Title: Off Base
Grade Level: High school
Source: NOAA

Curriculum Materials



This activity explores the phenomenon of ocean acidification, why it is happening, and what factors into the rate of decrease in oceanic pH. Students will do background research on the subject, and conduct hands-on measurements of changes in pH caused by acetic acid and sodium hydroxide in simulated sea water. The context of this lesson is coral and its health relative to oceanic acidity, but the overall lesson can be applied to New England species that use calcium carbonate, as well as the overall impact of more acidic surroundings on aquatic organisms.


State Framework relevance:

MA: Biology: The Chemistry of Life, Ecology; Chemistry: Properties of Matter, Solutions, Rates of Reaction, and Equilibrium, Acids and Bases.

ME: Science Process Skills: Scientific Inquiry, Understandings of Inquiry; ESS: Earth Systems; Life Science: Ecosystems, Matter and Energy.

RI: LS:Matter Cycles and Energy Flow through Ecosystems.

CT: Science Process Skills: Scientific Inquiry, Scientific Literacy, Scientific Numeracy; Physical Science: Properties of Matter, Science and Technology in Society, Life Science: Ecology.

VT: Scientific Inquiry, Properties of Matter, Interdependence within Ecosystems.

NH: SPS:Making Observations and Asking Questions, Conducting Scientific Investigations, Evaluating Scientific Explanations, Representing and Understanding the Results of Investigations, Nature of Science, Patterns of Change, Common Environmental Issues, Natural Resources Management and Conservation, Information and Media Literacy, Critical Thinking and Systems Thinking; ESS1: Local and Global Environmental Issues; LS: Environment, Change. PS: Conservation.