This unit will focus on the study of fresh water and salt water marine ecosystems, developing the content related to the STEM curriculum. Students will explore the watershed systems of the Long Island Sound and the ways in which these systems interact with the migratory fish of the watershed. Students will research and conduct field studies investigating the health of fresh water and salt water ecosystems within the LIS watershed. Building upon this knowledge, students will examine specific pollutants through observations, water testing, and interviewing local businesses and government agencies. Additionally, students will conduct multiple on site field studies to collect data and make observations about the health of the watershed. Students will focus on the ways dissolved oxygen, salt, nitrogen and debris impact these environments. Using their data, students will look for trends and patterns, analyzing information in order to draw conclusions and make predictions. These experiences will provide opportunities for students to learn content in a meaningful, relevant way, deepening their understanding of the human impact on ecosystems, and transferring conceptual knowledge in a comprehensible, engaging manner.
This interdisciplinary thematic curriculum unit will foster the understanding of the interrelated connections between the land, water, and organisms within the watershed. Students will develop an understanding of the relationship between the land and water within the watershed and their relationship looking outward from the fresh water rivers, estuary, and to the seas. Beginning with the rivers of Connecticut, the Long Island Sound estuary, and finally the open waters of the Atlantic Ocean, students will explore the relationships of these marine environments to the watershed and the ecology through the eyes of migratory fish. This problem based unit will build core knowledge of our global water system, watershed science, and the migratory fish that move through these marine environments as students ask questions, read, write and investigate these topics. With an understanding of these fundamental systems, students will identify real world problems effecting both freshwater and saltwater marine environments and then work in teams to design possible solutions. Through engaging hands on activities, field work, and on site testing, students will develop an understanding of the complexity of these relationships and consequential problems affecting the water systems of our planet.