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As the J-Pod makes its way back into Puget Sound earlier than expected, there have been a number of new applications for whale watching tour licenses to view killer whales (Orcinus orca) . The boats will be using sonar to find where the orcas are located and using high powered engines to keep up with them.

  • You have been called in as an orca specialist to advise the boat licensing commission on if they should increase the number of licenses for the time the orcas are in Puget Sound.
need to know where exactly are we talking about
Need to know: Where exactly are we talking about?
  • Interactive map
  • Washington State

Interactive map

What habitat of the Salish

Sea are Orcas using?

Visit Orca Watch

@ The Orca Network


Step 1: We need to:

  • Figure out the problem
  • What factors and other issues are connected to the problem

Who/what will be effected by this problem?

Are there other problems related to this problem?

write a problem statement
Write a problem statement
  • (on your own) I think our problem is___________ & here are the factors we need to consider:
  • (With a partner) We think our problem is_______________ & here are the factors think about:
  • (All together) Our group thinks our problem is __________ & here are the factors we need to think about:
write out your task
Write out your Task!
  • How can _________________________
  • In such a way______________________
  • How can individuals enjoy whale watching and entrepreneurs have a way to operate a tourism business in such a way that does not adversely impact killer whales and their habitat?
need to know echolocation
“Need To know” Echolocation

In this activity, students will experience echolocation themselves. Lets Check it out!

Killer whales use echolocation and rely on auditory information to capture prey.Photo credit: http://www.whaleresearch.com/old/images/echolocation.jpg

Science in Action! Can Humans Use Echolocation?

Source: Killer Whales Are Discriminating DinersArticle: by Jennifer Viegas / Discovery Newshttp://www.nbcnews.com
source underwater racket article science news for students by emily sohn
Source: Underwater Racket Article: Science News for Students by Emily Sohn


Resident J-Pod Echolocation calls

Can you tell the difference between 3 different Orca Pods? J-Pod, K-POD, & L25 Sub-pod

resource web page be whale wise
Resource: Web page“Be Whale Wise”

Using this web page, begin your own research on specific laws in Washington State!

Informational literacy

what are the possible solutions
What are the possible solutions?
  • Each group will present their ideas for possible solutions on a sheet of chart paper and hang it on the wall.
  • Each team will start at a different groups paper and read their possible solutions. **You will have sticky notes to add questions, comments, pros & cons, and ideas to their solution ideas.
  • When all groups have visited all the posters, retrieve your poster with sticky notes and return to your seats

From the information you gathered & shared, you are going to decide on a “Best Fit” solution.

Remember to this needs to fit the factors in your problem statement:

Remember to use your notes, need to know materials, and defining the problem materials you have gathered.


How can individuals enjoy whale watching and local businesses have a way to operate a tourism business in such a way that does not adversely impact killer whales and their habitat?

Best Fit Solution

present your solution
Present Your Solution
  • From the list of possible products you will create, determine which one your group will produce and present to teacher.
  • Remember the product you produce will be a very important part of how effective your solution is!