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Menace to the West Lessons




Topics in STEAM

Lessons that address: What is an aquatic invasive species (AIS)?

Design the Ultimate Invader


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 toward 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
Why are AIS so successful?
Myocaster Multiplier

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
Master Myocaster

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.

4-6 Ecology, Biology
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!)

10-12 Physics, Ballistics
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.

4-12 Biology, Ecology
Taking action on AIS
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