Zebra mussels, an aquatic species that invaded
North America in 1988, have caused some very serious economic
and environmental problems. They are rapidly spreading beyond
the Great Lakes region into many waterways in the Midwest,
and even into the Northeast (zebra mussels have already been
found in the Connecticut River and Lake Champlain). MIT Sea
Grant is tuning kids into zebra mussels and other exotic species
through a new and exciting science called the Zebra Mussel
Mania Traveling Trunk. Developed by Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant,
the trunk is filled with ten hands-on activities that provide
educators with tools to teach about the full range of problems
associated with zebra mussels and other nonindigenous species.
Use of the trunk encourages students to inquire and discover.
What makes the trunk even more effective is the integration
of other subjects, including math, English, social studies,
and the arts.
Through experiments, games, stories, and a
host of other interesting activities, students will be better
able to understand problems caused by nonindigenous species
and will learn how to become involved in solutions to prevent
the spread of these species through community action projects.
What is Zebra Mussel Mania?
It's the title of the curriculum guide that
accompanies the Zebra Mussel Traveling Trunk.
Who developed this zebra mussel resource
The Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant Program and
the Illinois River Project selected fifth- and sixth-grade
teachers to develop the curriculum and related activities.
Curriculum development specialists from the Illinois River
Project at Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville and the
Bell Museum of Natural History in Minnesota ensured that the
teaching materials meet established science education standards.
Although designed with Midwest waterways and students in mind,
the trunk is nevertheless general enough to be useful to a
New England audience.
Where can you obtain a Traveling Trunk?
The trunk is available through the Center
for Marine Social Sciences of the MIT Sea Grant College Program.
$25 for a 10-day period if shipped.
$15 for a 10-day period if you pick it up.
For more information
on how to borrow the Zebra Mussel Mania Traveling Trunk for
use with your fifth- and sixth-graders, contact:
Madeleine Hall-Arber, PhD
Center for Marine Social Sciences
MIT Sea Grant College Program
292 Main Street, E38-300
Cambridge, MA 02139
This education project is funded by the Illinois-Indiana
Sea Grant Program at Purdue University and the University
of Illinois, and is presented to Massachusetts educators by
the MIT Sea Grant College Program.
Also Available from Illinois-Indiana Seagrant:
mussel videos. Order the videos at this site.