top of page

Topics Explored: Tragedy of the Commons, Impacts of Human Activities on Aquatic Ecosystems, POPs, Bioaccumulation and Biomagnification, Human Health Issues Linked to Pollution

This case study explores the history of per- and polyflurooalkyl substances and recent data has shown that these man made chemicals have accumulated in the environment and in our bodies. Exposure to PFAS have been linked to serious health effects. Answer key included.

Case Study: PFAS (Teacher & Student Edition)

  • ZIP file containing 2 PDF files 
    (1 Teacher Edition and 1 Student Edition)

  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS):
    HS-LS2-1. Use mathematical and/or computational representations to support explanations of factors that affect carrying capacity of ecosystems at different scales.
    HS-LS2-2. Use mathematical representations to support and revise explanations based on evidence about factors affecting biodiversity and populations in ecosystems of different scales.
    HS-LS2-6. Evaluate the claims, evidence, and reasoning that the complex interactions in ecosystems maintain relatively consistent numbers and types of organisms in stable conditions, but changing conditions may result in a new ecosystem.
    HS-LS2-7. Design, evaluate, and refine a solution for reducing the impacts of human activities on the environment and biodiversity.
    HS-ESS2-5. Plan and conduct an investigation of the properties of water and its effects on Earth materials and surface processes.
    HS-ESS3-1. Construct an explanation based on evidence for how the availability of natural resources, occurrence of natural hazards, and changes in climate have influenced human activity.

    AP® Environmental Science Learning Objectives:
    5.1 Explain the concept of the tragedy of the commons.
    8.2 Describe the impacts of human activities on aquatic ecosystems.
    8.7 Describe the effect of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) on ecosystems.
    8.8 Describe bioaccumulation and biomagnification and its effects.
    8.14 Identify sources of human health issues that are linked to pollution.

    AP® Environmental Science Practices:
    1: Explain environmental concepts, processes, and models presented in written format. 
    2: Analyze visual representations of environmental concepts and processes. 
    3: Analyze sources of information about environmental issues. 
    4: Analyze research studies that test environmental principles. 
    5: Analyze and interpret quantitative data represented in tables, charts, and graphs.
    6: Apply quantitative methods to address environmental concepts.
    7: Propose and justify solutions to environmental problems.

    IB® Environmental Systems Learning Objectives:
    4.3 Aquatic systems provide a source of food production.
    4.4 Water pollution, both to groundwater and surface water, is a major global problem, the effects ofwhich influence human and other biological systems.


    AP® is a registered trademark registered by the College Board®. IB® is a trademark registered by the International Baccalaureate Organization®. This work/product/service has been developed independently from and is not endorsed by the College Board® or the International Baccalaureate Organization®. 

bottom of page