Fish Kills in the Hood Canal

Developed by Sara Brostrom, Angie Boysen, Adam Kowalski, and Robin McLachlan, all students in the College of the Environment at the University of Washington, in conjunction with Jane Addams Middle School, with support from the IGERT Program on Ocean Change.

This module invites students to investigate the phenomena of fish kills in Hood Canal in Puget Sound. It integrates ideas from biology, chemistry, and physics in a marine context and has students build a conceptual model of why fish kills occur. The curriculum is written to take five 50-minute class periods. The lessons are designed so that some can be dropped if needed due to time or resource limitations. The lessons involve power point presentations, worksheets, videos, readings, hands-on lab activities, and computer lab activities. All worksheets, presentations, and documents are included. This curriculum is written to meet Next Generation Science Standards MS-LS1-6, MS-LS2-1, MS-LS2-3, and MS-LS2-4.

Lesson 1. Video and introduction to the phenomena of fish kills in the Hood Canal. Create initial models, create evidence tracker.

Lesson 2. Lab that involves three hands on activities about photosynthesis, respiration, and circulation. These activities require various materials and preparation outlined in the packet on page 17. It is possible to leave this lesson out or only do some activities if time or materials aren’t available.

Lesson 3. A computer lab that uses a website for guided data exploration about oxygen in Puget Sound. It is best if all students can have their own computer, but it is possible for students to partner or share.

Lesson 4. Also a computer lab that introduces student to the coding language R and allows them to do data exploration through that interface. Again, it is best if all students can have their own computer, but it is possible for students to partner or share. Knowledge of R is not critical in order to teach this lesson, but if teachers are uncomfortable, this lesson could be excluded. Computers will need to be able to download R from the internet.

Lesson 5. The grand finale! A synthesis that uses an evidence trackers and claim, evidence, reasoning worksheets to create conceptual models about the fish kills. There are video and news articles as resources for this synthesis.

All the lessons and worksheets are found here.

Powerpoint presentations associated with the lessons above can be found here:

R coding resources for lesson 4 are here:

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