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Topics Explored: Point and Nonpoint Sources of Pollution, Human Activities on Aquatic Ecosystems, Endocrine Distruptors, Solid Waste Disposal, Human Health Issues

This case study explores the impact of plastic pollution on our planet, and investigates methods to remediate the plastic crisis.   Answer key included.

Case Study: Plastic Pollution (Teacher & Student Edition)

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

  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS):
    HS-LS2-7. Design, evaluate, and refine a solution for reducing the impacts of human activities on the environment and biodiversity.
    HS-ESS2-2. Analyze geoscience data to make the claim that one change to Earth’s surface can create feedbacks that cause changes to other Earth systems.
    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.
    HS-ESS3-2. Evaluate competing design solutions for developing, managing, and utilizing energy and mineral resources based on cost-benefit ratios.*
    HS-ESS3-3. Create a computational simulation to illustrate the relationships among management of natural resources, the sustainability of human populations, and biodiversity.

    AP® Environmental Science Learning Objectives:

    8.1  Identify differences between point and nonpoint sources of pollution.

    8.2   Describe the impacts of human activities on aquatic ecosystems.

    8.3   Describe endocrine disruptors. Describe the effects of endocrine disruptors on ecosystems. 

    8.9  Describe solid waste disposal methods. Describe the effects of solid waste disposal methods.

    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.


    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®. 

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