This storyline aligns with the Next Generation Science Standards at MS-ESS3-5.
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This storyline is grounded in the phenomenon of coral bleaching and its effects on marine ecosystems, as well as the ecosystem services provided by corals when healthy.
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Unfortunately, many corals on Earth began dying out in alarming numbers during the 20th and 21st centuries. Students research what factors were at play during mass bleaching events, then perform experiments to understand whether these factors actually had a hand in coral bleaching, or if they merely correlate.
Students also learn more about the ways that humans have contributed to climate change, and what the mechanics of global warming and the Greenhouse Effect mean for the climate as a whole. Can the existence of coral reefs have an impact on humans, even though we don't live underwater or consume coral for food?