Understanding White Sharks is a middle school science curricula designed for the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). Students begin understanding the phenomenon that numerous reports suggest an increase in white shark encounters in the US in recent years and this has lead to the public raising concerns.
Students initially question if white shark encounters are in fact increasing and investigate recent reports of sightings. They also explore past evidence from fossils and use data from historic fishers logs. Students then questions how scientists today are monitoring white sharks, and explore the use of modern tracking devices and what researchers can learn from using these types of technology. Understanding the tracking devices gives the students a thorough understanding of waves and signals produced from these devices, and they even create their own shark tracking device and design their own experiments.
Students can then come to their own conclusions of what the science community is learning about white shark life history, how humans may be impacting the population in southern California, and help participate in connecting research findings to reducing public concerns.