Deep Sea Debris

STEM Learning Module
Crab on the seafloor climbing over a trash bag
Ocean Exploration Trust

Using observations from ROV Hercules dives, introduce students to marine pollution and degradation rates of various materials in seawater. Students will categorize trash types and calculate percentages found on the seafloor and summarize how this data relates to marine pollution trends worldwide. Students will describe local actions they can take within their school/ community to reduce pollution’s impact on the oceans.

Objectives & learning outcomes

Students will:

  • calculate percentages and represent a dataset in graph or table form.
  • summarize key findings and implications from an authentic deep sea pollution observation dataset and dive track maps.
  • explore material degradation to understand how pollution impacts marine ecosystems.
  • document an idea of how they can help their town, school, or community reduce its impact on marine pollution 

Disciplinary Core Ideas

Grade level

Grade level

Time & materials

Time & materials
Scale: one of three
Prep time and materials cost minimal, may require printing.