Comprehensive Science-Level 3

      The Comprehensive Science Level 3 Program  focuses on sustainability and underwater exploration.  Students will learn about the business of recycling and how man is struggling to process the tons of plastic waste that is being dumped into the ocean each day.  We will also learn about aquaculture and how technology is helping man to meet the growing needs for greater seafood production that is both healthy and sustainable.  Finally, students will learn about the history of underwater exploration and engage in building ROV's in the classroom.

     Below you will find an assortment of featured articles, videos and activities that complement the Comprehensive Science Program for Grade 7.  Follow the links to learn more.

 Introduction to Light (Khan Academy)(9.36 min)
     This YouTube video provides an excellent introduction into the behavior and chemistry of light.  The video describes light in terms of both a wave and a stream of particles while reinforcing such terms as wavelength, velocity, frequency and more.  
 Refraction, Reflection and Absorption (Bozeman Science)(4.54 min)
     This YouTube video provides an excellent explanation on why light is refracted, reflected or absorbed by a medium.  The video helps explain why we can see colors and why light bends when it passes through a medium with a different density.  An enlightening reinforcement of light energy.    
 A Plastic Ocean (NETFLIX)
     In the center of the Pacific Ocean gyre our researchers found more plastic than plankton. A Plastic Ocean documents the newest science, proving how plastics, once they enter the oceans, break up into small particulates that enter the food chain where they attract toxins like a magnet. These toxins are stored in seafood’s fatty tissues, and are eventually consumed by us.  If it was happening in one gyre, they suspected it was happening in all of them. But the filmmakers needed experts to prove it.

     This movie was released in 2016 and it tells a very frightening depiction of how our fascination with disposable plastic is literally poisoning our oceans and its food chain.  This is a video that you cannot ignore.
 The Roswell Incident
     In the early morning of  July 7th 1947, a farmer in Rosewell New Mexico made a discovery that would soon rock the entire world- the discovery of the wreckage from a UFO.  For years, this story has been shrouded in mystery and controversay with many explanations being offered as to whether or not Earth was visited by extra terrestrials.  The government's response was to immediately offer a simple explanation that a weather balloon had crashed on farmer Brazel's property and that there was no cause for alarm.  But is this really the truth?  Is there wreckage from an alien spacecraft hidden in Area 51?  Watch the video to learn more.  The results might surprise you.
 Why Does Light Bend When it Enters Glass?  ( min)
     This question is often raised in Middle School Physical Science classes but unfortunately there are several explanations given that are simply incorrect.  We know that light will refract when passing from air into another medium, in this case glass, but we dont know why this happens.  This video provides the correct explanation while explaining why three of the most popular theories are simply incorrect.  
 Deep Sea Aquaculture/ Feeding the World in 2050 (
     Many of us dont realize that ninety percent (90%) of all shellfish consumed in the United States is actually farm raised.  As more and more of the ocean fisheries are being depleted by overfishing and population growth, man is looking for new ways to increase fish and shellfish production.  Aquaculture is one of the best options for the future.  At present, it represents a thirteen billion dollar industry and is growing in size each year.    But fish farming is not without its risks by virtue of contamination, overfeeding and parasites to name but a few.  In this segment we learn more about two new aquaculture technologies for the future.
Part One: Mussel and Kelp Farming
Part Two: The Future of Seafood
National Geographic Special- Tilapia Farming

What is the difference between kelp, algae and seaweed?
 Symbiotic Relationships (
     The ocean realm is filled with organisms living together and interacting with their physical environment.  Symbiosis is all about relationships and how different creatures live in harmony, or compete with each other.  This short video features the three most common symbiotic relationships and use a variety of marine creatures to highlight how these relationships work.  There is a lot of information packed inside this ten minute video so students should pay close attention and take careful notes.  "Symbiosis in the Sea with Jonathan Bird".
 The Physics of Battle (Physics)
     Catapult physics is basically the use of stored energy to hurl a projectile (the payload), without the use of an explosive. The three primary energy storage mechanisms are tension, torsion, and gravity. The catapult has proven to be a very effective weapon during ancient times, capable of inflicting great damage. The main types of catapults used were the trebuchet, mangonel, onager, and ballista. These types of catapults will be described, and pictures and illustrations will be included
 Fossil Blunders: The Case of Mistaken Identity (Paleoworld) (YouTube)
     A study of marine life would not be complete without first taking a closer look at how life began some 500 million years.  One of the most fascinating periods in the fossil record depicts giant creatures the size of school buses roaming the vast oceans looking for prey.  But man has often struggled with his understanding of how prehistoric life evolved and many of his early attempts at identifying early dinosaurs were often met with gross errors and mistaken identity.  Without sophisticated tools, limited resources and questionable motives, early fossil hunters were often driven by a lust for fame and glory sometimes resulting in catastrophe.  This first installment of the Paleoworld Series describes early fossil hunters and some of the mistakes that were made.
 First Life with David Attenborough/ ORIGINS (PBS) (YouTube) 58 min.
     One of the most fascinating periods in prehistoric life is also one of the least understood.  Almost 500 million years ago, there was an explosion of life with almost 10,000 new lifeforms suddenly emerging.  Every type of animal body plan from arthropods to molluscs suddently appeared during this evolutionary explosion.  First Life (BBC) with David Attenborough reveals one of the most detailed studies of the very first life forms to emerge on this planet.  This video is rich with amazing imagery and some of the latest discoveries surrounding the emergence of the very first living creatures. However, some of the material may not be suitable for middle school students but go to 42:42 to begin the Cambrian Period.  ORIGINS (PBS) narrated by Neil DeGrasse Tyson offers an equally  excellent depiction of how life began and how early Earth was formed.
 Attenborough and the Sea Dragon (PBS-2018) 53 min.
     A remarkable 200-million-year-old fossil - the bones of an ichthyosaur, a giant sea dragon - has been discovered on the Jurassic coast of Britain. David Attenborough joins the hunt to bring this ancient creature's story to life. Using state-of-the-art imaging technology and CGI, the team reconstruct the skeleton and create the most detailed animation of an ichthyosaur ever made. Along the way, the team stumble into a 200-million-year-old murder mystery - and only painstaking forensic investigation can unravel the story of this extraordinary creature's fate.
 China's Toxic River (60 Minutes) 13 min.
     Our society is based on the idea that "newer is better" and "out with the old" when it comes to smart phones, digital video and computer hardware.  We are always upgrading to something newer and better.  But what happens to the computer monitor, VCR or mother board that gets thrown in the recycle bin?  Watch this video special from 60 Minutes and discover that our thirst for technology is creating some very toxic and potentially deadly problems.
 Coral Reef Research Presentation (Power Point)
     A coral reef is a structure made by millions of tiny creatures called "polyps".  These small carnivorous organisms are invertebrates and spend much of their time filtering food particles from the ocean current.  Coral polyps do not have backbones and are related to jellyfish and sea anemones.     These are unique ecosystems that form large communities featuring a variety of marine organisms and plant life living together.  This project will take 5-7 days to complete depending on how proficient students are with using Power Point.  
 Raising the Hunley (
      On February 17th, 1864, the H. L. Hunley became the first successful combat submarine in world history with the sinking of the USS Housatonic. After completing her mission, she mysteriously vanished and remained lost at sea for over a century. For decades, adventurers searched for the legendary submarine.  Over a century later, the National Underwater and Marine Agency (NUMA), led by New York Times-bestselling author Clive Cussler, finally found the Hunley in 1995. News of the discovery traveled quickly around the world. A ground breaking effort began to retrieve the fragile submarine from the sea.
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