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Algebra

NOAA Design Challenge

The purpose of the NOAA Design Challenge is for students to research and design the most effective strategy for preventing or removing nonpoint source pollution from the water of the Chesapeake Bay or the streams that flow into it.

Award: All students who submit solutions will be recognized by the Maryland Business Roundtable for Education. Finalists will present to the Chesapeake Bay Program Management Board who will select the winning team. The names of the winning team will be displayed on a NOAA Chesapeake Bay Interpretive Buoy System (CBIBS) buoy.

Students can submit solutions to STEMChallenge@MBRT.org. Submissions must include the school, teacher name, and name of students on the team.

There are two optional lessons that demonstrate how the challenge can be implemented during the instructional day. Each lesson allows students to analyze Bay health and differentiate between point and nonpoint source polllution.

Lesson 1 - Reducing Nonpoint Source Pollution: Students analyze Bay pollutants and employ the engineering design process to design a solution to reduce nonpoint source pollution in the Bay.

Lesson 2- Reverse Engineering & Nonpoint Source Pollution: Students conduct field studies and employ reverse engineering to analyze existing solutions and develop a design brief outlining their plan to improve upon existing technology.

Lesson 3 - Predicting Future Trends: Students will analyze data for sediment and nutrient levels in the Chesapeake Bay over a defined period of time and produce a scatter plot with a line of best fit for the data. They will use data to predict future trends and propose solutions to reduce future sediment and nutrient levels in the Bay.

 

Enduring Understanding

  • The engineering design process is a systematic iterative approach to problem solving that yields design solutions.
  • Technological solutions can reduce impacts of human activities on natural systems.
  • Strategies can be employed to reduce or prevent the amount of pollutants impacting the environment.
  • Engineers analyze designs to identify shortcomings and opportunities for innovation.
  • Linear regression can be used to predict the unknown value of a variable form the known value of another variable.

Essential Questions

  • How can humans reduce or prevent the amount of nonpoint source pollution from impacting the Chesapeake Bay?
  • Why is it important to reduce or prevent pollutants from impacting the Chesapeake Bay?
  • How can technology be used to reduce or prevent pollutants from impacting the Chesapeake Bay?
  • How is the health of an aquatic ecosystem defined?
  • What factors impact the health of an aquatic ecosystem?
  • How can the health of an aquatic ecosystem be maintained or restored?
  • How does a design brief aid in solution development?
  • How does reverse engineering connect to scientific innovations?
  • How can mathematics be used to assess and predict current and future pollution levels in the Chesapeake Bay?

Students will be able to:

  • analyze the relationship between humans and the earth’s resources.
  • differentiate between point and nonpoint pollution.
  • explore existing technology aimed at reducing pollution impacting the Chesapeake Bay.
  • employ the engineering design process to develop solutions that prevent or reduce nonpoint source pollution in the Chesapeake Bay.
  • employ linear regression to predict future levels of nutrients and sediments in the Bay.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License