Monday, November 2, 2009

Great Pacific Ocean Garbage Patch: Where World's Trash Collects


Ever wondered where those plastic bottles end up that are thrown off of boats? Apparently they are ending up in a giant, floating garbage dump in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. The dump is said to be double the size of the state of Texas. The dump is mostly made up of various size plastic pieces that are floating at or near the surface of the water. Several teams of scientists have conducted studies of the floating waste dump to determine the effects on the environment; specifically the fish and other see animals living in or near this phenomenon. The dump has been created by a combination of low winds and low ocean currents that have allowed the collection to take place at this spot.

I think it would be fascinating to study this more as a part of a combination of units in the classroom. The teacher could bring in standards from math, science, and social studies. The math would involve the sheer measurement of such a large mass floating in the ocean. Lessons about volume, distance , and mass could be discussed. In conjunction, more research could be conducted to look for other perspectives on this floating dump. It also ties in nicely with standards dealing with longitude and latitude as well as studying the historical perspectives of the shipping lanes and how boats were set adrift for weeks due to lack of wind and current. This could certainly spark some interest!

1 comment:

  1. Eventually we'll have to come up with a plan that can be executed to perform a mass clean up for the oceans and land. Because this is honestly getting out of control.

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