- Informal educators
- Take action
- Meeting the standards
- Related curriculum
- Partners & acknowledgments
All lessons are available as free, downloadable and handicap-accessible .pdfs.
Menace to the West Lessons
Topics in STEAM
|Lessons that address: What is an aquatic invasive species (AIS)?|
||In Design the Ultimate Invader, students use their imagination to design the ultimate invasive species. This activity is a perfect way to launch a unit on invaders, and can serve as an assessment tool to help us learn the knowledge of our learners towards invasive species and invasion biology.||All||Biology, Ecology, Art, Communication
|BioBlitz||Students conduct a “Bioblitz” by quickly rotating through stations and answering the BioBlitz questions. Then, students are assigned one invader to research more thoroughly.||4-12||Biology, Ecology, Information Synthesis|
|How are AIS introduced?|
|Where in the World||Students practice geographical skills to map the routes of invasive species from their native habitat to some of the regions to which the exotics have spread.||4-8||Geography|
|Mitten Crab Roulette||
Students roll dice to calculate the probability of an invasion of mitten crabs through the ballast water pathway.
|Why are AIS so successful?|
How big can a nutria population get? In this activity students calculate and graph the growth rate of a population of nutria based on a set of realistic assumptions.
|4-8||Models, Math, Exponential Population Growth|
This more advanced version of Myocastor Multiplier asks student to take into account predation when calculating population growth rate.
|8-12||Models, Math, Exponential Population Growth|
|How are AIS spread?|
|Hazardous Pathways to the Columbia Gorge||
Students sharpen analytical, logic and problem solving tools by thinking critically about how human activities spread invasive species and how to control them.
|8-12||Risk Analysis, Critical Thinking|
|How Long Can Zebra Mussels Live Out of Water? A math model!||
Students use an online quarantine estimator to determine how long zebra mussels can survive out of water. By varying the settings, such as location in country and month of the year, students can observe how the time needed to dry a boat is related to the time of year and the local climate (humidity and temperature).
|8-12||Climate, Biology, Models, Geography|
What are the impacts of AIS?
|Food Web Invaders||
Discover how a food web works by making a live model, using the people in your class. Then explore how an invasive species disrupts that balance.
|Physics of Phlying Phish||
This lesson uses the image of a jumping Asian carp to use the physics of ballistics to calculate the speed at which a jumping carp will hit the water (or you! OUCH!)
|On the Trail of a Snail||
Students pretend to be “invasion investigators” and investigate the appearance of a mysterious new snail in their local creek. Students research the identity and ecology of this new mysterious snail, and design experiments to understand its effect on the environment.
|8-12||Ecology, Scientific Inquiry|
|PLOP! The Invasion Begins||
Students play a fun board game to learn about impacts and prevention of the invasive bullfrog.
|Taking action on AIS|
|Control that Alien Mobile||Students use engineering and art skills to create a balanced mobile that shows the impacts and controls of invasive species.||3-6||Engineering, Art|
|Stewardship Tag Game||Students learn the value of stewardship in stopping the spread of invasive species in this active game similar to “freeze tag”.||3-8||Stewardship, Early detection and rapid response|
|Watershed Warriors||The lesson guides teachers and students through the beginning steps in needs assessment and planning a community stewardship project with a local partner.||8-12||Social Science, Research|
|How to Manage Killer Plants||Students conduct experiments to discover the best way to control the seaweed Caulerpa or Brazilian elodea. Students will understand design and execution of experiments and be able to explain their results.||8-12||Inquiry, Experimental Design, Graphing, Data Analysis|
|Putting it all together: Cumulative lessons|
|Loteria Game||In this fun activity, students guess answers to clues about invasive species on a bingo-like game-board, which serves as a great introduction for students and teachers alike.||3-12||Biology, Ecology|
|Most Unwanted||Select an “Invader” species found in the Pacific Northwest. Research, design, publish and present a high quality informative Not Wanted poster/product.||6-12||Art, Media Design, Biology, Ecology, Team Work|
|School survey on live plants and animals in the classroom||Students design and conduct a school survey on knowledge of invasive species and live plants and animals in the classroom.||6-12||Survey Design, Data Collection, Data Analysis, Graphing, Presentation|
|Stone Soup© Comic Art||Students will develop and apply reading, language arts and science processes to analyze comics, and demonstrate writing skills in creating their own comic about a local invasive species.||4-12||Biology, Ecology, Art, Storyboarding|