Subject Time Grade platform
Marine Invertebrates 75-90 minutes 6th – 8th Virtual Interactive Lab

Overview & Course Topics

Marine invertebrate VCS lab teaches students about the classification system with special attention to the four most common phyla of temperate marine species and their characteristics. Students engage with one of our marine science instructors to explore VSC aquariums and touch tanks learning important features and interesting facts about common marine species along the southern California coast.

As we venture out together on snorkel and scuba tours students find and identify various marine invertebrates in their natural habitats. They will learn how to classify invertebrates according to the common characteristics shared by their phylum. The steps of the scientific method are followed in an engaging manner enabling students to form a theory and conclusion based on data collected during this lab.

Learning Outcomes

After completing this lab you should be able to:

  • Understand taxonomy and the process of classifying organisms into groups within a larger system according to their similarities.
  • Explain the characteristics of the four most common phyla of marine invertebrates
  • Understand how to classify invertebrates into their specific phylum
  • Communicate the natural history of numerous species of marine invertebrates
  • Develop one or more theories about specific marine mammals
  • Institute solutions to mitigate the threats on specific endangered cetaceans
  • Understand human impact on various species of marine invertebrates

Curriculum Standards – Disciplinary Core Ideas, Science & Engineering Practices & Crosscutting Concepts

Disciplinary Core Ideas: All Below are MS

LS1.A.2: Organisms reproduce, either sexually or asexually, and transfer their genetic information to their offspring

LS1.A.4: In multicellular organisms, the body is a system of multiple interacting subsystems. These subsystems are groups of cells that work together to form tissues and organs that are specialized for particular body functions.

LS1.B.1: Animals engage in characteristic behaviors that increase the odds of reproduction.

LS2.A.1: Organisms, and populations of organisms, are dependent on their environmental interactions both with other living things and with nonliving factors.

LS2.A.2: In any ecosystem, organisms and populations with similar requirements for food, water, oxygen, or other resources may compete with each other for limited resources, access to which consequently constrains their growth and reproduction.

LS2.A.3: Growth of organisms and population increases are limited by access to resources.

LS2.A.4: Similarly, predatory interactions may reduce the number of organisms or eliminate whole populations of organisms. Mutually beneficial interactions, in contrast, may become so interdependent that each organism requires the other for survival. Although the species involved in these competitive, predatory, and mutually beneficial interactions vary across ecosystems, the patterns of interactions of organisms with their environments, both living and nonliving, are shared.

LS2.C.1: Ecosystems are dynamic in nature; their characteristics can vary over time. Disruptions to any physical or biological component of an ecosystem can lead to shifts in all its populations.

LS2.C.2: Biodiversity describes the variety of species found in Earth’s terrestrial and oceanic ecosystems. The completeness or integrity of an ecosystem’s biodiversity is often used as a measure of its health.

ESS2.D.1: Weather and climate are influenced by interactions involving sunlight, the ocean, the atmosphere, ice, landforms, and living things. These interactions vary with latitude, altitude, and local and regional geography, all of which can affect oceanic and atmospheric flow patterns.

ESS3.C.2: Typically as human populations and per-capita consumption of natural resources increase, so do the negative impacts on Earth unless the activities and technologies involved are engineered otherwise.

ETS1.A.1: The more precisely a design task’s criteria and constraints can be defined, the more likely it is that the designed solution will be successful. Specification of constraints includes consideration of scientific principles and other relevant knowledge that is likely to limit possible solutions.

ETS1.B.2: A solution needs to be tested, and then modified on the basis of the test results, in order to improve it.

ETS1.B.5: Sometimes parts of different solutions can be combined to create a solution that is better than any of its predecessors.

ETS1.C.2: The iterative process of testing the most promising solutions and modifying what is proposed on the basis of the test results leads to greater refinement and ultimately to an optimal solution.

MS-LS1.4: Use argument based on empirical evidence and scientific reasoning to support an explanation for how characteristic animal behaviors and specialized plant structures affect the probability of successful reproduction of animals and plants respectively

MS-LS2.1:   Analyze and interpret data to provide evidence for the effects of resource availability on organisms and populations of organisms in an ecosystem

MS-LS2.4: Construct an argument supported by empirical evidence that changes to physical or biological components of an ecosystem affect populations

MS-ETS1.1: Define the criteria and constraints of a design problem with sufficient precision to ensure a successful solution, taking into account relevant scientific principles and potential impacts on people and the natural environment that may limit possible solutions.

MS-ETS1.2: Evaluate competing design solutions using a systematic process to determine how well they meet the criteria and constraints of the problem.

MS-ETS1.3: Analyze data from tests to determine similarities and differences among several design solutions to identify the best characteristics of each that can be combined into a new solution to better meet the criteria for success.

ETS1.B.1: There are systematic processes for evaluating solutions with respect to how well they meet the criteria and constraints of a problem.

ETS1.B.3: A solution needs to be tested, and then modified on the basis of the test results in order to improve it. There are systematic processes for evaluating solutions with respect to how well they meet criteria and constraints of a problem.

CCCS..ELA-Literacy.RST6.8-3 Follow precisely a multistep procedure when carrying out experiments, taking measurements, or performing technical tasks.

CCCS..ELA-Literacy.RST6.8-1 Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of science and technical texts.

Science & Engineering Practices

1 A-H ASKING QUESTIONS AND DEFINING PROBLEMS

2 G DEVELOPING AND USING MODELS

3 C,D,E PLANNING AND CARRYING OUT INVESTIGATION

  1. A,B, D, F, G, H ANALYZING AND INTERPRETING DATA
  2. A-F CONSTRUCTING EXPLANATIONS AND DESIGNING SOLUTIONS
  3. A-E OBTAINING, EVALUATING, AND COMMUNICATING INFORMATION

Crosscutting Concepts

PATTERNS

Patterns can be used to identify cause and effect relationships

Graphs, charts and images can be used to identify patterns in data

CAUSE AND AFFECT

Cause and effect relationships may be used to predict phenomena in natural or designed systems.

INFLUENCE OF ENGINEERING, TECHNOLOGY AND SCIENCE ON SOCIETY AND THE NATURAL WORLD

All human activity draws on natural resources and has both short and long term consequences, positive as well as negative, for the health of people and the natural environment.