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Shark Attack!

Classroom Activity


Objective
To design a solution to help surfers avoid being attacked by sharks.

Materials for each team
  • copy of "Shark Dodging" student handout (PDF or HTML)
Procedure
  1. Some scientific data in this program indicates that sharks may attack humans because humans resemble common prey. Scientists in California point out that a person paddling on a surfboard might resemble a seal or a sea lion and that the method of biting used by sharks in this situation seems to indicate that they mean to "taste," rather than devour, the person.

  2. If this theory is correct, what recommendations do students have for protecting surfers from cases of "mistaken identity"?

  3. Copy and distribute the "Shark Dodging" activity sheet, and challenge students to design a method or a piece of equipment for surfing that would help surfers avoid being attacked by a shark.

Activity Answer

Student solutions to this challenge will vary widely. Some students may think about changing the shape of the surfboard to look less like sharks' prey. Other students may think of putting shark repellent on the surfboard or of adding a texture or sharp objects to the bottom of the board to make it more difficult for sharks to bite. Other answers might include painting the bottom of the surfboard to look like driftwood, seaweed, or other non-food floating objects. Still other students may think to add some kind of beacon that emits a sound to ward off sharks. When evaluating their solutions, check to be sure that students have a reason (based on information they have learned about shark behavior) for adding a particular feature to their surfboard design.

Teacher's Guide
Shark Attack!
BUY THE VIDEO PROGRAM OVERVIEW VIEWING IDEAS CLASSROOM ACTIVITY RELATED NOVA RESOURCES INTERACTIVE FOR STUDENTS




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