MIT Sea Grant Center for Coastal Resources

Educational Resources
Information for Students and Teachers

In addition to fact sheets on selected topics, we have other educational materials available for loan. These include a zebra mussel kit reccomended for grades 5-6; slides of zebra mussels, selected freshwater species and nonindigenous species in New England; and a few selected videos. In addition, please consult the references for copies of papers and documents that are available for loan. Our Sea Grant Clearinghouse has some documents online.

Zebra Mussel Mania

Take the Exotic Species Quiz

Zebra Mussel Mania!

Teachers: Have you heard about Zebra Mussel Mania??
It's an exotic adventure for your fifth and sixth grade students!!

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 kit?

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.

Rental is:

$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

Ph: 617-253-9308
Fax: 617-252-1615

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:
Zebra mussel videos. Order the videos at this site.


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  this page last updated on: 7 December, 2009