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Examples of Student Work
Contributed by: New York State Alternative Assessment in Science Project (NYSED)

Student #1

Task: At this station, you will analyze data to determine the effect of thermal pollution on a certain species of fish.


Water temperature is a limiting factor in an aquatic habitat, affecting activities such as respiration and reproduction.


Examine the data in the table below. It shows the concentration of dissolved oxygen available in water at different temperatures. The oxygen available to fish is in units marked ppm or "parts per million." A higher ppm reading indicates a greater concentration of oxygen.

Water Temperature
(Degrees Celsius)
Concentration of Dissolved Oxygen
30 7.8
20 9.0
10 10.5
0 14.1

  1. Construct a line graph of the data presented above.

  1. A certain species of fish normally live in a pond that never exceeds the temperature of 10 degrees Celsius. this species of fish requires a dissolved oxygen level 9.5 ppm. Industrial development has the potential of increasing the pond's temperature by releasing hot water produced during necessary process. Answer the questions below based on your knowledge of biology and using your graph.

  2. Scoring

    Circle the student's score for each question. Add the points for each question and write the total score at the bottom of the scoring form.

    1. Graph
      • set- up

      • plotting data

      • line

    2. Prediction
      1. Temperature value/units

      2. Effect

    3. Prevention




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