Cells and Homeostasis: Evaluating Causeway Solutions

As part of our transition from the Great Salt Lake toward a study of cell membranes, students are continuing to engineer solutions to the ecological changes caused by the Great Salt Lake causeway.  Our work is supporting the Next Generation Science Standard HS-LS2-7 which requires that students: Design, evaluate, and refine a solution for reducing the impacts of human activities on the environment and biodiversity.  Yesterday, students worked hard in small groups to design one or more solutions.  Today, students spent the first part of class to work on their designs and then shared their designs with the class so all students could evaluate the risks and benefits of the design options.  Tomorrow, students will continue to work in their groups to refine their engineering solutions based on the feedback they received.  The deliverable tomorrow will be the preparation of a short presentation to be shared with the class on Friday.  Throughout the engineering process, students are also being pressed to think about how organisms in the Great Salt Lake would be affected by a change in salinity at the microscopic level (focusing specifically on activity at the cell membrane).  Concepts of osmosis, diffusion, and transport will be covered in depth next week.