Preserving Our Marine Ecosystems Letter 1

Preserving Our Marine Ecosystems Letter 1
Dear students,
I really need your help! I recently had my marine biology students complete a lab activity in
which they worked in groups to clean up simulated oil spills generated by a teaspoon of corn oil
in a baking pan filled with two liters of water. I provided them with various materials that they
were permitted to use and a list of associated usage and disposal costs for each of them. I
allowed them to work in groups of up to four but required them to assess a labor cost for each
participating group member. I offered extra credit to the group that did the best clean-up job
in the shortest time with the lowest cost. I explained to them that any leftover oil residue
would damage the marine ecosystem and that the sooner they cleaned up the spill, the fewer
the number of organisms that would die. However, I did remind them that they were
potentially utilizing taxpayer dollars to complete the clean-up and that funds were limited. Due
to these parameters that I had established, I could not determine a clear cut winner. As a
result, I desperately need your assistance.
Please examine the data tables my students have submitted to me and rank the groups
based upon the parameters I set forth. Please submit your rankings to me in writing and kindly
provide me with your rationale as well so that I may explain to the students how the rankings
were determined.
Thank you in advance for your help in this matter.
Ty D. Up
Marine Biology instructor
Ocean View High School