Available as a Google Doc here.**
Time: 90 minutes
Materials: #Babylegs #Microplastics Trawls, glass sample collection jars with lids (1 per student group), iPad, Tablet or phone with internet/cell access and the NOAA Marine Debris Tracker App, disposable gloves for students, bags for collecting marine debris, pens & notebooks, buckets, broomsticks, timer (phone works) set for 10 minute intervals
- Babylegs in the Classroom from @maxliboiron
- Establishing a platform for policy-relevant research, Water Quality, Community Science
Guiding Question: What is marine plastic pollution like in our area?
Objective: Survey plastic pollution along the Mississippi River, trawl for microplastics and collect data on plastic pollution for analysis.
Preparation Prior to Lesson
Split students into 3 teams: Babylegs Aquatic Trawl, Marine Debris Tracker (Macroplastics survey), Shoreline Microplastic Survey.
Download Marine Debris Tracker App for student use on either an iPad or mobile phone. These devices will need to have service at your survey location.
Optional: Print copies of student field instructions:
Time: 25 minutes
Review the Guiding Question & objective for today's lesson with students. Have students discuss the following question:
- How do we measure microplastic in the environment?
Have students review their tool builds and read corresponding instructions.
-Printable Plastic Pollution Journal from National Geographic
Time: 60 minutes
[On Fieldtrip] Trawling and Surveying for Plastic Pollution
After travelling to the shoreline, students should split into their respective groups, and follow the protocols to collect data on local macro- and microplastic pollution.
Time: 10 minutes
[In Classroom] Sharing Experiences
Invite students to reflect on what they say either back in the classroom or while travelling. Were they surprised at any of the findings? Did they have any difficulties with the tools? What might they do differently next time?