The ocean is vast and deep. According to the National Ocean Service, humans have only explored 5% of the earth’s oceans, yet they cover over 70% of the planet! Despite humans’ limited knowledge of the ocean, we know that sharks are the king of this watery jungle and vital to the myriad of ecosystems that live beneath the surface and to life on the planet.
The Shark Exploration Quest allowed our scholars to research why sharks are vital, shark anatomy, lifestyle, and diet, and dive deep into marine biologists’ and researchers’ current knowledge of sharks and the ocean.
Our scholars became shark experts and conservationists as they examined the following questions: What would happen if sharks no longer exist? How do sharks’ senses help them survive? What makes up a shark ecosystem and habitat? What is the human impact on shark life?
As conservationists and scientists, they performed experiments and searched for answers on how to help sharks and how to curb the human impact on sharks.
The scholars put on their scientific inquiry hats to delve into the world of sharks. They conducted experiments and investigations to discover how shark senses work and compared them to our human senses. They also examined how sharks’ senses help them find food, ward off predators, and survive in the deep, dark ocean.
Scholars worked as conservationists when they researched what our planet would be like without sharks, then looked at the flip side of the coin, and discussed a world in which the mighty megalodon had never gone extinct! Next, scholars learned why some animals go extinct and discovered how many different types of animals have existed and already disappeared!
To further their expertise as conservationists, they looked into how pollution. Specifically, how does it affect shark habitats and brainstormed ways humans could prevent and reduce pollution? In addition, they worked in groups to discuss what would happen if sharks had to evolve to live on land and use their creativity to imagine what a “Landshark” would look like, eat, and how it would survive.
Groups put their geography skills to work as they mapped out in which oceans different shark breeds lived and discovered that some sharks can survive in freshwater! Experiments and investigations were conducted to examine the differences between fresh and saltwater and why humans cannot consume salt water, but sharks can.
To further their shark expertise, scholars built ocean dioramas and learned about the different types of shark diets and why all sharks are essential, from the meat-eating great white to the filter-feeding whale shark.
Each grouping chose a shark and gathered data to create an “Adopt a Shark” presentation. The scholars chose the facts and information they felt best proved the importance of their shark breed in the ocean ecosystems and shared data about the shark’s habitat, diet, habits, size, likes, and dislikes.
The Adopt a Shark presentation included a detailed drawing and diagram of their shark.
Using creativity and the power of persuasion, they presented to the group why we as a planet should adopt endangered sharks to prevent their extinction.