. In addition, oil spills such as the one resulting from the Deepwater Horizon fire in 2010 can contaminate large stretches of the ocean, wiping out entire populations of fish and other species and affecting the regional ecosystem for decades.
Air pollution also affects the oceans. As the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere increases, the ocean absorbs some of the excess. The gas reacts with seawater and reduces its pH, increasing the acidity of the water. Since the industrial revolution, the pH of the ocean has decreased by 0.1 pH, representing a 30 percent increase in the acidity of seawater. This affects the growth of animals and plants in the ocean, weakening coral and shellfish.
Organic waste dumped into the oceans can have a devastating effect on ecosystems. Excess nutrients from fertilizers and sewage runoff flow into the ocean via rivers, and this sudden abundance of organic material can disrupt the balance of life in affected areas. Organic pollution can cause algae blooms, a rapid increase in certain species of microorganisms that may produce toxins or consume the free oxygen in the region, killing off or driving away other species.
How do canoes work? How do they float/move in the water?
An object will float if the gravitational (downward) force is less than the buoyancy (upward) force. So, in other words, an object will float if it weighs less than the amount of water it displaces. This explains why a rock will sink while a huge boat will float. The rock is heavy, but it displaces only a little water.
How was migration affected by the use of canoes/boats?
The earliest human migrations and expansions of archaic and modern humans across continents began 2 million years ago with the migration out of Africa of Homo erectus. This was followed by the migrations of other pre-modern humans including Homo heidelbergensis, the likely ancestor of both modern humans and Neanderthals.
This collection was designed for elementary classes to infuse global competencies into an established study of open space and environmental stewardship. Birds are often a topic of study in primary classrooms, and this framework can help students start thinking about environmental stewardship through an initial study of birds. Guided by thinking routines, students examine birds and think about how other cultures have shown their interest in nature. They will also start thinking about why studying the needs of local birds is important to taking care of their local environment. Finally, students begin to explore why taking care of the birds and environment also might be important to the world.
This collection is meant to be used as a unit over several days. Please feel free to copy and adapt it for your own use.
The art used in this collection comes from the Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery collections. Many pieces were featured in an exhibition called "Dream Worlds: Modern Japanese Prints and Paintings from the Robert O. Muller Collection", which was on view November 2004-January 2005.
Tags: birds, environmental stewardship, open space, thinking routines, global competency, essential questions, human impact, Japan, Japanese art, Ohara Koson, woodblock printing, seasons, cherry blossoms, teacher, student, nature, crow, heron, magpie, pheasant, artful thinking
These resources were developed for use with the Smithsonian's exhibition Narwhal; Revealing an Arctic Legend. For more information about this traveling exhibition, please visit the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES).
In this collection, originally used with 4th graders, students investigate how people access clean water both globally and locally. Students will use Agency by Design thinking routines to explore watersheds as a system, focusing on the Anacostia Watershed & the larger Chesapeake Bay Watershed. They will then use observational drawings and make their own model watershed to deepen their understanding.
Students will use Project Zero Thinking Routines to take the perspective of those who live in water scarce areas and be invited to conduct their own research of a region that faces physical or economic water scarcity. Students will be encouraged to take action by creating a public service announcement explaining an issue related to clean water or by designing their own solution.
This collection contains 10 images of showing the gathering, carrying, filtering of, and lack of clean water. It has maps that show water scarcity on a global scale, and maps and diagrams of local (to Washington, D.C.) watersheds. It contains several thinking routines that can be used to examine the works as well as guide students to notice complexity. It also contains links to several articles, videos and an interactive game that students can use to conduct research on issues of water scarcity.
Responding to the pollution in cities caused by carbon emissions from vehicles, Graviky Labs founder Anirudh Sharma has developed a device that can be attached to exhaust pipes to capture the tiny particles in exhaust. Once captured, this fine particulate matter can be converted into water-resistant ink, a nearly pure carbon pigment.