Participants in the Great Lakes Marine Debris Collaborative offer links and downloadable educational materials for people of all ages to learn about marine debris. Whether you are a formal educator or just interested in learning more, there are general and region-specific resources available.
Through the Earth Day Bag Project lesson, students partner with local grocery stores to raise awareness about the impact of single-use plastics, like plastic grocery bags, on our Great Lakes and ocean. They also learn solutions to the problem like refusing to single use. After watching and discussing short videos to highlight the problem, students decorate paper grocery bags to explain the impact of single-use plastics and encourage conservation. After the bags are decorated, labels are added to the bag to clarify the campaign. Visit http://bit.ly/EDBPsamplelabels to see sample labels from northeast Michigan. Once decorated and labeled, the grocery bags return to the local grocery store to be given out to customers on Earth Day, 4/22.
This lesson is geared for 3rd - 5th graders and is aligned to the Next Generation Science Standards in Michigan. You can also adapt this lesson to include middle and high school students by having them lead the discussion in elementary classrooms.
To learn more about this effort in northeast Michigan, visit http://bit.ly/NEMIEDBP.
This PowerPoint was developed by Ohio Sea Grant and gives a general overview of marine debris in the Great Lakes with a focus on plastics.
The Marine Debris Monitoring Toolkit for Educators was created through a collaboration between the NOAA Marine Debris Program (MDP) and the Office of National Marine Sanctuaries. This toolkit provides many useful marine debris resources and adapts the MDP's Marine Debris Monitoring and Assessment Project, a robust citizen science monitoring initiative, for classroom use. The Toolkit is designed to assist teachers in educating their students about marine debris and involving them in marine debris research and outreach. Using the Toolkit, students conduct marine debris surveys, which can help to provide valuable information on where, when, and what kind of debris is showing up. Students can enter their data into a national database, analyze monitoring results, and become involved in marine debris stewardship within their communities. You can find the toolkit below, or on the NOAA Marine Debris Program website here.
Lesson for formal or informal educators where learners build an interactive concept map around beach litter causes and effects
In this teacher-facilitated activity, learners will construct the five Great Lakes from string and use wrapped candy or peanuts in shells to investigate the impacts of population centers on Great Lakes fish production and water quality.
Tips to share to address marine debris in the Great Lakes. The tip card is also available at: http://partnersforcleanstreams.org/images/pdf/Factsheets/MarineDebrisTipCardFinal.pdf
Activites and curricula for all ages and audiences are available at the NOAA Marine Debris Program's website. These resources focus on STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) standards and were developed or funded by the NOAA Marine Debris Program. Both formal and informal educational resources are available.