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The Aquatic Invasions! Menace to the West Curriculum focuses on the global issue of aquatic invasive species. Aquatic invasive species and evidence of their effects are in your students' back yard and offer a hands-on opportunity to study a local issue with global implications. The dynamics of invasion, and mechanisms of impact are also the basis for effective strategies in teaching STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) through local case studies and opportunities for student inquiry.

The goal of Aquatic Invasions! Menace to the West Curriculum is to provide teachers with classroom and field based resources to encourage integrating the fascinating, relevant, and engaging topic of aquatic invasive species into your classroom to teach STEAM (Science Technology, Engineering, ART and Math). The lessons were designed to appeal to many different learning levels and settings, and it is likely you will find a resource, lesson, or idea that can help you reach benchmarks by means of a very relevant and interesting topic: aquatic invasive species. 

How Aquatic Invasions! A Menace to the West is organized: 

  • The Introduction provides a brief overview of Aquatic Invasive Species and includes a video and powerpoint that serves as excellent background preparation for teaching about aquatic invasive species.

  • Lesson plans are a detailed set of instructions that are designed to guide the teacher and students through a lesson. They include an introduction and background, recommended grade level, time needed, materials needed, step-by-step instructions, vocabulary and assessments. Lessons plans were written to be easily incorporated into standard science curriculum and are aligned to the Common Core and Next Generation Science Standards. 

  • The Species Guides are designed to provide detailed background information on the history, pathways, effects and solutions for the 11 selected species featured in this curriculum.  Each species guide contains: 

    • Species-at-a-Glance - a summary page for a quick at-your-fingertips overview, and

    • Species-in-Depth - comprehensive information allowing teachers to quickly become experts on a particular species.

  • Teacher Guide to Species Specific Activities includes suggestions for lessons and activities you can do that relate specifically to that species. These guides are part of the Species Pages. 

  • The Glossary includes terms related to biology, ecology and other sciences in addition to invasive species vocabulary.

  • Specimens and additional materials related to invasive species can be checked out from Sea Grant programs in Oregon, Washington and California as part of the full toolkit. 

  • Feedback Surveys are included to solicit feedback and suggestions from teachers as well and gauge learning and outcomes from using the material.  Please share your feedback by clicking here.