PCBs in the Last Frontier
A Case Study on the Scientific Method
This interrupted case study is based on current research involving the global transport of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). Students are asked to propose several hypotheses and experiments in an attempt to determine how PCBs are transferred globally. As the case unfolds, it becomes clear that the transport mechanism is more complicated than scientists first thought. The case requires minimal background knowledge and is suitable for major and non-major courses in biology, chemistry, and environmental science.
- Help students review the scientific method.
- Teach students how to better state hypotheses.
- Encourage students to design experiments that test a hypothesis.
- Introduce students to the scientific literature with a relatively easy-to-read article.
KeywordsExperimental design; PCB; polychlorinated biphenyl; bioaccumulation; persistent pollutants; sockeye salmon; Alaska
Topical AreasScientific method
Educational LevelHigh school, Undergraduate lower division
Type / MethodsInterrupted; Journal Article
Subject HeadingsBiology (General) | Chemistry (General) | Analytical Chemistry | Environmental Science | Atmospheric Science | Earth Science |
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