Format: presentation and activity

Length: 45 minutes

Requirements: space for tubs or buckets

Topics/subjects: Environmental impacts of waste, density, scope of pollution

Recommended companion lessons: Waste Audit, West Van Tour 

Summary: What happens when plastics enter the ocean? Students find out by exploring the densities of different plastics. They then investigate feeding strategies and locations (surface, pelagic, and benthic) of various ocean animals and predict how plastics will affect marine food webs. The activity ends with students brainstorming actions to reduce the amount of plastics that end up as waste. Thank you to Monterey Bay Aquarium for sharing this lesson with us!

CCSS, NGSS Alignment Guide Plastics in the Ocean Gr. 6–8