Teaching Resources

Teaching environmental issues in your classroom is a critical component of providing your students a Meaningful Watershed Educational Experience. Discover a wealth Chesapeake Bay related books, multimedia, curriculum guides, individual lesson plans and online data sources.

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Resources > Science   > High School   > Data  
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Chlorophyll A Database

This NOAA website contains maps of chlorophyll a levels in the Bay for each month from 2005-2008.

Subject(s): Science, Technology
Type(s): Data
Level(s): High School
Keywords: water quality, water testing

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Chesapeake Exploration

NOAA’s Chesapeake Exploration is a new and innovative collection of online activities for middle and high school students that brings the science of the Chesapeake Bay to life. Chesapeake Exploration gives teachers and their students unprecedented access to lessons designed around real-time observational data from the Chesapeake Bay Interpretive Buoy System. Inside a virtual classroom, Chesapeake Exploration guides students through an engaging investigative process that explores natural and human systems and cycles and the ways in which they interact throughout the Bay and its watershed. Teachers can create a unique online environment for their classrooms, including locking parameters such as date/time so all students use the same data sets and storing student answers online for easy grading. Using Chesapeake Exploration, students can (1) Query observational platforms throughout the Bay from their classroom or home; (2)Use National Geographic's Fieldscope to investigate the natural and human systems in the Bay's watershed and answer geospatial questions; and (3) Populate "dynamic worksheets" that ask them to think through scientific principles related to water quality and weather phenomena using current observation data.

Subject(s): Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, Technology
Type(s): Lessons and Activities, Data, Posters and Maps
Level(s): Middle School, High School
Keywords: weather, watershed, stormwater, habitat and niche, water quality, water testing, salinity, fish, Geography, Temperature

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Chesapeake Bay Interpretive Buoy System (CBIBS) - Investigations

Scientists measure Bay water temperatures, turbidity (clearness of the water), and other "indicators" to monitor the health of the Chesapeake Bay. "Indicators" give us information about the quality of Bay waters. If you have ever wondered how muddy waters impact underwater plants in the Chesapeake, or how steamy summer temperatures affect water quality, explore the interactive investigations provided on this NOAA website. These short activities use real-time and stored data from the CBIBS to help you answer these and other water quality questions.

Subject(s): Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, Technology
Type(s): Multimedia, Data
Level(s): Elementary School, Middle School, High School
Keywords: weather, water quality

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Calculating Your Carbon Footprint

In this activity, students will calculate their household’s carbon footprint using the US EPA’s Personal Emissions Calculator and will compare the size of their carbon footprint with that of another classmate. In addition, students will be asked to consider the limitations of this online carbon emissions calculator.

Subject(s): Science, Social Studies
Type(s): Lessons and Activities, Data
Level(s): High School
Keywords: climate change, water and energy conservation

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Catch A Wave Curriculum Guide

Catch A Wave uses online real time data to guide student discovery of the causes and effects of ocean waves and tides. The Earth's oceans are in constant motion and through this project, students will discover the causes and effects of the movement of the water on the shoreline and humans. Students will use real time and archived data from the internet and monitor water height all over the country. Students are challenged to think critically and creatively about the effects of ocean waves and tides.

Subject(s): Science
Type(s): Curriculum Guide, Data
Level(s): Middle School, High School
Keywords: water quality, water testing

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Eyes on the Bay Curriculum

These resources and lesson plans were developed to support science and environmental studies educators in integrating these topics within the regular curriculum when studying Maryland's Chesapeake Bay and Coastal Bays. The goal is to integrate student learning of science concepts with the use of technology and current scientific data. In this lesson series, the Eyes on the Bay website is used to gather information and interpret data. Each lesson can be used individually or as a complete package to teach water quality concepts. Educators may adapt any of the lessons to meet their specific needs. Lessons focus on salinity, dissolved oxygen, and harmful algal blooms and are aligned to Maryland Voluntary State Curriculum (Grades 6-8 & Grades 9-12).

Subject(s): Science
Type(s): Curriculum Guide, Data
Level(s): Middle School, High School
Aligned with the following standard(s): Maryland
Keywords: experiments and investigations, water quality, water testing, salinity, fish, dissolved oxygen, Geography, Temperature, Nutrients and Eutorphication

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NOAA Estuaries 101 Curriculum - Earth Science Module 3: Estuary & the Watershed

In this activity, students investigate the nature of watersheds and their relationship to the dynamic changes that occur in estuaries due to drainage and runoff. Students begin by examining the San Francisco Bay Estuarine Research Reserve and tracing the extent of the watershed using Google Earth. Then they identify possible sources of pollution and contamination along the major rivers that feed into the bay. Students also examine water quality data in the San Pablo region of the estuary and identify changes that occur due to a storm event. This activity has 4 parts: (1) Exploring the San Francisco Watershed; (2) What’s Upstream Comes Downstream; (3) Water Quality at the Mouth of a Watershed; and (4) Optional Extension: Mapping Your Local Watershed

Subject(s): Science, Technology
Type(s): Lessons and Activities, Data, Posters and Maps
Level(s): High School
Keywords: pollution, watershed, stormwater, water quality

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NOAA Estuaries 101 Curriculum - Physical Science Module 1: Chemistry in an Estuary

In this activity, students (grades 9-12)investigate water quality parameters to study the nature of, and the cyclical changes inherent in, the chemistry of estuarine water. Students study key water quality factors at several stations in a single reserve over time — current, daily, and yearly time scales. Students also compare water quality values over a yearly time scale in three different estuaries within NOAA’s National Estuarine Research Reserve System (NERR) —South Slough NERR, Oregon; Delaware NERR; and Old Woman Creek NERR, Ohio. Then students take water quality measurements at a site near them and compare their data to the water in the three geographically diverse NERR estuarine environments.

Subject(s): Science
Type(s): Curriculum Guide, Lessons and Activities, Data
Level(s): High School
Aligned with the following standard(s): National Science Education
Keywords: watershed, water quality, water testing, salinity, dissolved oxygen

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Chesapeake Bay FieldScope Activity: Investigating Nutrient and Sediment Pollution

Students investigate the sources of nutrient and sediment pollution in a sub-watershed of the Chesapeake Bay. Students will be able to identify the sources of nutrient and sediment pollution in a watershed, read pie charts and relate them to geographic areas on a map, and consider the effects of different land uses on the watershed and estuary ecosystem

Subject(s): Science, Technology
Type(s): Lessons and Activities, Multimedia, Data, Posters and Maps
Level(s): Middle School, High School
Keywords: nitrogen and carbon cycle, pollution, watershed, sediment, soil and rocks, water quality, Nutrients and Eutorphication

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Chesapeake Bay FieldScope Activity: Dissolved Oxygen in the Chesapeake Bay

Students analyze how dissolved oxygen conditions change in the Chesapeake Bay over the course of the year and learn about the danger of low dissolved oxygen conditions to underwater habitats. Students will be able to understand how dissolved oxygen levels change throughout the Chesapeake Bay over the course of a year and identify factors and inputs affecting dissolved oxygen levels in the Chesapeake Bay.

Subject(s): Science, Technology
Type(s): Lessons and Activities, Multimedia, Data
Level(s): Middle School, High School
Keywords: watershed, water quality, dissolved oxygen

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Chesapeake Bay FieldScope Activity: Changing Turbidity

Students explore the effects of turbidity on Chesapeake Bay ecosystems and learn about the driving forces behind high turbidity levels in Chesapeake Bay estuary waters. Students will be able to understand how turbidity varies by location, understand how turbidity changes over time, analyze graphs to understand the conditions affecting turbidity levels recorded at buoy monitoring stations throughout the Chesapeake Bay, and analyze student-input data on turbidity and compare the data to buoy monitoring data from NOAA

Subject(s): Science, Technology
Type(s): Lessons and Activities, Multimedia, Data
Level(s): Middle School, High School
Keywords: watershed, sediment, soil and rocks, water quality

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Chesapeake Bay FieldScope Activity: Salinity in the Estuary

Students explore the varying salinity of the Chesapeake Bay estuary by manipulating and analyzing real-time and student-input data in the Chesapeake Bay FieldScope tool. Students will be able to read and interpret graphs in order to understand how salinity levels change throughout an estuary and predict salinity levels in an estuary based on relative location to fresh or saline water input sources.

Subject(s): Science
Type(s): Lessons and Activities, Multimedia, Data
Level(s): Middle School, High School
Keywords: watershed, stream study, water quality, water testing, salinity

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Chesapeake Bay FieldScope Activity: Changing Temperatures in the Estuary

Students consider how water temperature changes with different parameters by examining factors such as time, depth, and location in the estuary. Students compare their data to data from professional monitoring systems.

Subject(s): Science, Technology
Type(s): Lessons and Activities, Multimedia, Data, Posters and Maps
Level(s): Middle School, High School
Keywords: watershed, stream study, water quality, water testing, Temperature

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Chesapeake Bay FieldScope Activity: Sharing Data in FieldScope

After participating in field study, students will return to the classroom and assess the collected data to produce the highest quality dataset. The class will then use the National Geographic FieldScope tool to upload the data in order to share their findings with the citizen science community.

Subject(s): Science, Social Studies, Technology
Type(s): Lessons and Activities, Multimedia, Data, Posters and Maps
Level(s): Middle School, High School
Keywords: stream study, water quality, water testing, student action

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Chesapeake Bay FieldScope Activity: Collecting Data in the Field

Students measure water quality and document local conditions in the field in order to focus on parameters that can illustrate something about the health or degradation of a waterway. Students will be able to record water quality data for later analysis, take notes and other observational data on conditions in the ecosystem and reflect on local and regional environmental factors and how they might be affecting water quality and the Chesapeake Bay ecosystem

Subject(s): Science, Social Studies, Technology
Type(s): Lessons and Activities, Data
Level(s): Middle School, High School
Keywords: stream study, water quality, water testing, student action

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Chesapeake Bay FieldScope Activity: Preparing for Field Investigation

Students consider what it means to be citizen scientists, learn how notes and photographs can enhance a field investigation, and review techniques for choosing and recording sampling locations.

Subject(s): Science, Social Studies, Technology
Type(s): Lessons and Activities, Multimedia, Data
Level(s): Middle School, High School
Keywords: stream study, water quality, water testing, student action

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Leaf Pack Network Database

Student collected data from leaf pack experiments that assess stream health by using aquatic insects as their indicator species. Data is available for the Susquehanna, James and Patapsco Rivers.

Subject(s): Science, Technology
Type(s): Lessons and Activities, Data
Level(s): Elementary School, Middle School, High School
Keywords: stream study, water testing, wildlife

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Chesapeake Bay FieldScope Website

Explore National Geographic's interactive online map of the Chesapeake Bay. Learn about land use by exploring real-time data and interactive map layers. Your class can also conduct stream studies and enter their data online to use some cool analysis tools, and to share data with other schools.

Subject(s): Science, Social Studies, Technology
Type(s): Multimedia, Data
Level(s): Middle School, High School
Keywords: pollution, population growth, wetland, land use, watershed, agriculture, development, ecosystem and biomes, forest, water quality, water testing

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EPA - Household Emissions Calculator

You can use the following online calculator with your students to get a rough “ballpark” estimate of their personal or family’s greenhouse gas emissions, and explore the impact of taking various actions to reduce emissions. The calculator is broken into three sections: Section 1: Estimate your current total household emissions. Section 2: Explore actions you can take to reduce your greenhouse gas emissions, energy use, and waste disposal costs. Section 3: See how much you can save (in dollars and emissions) by taking the actions you chose in Section 2.

Subject(s): Science
Type(s): Data
Level(s): High School
Keywords: nitrogen and carbon cycle, climate change

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Benthic Macroinvertebrate Portal

Learn about macroinvertebrates and their stream habitats with these interactive, online activities. This is a great multimedia tool for teachers who cannot get their class to a stream to learn about using macroinvertebrates as an indicator species.

Subject(s): Science
Type(s): Multimedia, Data
Level(s): Elementary School, Middle School, High School
Keywords: habitat and niche, stream study, water quality, water testing

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NOAA Caution, Fix It!: Habitat Restoration Lesson

How can resource managers and concerned public groups repair coastal resources damaged by human activity or natural events? After completing this lesson, students will be able to give at least three examples of natural events and human activities that injure coastal resources, describe at least three cases in which injured coastal resources have been restored by human activity, and describe at least three ways that people have been able to contribute to coastal resource restoration.

Subject(s): Science, Social Studies
Type(s): Curriculum Guide, Lessons and Activities, Multimedia, Data
Level(s): High School
Aligned with the following standard(s): National Science Education
Keywords: restoration

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NOAA Do You Have Change?: Coastal Change Analysis Lesson

In this lesson students will learn how scientists can monitor changes in the ways land is used in coastal areas. During the lesson, students will explain how satellite imagery can be used to monitor land use change, construct a change table to summarize land cover information, and use a change table to make inferences about land use changes in a coastal region.

Subject(s): Science, Social Studies
Type(s): Curriculum Guide, Lessons and Activities, Data
Level(s): High School
Aligned with the following standard(s): National Science Education
Keywords: population growth, land use, development

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NOAA Who Moved The Beach: Shoreline Erosion

In this lesson students will learn the primary causes and impacts of coastal erosion, and how should human communities respond to this process. In this lesson students will identify coastal erosion as a natural process, explain how human activity can increase the risks associated with coastal erosion, and identify options for reducing risks caused by coastal erosion, and discuss the advantages and problems associated with these options. Students will also analyze and interpret beach elevation data, and make inferences from these data about the relative vulnerability of different beaches to coastal erosion.

Subject(s): Science
Type(s): Curriculum Guide, Lessons and Activities, Data
Level(s): High School
Aligned with the following standard(s): National Science Education
Keywords: land use, development, erosion, sediment, soil and rocks, tides

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NOAA Motion in the Ocean Lesson: Ocean Currents and Waves

In this lesson, students will identify the primary causes for ocean currents and wave, explain how and why ocean currents vary with increasing latitude, explain the cause of the Coriolis effect, and how this effect influences ocean currents, and calculate the magnitude of ocean currents, given data from drifter studies. This lesson can be completed in one 45-minute class period, plus time for student research

Subject(s): Mathematics, Science
Type(s): Curriculum Guide, Lessons and Activities, Data
Level(s): High School
Aligned with the following standard(s): National Science Education
Keywords: water cycle and movement

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SERC Blue Crab Online Resource

This online resource contains a great deal of information on the blue crab. Learn about blue crab anatomy, food web, life cycle, migration, molting, mating, and blue crab research at SERC. Education resources on this site include a pdf handout and a collection of blue crab data collected during the 1998 trawling season that can be plotted and explored in your classroom.

Subject(s): Science
Type(s): Lessons and Activities, Data
Level(s): Middle School, High School
Keywords: food web, blue crab, wildlife

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