• Views 320
  • Favorites
Photo by Pok Rie via Pexels

Database Provider


TERC, Science Education Resource Center at Carleton College (SERC)


9th, 10th, 11th, 12th


Science, Chemistry, Biology, Earth and Space Sciences, Mathematics

Resource Types

  • Activity - Classroom
  • Assessments
  • Experiments
  • Interactive Media
  • Videos, 4 minutes, 11 seconds, CC, Subtitles
  • Videos, 1 minute, 6 seconds
  • Videos, 1 minutes, 43 seconds, CC, Subtitles
  • Videos, 12 minutes, 12 seconds, CC, Subtitles
  • Articles and Websites
  • Videos, 2 minutes, 53 seconds, CC, Subtitles
  • Videos, 6 minutes, 38 seconds, CC, Subtitles

Regional Focus



PDF, Microsoft Word, YouTube Video

Ocean Acidification Lab

Ask a Question

  • This two-part lab will teach students about ocean chemistry, the effects of ocean acidification on shell-building organisms, and the effect of ocean acidification on carbon storage in the ocean. 
  • The lab includes both hands-on and online sections to complete, as well as assessment questions, videos, and animations.

Teaching Tips


  • Students will enjoy the hands-on lab portion that indicates a change in pH.
  • It will help students understand the importance of changes in chemistry for living creatures and the climate.
  • The BBC animated video about sea stars and worms is engaging and interesting.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Students should know how to read graphs and have basic knowledge of chemical reactions.
  • Teachers need to sign in to access the key.
  • There is a TERC Earthlabs app for ipads.
  • You may need to zoom out to see all components of the Virtual Urchin Lab (part 2).


  • Consider using the Wood's Hole Oceanographic Institute's interactive in part B as a review or lecture tool when discussing the chemistry of ocean acidification and how it affects shelled organisms.
  • Have students keep a lab notebook or journal to record important notes, questions, data, and findings.
  • The Virtual Urchin Part 1 interactive can be used on its own for chemistry or biology classes, as it covers the pH scale, carbon emissions, ocean acidification chemical formulas, organisms affected by acidification, and projections of increasing CO2 on life in the oceans.
  • The Virtual Urchin Lab (Part 2) is a great way to have students practice a lab before doing it in class, or as a substitute for a hands-on lab.
  • This is a great lab to showcase the scientific method, lab procedures, and using instrumentation to test or analyze samples.
Scientist Notes
All activities are suitable to teach ocean acidification and the role of the ocean in carbon sequestration and removal. This resource is recommended for teaching.
  • Science
    • ESS2: Earth's Systems
      • HS-ESS2-2. Analyze geoscience data to make the claim that one change to Earth’s surface can create feedbacks that cause changes to other Earth systems.
      • HS-ESS2-6. Develop a quantitative model to describe the cycling of carbon among the hydrosphere, atmosphere, geosphere, and biosphere.
    • LS2: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics Within Ecosystems
      • HS-LS2-2. Use mathematical representations to support and revise explanations based on evidence about factors affecting biodiversity and populations in ecosystems of different scales.
      • HS-LS2-5. Develop a model to illustrate the role of photosynthesis and cellular respiration in the cycling of carbon among the biosphere, atmosphere, hydrosphere, and geosphere.
  • Related Resources


    Login to leave a review