Sample Project: Mylar Mayhem Mystery Management

Local Issue: In the past 2 years, over 1,000 Mylar balloons have been collected, partially or completely deflated, mostly in the backcountry of Joshua Tree National Park (JTNP). One estimation by park officials indicates that there may be over 71,000 littered balloons within the 3,247 square kilometer Park boundaries. Why? Students will work together in "Resource Management Teams" to investigate the causes of this Mylar Mayhem Mystery. Teams will develop an action plan to address this environmental challenge and answer the Driving Question. Individually, students will write memos to the JTNP Superintendent briefing him/her on the scientific and geological causes of the problem, as well as their recommendations for action.