No Water Off A Duck’s Back

Theme:Water Protection
Location:Eagle's Nest (Inside Lower Level)
Map #:30
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At this activity station, students observe feathers when they are wet, dry or soaked in oil.  This allows them a perspective on what it’s like to try to clean oil from birds.  Educating participants about the hazards of commercial oil spills (such as from tankers) and local problems from oil which reaches natural waterways due to household sources, encourages them to think about their “ordinary” actions.  Pouring used oil or other contaminants down road serrs or household drains cause pollution and damages wildlife habitats and ecosystems.

Key Messages

  • The quality of water affects both plants and animals
  • Once water is polluted, it is difficult to clean and toxins can be ingested and bio-accumulate
  • Some of the biggest sources of pollution are individuals and their households

Ontario Curriculum Connections

Science and Technology:
  • Understanding Life Systems, Grade 4 (Habitats and Communities)
    • analyze the positive and negative impacts of human interactions with natural habitats and communities, taking different perspectives into account, and evaluate ways of minimizing the negative impacts
    • identify factors that affect the ability of plants and animals to survive in a specific habitat
    • explain why changes int eh environment have a great impact on specialized species than on generalized species
    • describe ways in which humans are dependent on natural habitats and communities (e.g. flood control in wetlands)
    • use a variety of forms (e.g. oral) to communicate with different audiences and for a variety fo peruposes
  • Understanding Earth and Space Systems, Grade 5 (Conservation of energy and Resources)
    • analyze the long-term impacts on society and the environment of human uses of energy and natural resources, and suggest ways to reduce these impacts
  • Understanding Life Systems, Grade 6 (Biodiversity)
    • describe ways in which biodiversity within and among communities is important for maintaining the resilience of these communities
    • demonstrate an understanding of biodiversity as the variety of life on earth, including variety within each species of plant and animal, among species of plants and animals in communities, and among communities and the physical landscapes that support them
    • describe ways in which biodiversity within species is important for maintaining the resilience of those species
    • describe ways in which biodiversity within and among communities is important for maintaining the resilience of theses communities


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