Quantifying Marine Debris

Unit 1 of

Students use a sampling protocol to collect, sort and quantify (by number or by weight) marine debris collected from a beach. The 5 Gyres lesson provides data cards for macro and micro marine debris. This activity is available for Grades 4-5, 6-8, and 9-12, within the "Composition and Abundance" unit. 

Oregon Sea Grant at Oregon State University created a comprehensive, web-based, Marine Debris Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math, and Social Studies (STEAMSS) Curriculum with support from the NOAA Marine Debris Program. Marine Debris is a complex, real-world problem which can be addressed through the lenses of several different academic subjects. This curriculum integrates the subject areas of STEAMSS, focusing on experiential hands-on activities for students. The collected teacher-tested resources enable educators to create in-depth, project based learning (PBL) units, work with teaching partners across disciplines, and find classroom and field experiences that will help students explore the issue and impacts of marine debris and engage in stewardship actions. With this curriculum students collect and analyze data, address problems through engineering design, use technology and art to effectively convey stewardship messages, contribute to clean up efforts, and work with community partners. Access the teacher-tested, effective Marine Debris STEAMSS Curriculum here: https://oregoncoaststem.oregonstate.edu/marine-debris-steamss.

Marine Debris Topics:  
• Types and Sources  
• Microplastics  
• Grade 3-5  
• Grade 6-8  
• Grade 9-12  
NGSS Disciplinary Core Ideas:  
• PS1: Matter and Its Interactions  
• ESS3: Earth and Human Activity  
• Math  
• Earth Science  
• Physical Science  
Special Categories:  
• Citizen Science  
• Working with Data  
• Cleanups & Waste Audits  
• Outdoor Activity  
NOAA Regions:   • Pacific Northwest
Last updated Thu, 05/16/2024 - 12:23 pm EDT