Do zooplankton and microplastics occur together?

Lesson overview

In this lesson students learn how to apply sampling techniques, using real field data collected by Dr Lewis’s team. The context of this lesson is the voyage the team took to the Gulf of Maine to investigate if zooplankton and microplastics co-occur.

Learning outcomes

  • Describe how to collect data at sea (Foundation)
  • Define and use the key words correctly (Developing)
  • Apply sampling techniques (Competent)
  • Use standard form (Expert)
  • Evaluate sampling techniques (Expert)

Lesson steps

  1. Starter (10 mins)
    Use the slides to set the context and share the learning outcomes.
  2. Sampling (15 mins)
    Using the slides, students consider different sample sizes to understand the trade-off between being representative and time / cost issues, as well as learn how to estimate from a sample.
  3. Collecting data at sea (10 mins)
    Use the video 'Science under sail' to stimulate a discussion about how and why the team worked to collect their data.
  4. Summary assessment worksheet (20 mins)
    Students demonstrate their learning by completing the summary worksheet with the real field data collected by Dr Lewis’ team in the video.
  5. Self-reflection (5 mins)
    Using slides, students consider how alternative ‘teachers’ may have delivered the lesson.

Flip it

Ask students to watch the video 'Science under sail' prior to the lesson and answer the questions on one of the video worksheets.