Goals and Objectives
This thematic, interactive unit explores the New Haven ecosystem including Long Island Sound and its estuaries. The unit presents ecological and public policy concepts, includes hands-on activities for student exploration, and outlines cooperative research projects, through which students enlist the aid of public and private sponsors for environmental service activities. Students will identify contemporary environmental policy issues, investigate ecological and social impacts of decisions, debate these issues, and propose viable service projects, given available resources.
This unit is prepared for students in grades six through nine. Although it is written as part of the New Haven Science curriculum, it may be used by other educators who wish to motivate their students to understand and embrace their own environmental community. The unit emphasizes service learning and is easily incorporated into any social science curriculum. Information regarding state, national, corporate, and non-profit funding and support is provided, which may assist educators as they develop service learning projects for their students.
The unit includes research, analysis, reporting, cooperative problem solving, and science skills via hands-on application. As such, the unit spans the curriculum and provides students with an in-depth application of reading/writing skills. Analytical skills assessed on both the CMT and CAPT are employed and strengthened, and the scientific method of inquiry that is engaged assists students as they prepare for the CAPT. As such, instructors in any subject area will find material in this unit helpful. The application of these skills in a practicable, realistic exercise enlists student interest as they further these skills.
The unit is divided into three sections: (1) a study of oysters and the oyster industry as an introduction to habitats and the effects of pollution; (2) identifying pollutants, our city’s waste, and its impact on the Quinnipiac River Basin and Long Island Sound; and (3) environmental activism through service learning/projects.
(Recommended for Earth Science, Ecology, and Life Science, grades 6-9)