I had approximately 20 students and 10
was an adequate number to cover the beach front. If you have more than 20 students, you may
want to split them up so that they can cover two stretches of beach at the same time.
Select an area of beach - determine its length.
Divide students into two groups.
Start one group at one end of the stretch of beach and the other group at the other end.
Students should space themselves apart so to cover the exposed area of beach front.
The two groups of students should start walking towards each other combing the beach for ALL
types of trash. Document each piece of trash in journal or predesigned classification key.
Students can either stop once they have met in the middle or keep going and retrace the
other group's path picking up any undetected trash (if time allows).
If an actual field trip to the beach
is not a possibility, have students research to discover the various types of debris found on Texas Beaches.
Create a simulation activity with actual bags of debris or a "deck of debris cards."
PROCEDURE:
Choose a partner to work with.
Obtain your materials from your teacher and follow her directions.
Document each piece of trash that you place in the plastic bag.
When you are certain that you have collected all the debris in your path, estimate the weight of the bag(s) and place them at the designated drop-off location.
Total the pieces of trash collected in each category. You will make a bar graph of these results back in the classroom.
Find the sum of all pieces of trash in all categories of each student's data to make a class bar graph.
Calculate the percentage of each category out of the total pieces of trash collected to create a
graphic illustration (circle graph) of the class's discoveries.
OBSERVATIONS:
Use your data to answer questions 1-3.
Rank order the categories according to the class total of each category from the
most to the least.
Which category had the most items? What explanation can you give for this being the largest category?
Which category had the least items? What explanation can you give for this being the smallest category?
Use the resources above to answer questions 4-8.
How do the class's findings compare to the overall results of the
Adopt a Beach Campaign?
How do these types of debris items harm the environment?
Research to determine the various sources of the debris found on Texas Beaches.
What measures have been enforced to correct this problem?
What other proposals can you make to correct the problem of "trash on Texas beaches"?
CONCLUSION:
Follow the LAB WRITE-UP OUTLINE (see conclusion) to create your own environmental statement about marine debris found along the
coast.