Plants versus Pollutants Model Eliciting Activity:
The Plants versus Pollutants MEA provides students with an open-ended problem in which they must work as a team to design a procedure to select the best plants to clean up certain toxins. This MEA requires students to formulate a phytoremediation-based solution to a problem involving cleaning of a contaminated land site. Students are provided the context of the problem, a request letter from a client asking them to provide a recommendation, and data relevant to the situation. Students utilize the data to create a defensible model solution to present to the client.
Model Eliciting Activities, MEAs, are open-ended, interdisciplinary problem-solving activities that are meant to reveal students’ thinking about the concepts embedded in realistic situations. Click here to learn more about MEAs and how they can transform your classroom.
Preserving Our Marine Ecosystems:
The focus of this MEA is oil spills and their effect on the environment. In this activity, students from a fictitious class are studying about the effects of an oil spill on marine ecosystems and have performed an experiment in which they were asked to try to rid a teaspoon of corn oil from a baking pan filled with two liters of water as thoroughly as possible in a limited timeframe and with limited resources. By examining, analyzing, and evaluating experimental data related to resource usage, disposal, and labor costs, students must face the tradeoffs that are involved in trying to preserve an ecosystem when time, money, and resources are limited.