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Student Activity - Nutrient impact experiment

Activity idea

In this activity, plastic bottles are used to simulate the link between land and sea. Students investigate some of the potential impacts increased nutrient use on land can have on the marine environment.

By the end of this activity, students should:

  • understand some of the possible impacts on the marine ecosystem of agricultural nutrient run-off and leaching
  • discuss human impacts on life in the sea and understand that land and coastal ecosystems are not discrete
  • understand what is meant by the term ‘fair testing’.

Download the Word file (see link above) for:

  • introduction/background notes
  • what you need
  • what to do
  • extension ideas
  • discussion questions
  • experiment photos.


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