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3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th


Science, Chemistry, Biology

Resource Types

  • Experiment
  • Lesson Plan, 60 minutes
  • Worksheet

Regional Focus




Ocean Acidification in a Cup

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  • This well-designed experiment will help students demonstrate and explore the effects an acidic ocean has on marine organisms.

Teaching Tips


  • This resource contains additional material linked in the Teacher's Guide and Sources to help teachers better understand ocean acidification.
  • In the student handout, there is a clear explanation of ocean acidification for students to review before conducting the experiment.

Additional Prerequisites

  • You can print the student handout or share it digitally with the students.
  • Before conducting the experiment, the teacher must prepare the materials.


  • If students are unfamiliar with ocean acidification, teachers can provide further background by sharing this 30-minute video.
  • As an extension, students can write a paragraph explaining the connection between CO2 emissions, ocean acidification, and marine life.
  • Students can discuss how they can reduce their carbon footprint to preserve the ocean's composition.
  • Other recommended resources include the videos Shell Shocked: Not Just Chemistry and Shell Shocked: Saving Shellfish.
Scientist Notes
The resource underscores the impact of climate change on the ocean and its resources. The concept of ocean acidification has been properly captured in this resource. Thus, this is recommended for teaching.

This resource addresses the listed standards. To fully meet standards, search for more related resources.

  • English Language Arts
    • Reading: Informational Text (K-12)
      • RI.4.10 By the end of year, read and comprehend literary nonfiction at grade level text complexity or above, with scaffolding as needed.
    • Reading: Science & Technical Subjects (6-12)
      • RST.6-8.3 Follow precisely a multistep procedure when carrying out experiments, taking measurements, or performing technical tasks.
  • Science
    • LS2: Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics
      • MS-LS2-4. Construct an argument supported by empirical evidence that changes to physical or biological components of an ecosystem affect populations.
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • MS-ESS3-4. Construct an argument supported by evidence for how increases in human population and per-capita consumption of natural resources impact Earth’s systems.
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