|| by Burt
Soo Boo Tan
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How does water pollution affect the life of aquatic organisms? Inquiry problems posed to students under this theme may include topics in stream ecology, animal motion and behavior, pollution of water, and properties of water. This site showcases a sample student inquiry activity using water striders (family Gerridae ) which live and move on the surface of slow moving waters using the surface tension. The activity investigates the effect of pollutants (in this case detergents) on the water striderís ability to stand on the water.
Key Words: Detergents, Locomotion, Riverine Ecosystems,
Serial Dilutions, Stream Ecology, Stream Ecosystems, Surface Tension, Water
Pollution, Water Properties, Water Striders
Introducing the Inquiry Activity:
It is recommended that the teacher introduce the activity by first setting the stage for inquiry. This may be done by:
Required Student Prior Knowledge:
Students will present their data appropriately in the form of graphs.
Students will report their investigation, results and conclusions in the form of a written lab report.
Students will present the results of their investigation to the class.
In this topic, the general problem posed concerns the effects of water pollution on aquatic life. Under this general topic, many specific subtopics and questions may be developed for investigations and inquiry-type activities. Pollution in water may range from thermal to chemical; aquatic organisms may be freshwater, estuarine or marine, and there are limitless types of organisms to investigate. Effects of pollution may be any form of measurable or observable responses: behavioral, physiological or ecological.
The sample student lab presented here simply illustrates an instance of how students may select a specific question under a general theme and conduct an inquiry based investigation.
References for the broad theme of pollution in aquatic organisms include but are not limited to:
Earth Systems: The Virtual Library - Environment (Hydrosphere) http://earthsystems.org/hyd.html
Environmental Education Link on the Internet. http://eelink.net
People for the Ethical treatment of Animals.
(a link to ethical treatment