INVESTIGATING WATER QUALITY – Mini Case Study for Climate Detectives

Brief description

The mini case studies for Climate Detectives are intended to help teachers to identify the topic that their Climate Detectives team will investigate and to guide them during the different phases of the project. In the template, teachers will find some suggestions of data that students can collect and analyse. The suggestions are not exhaustive, and the teachers may decide on their own specific focus within a given research area. The mini case study should be used in conjunction with the teacher guide and not as a standalone document. 

This case study is dedicated to the topic of Water Quality and students will investigate how climate change may impact water quality regarding cyanobacteria in lakes. This mini case study is an ESA Education production in collaboration with ESERO Luxembourg.

Subject Biology, Science

Learning Objectives
  • Be able to work scientifically by collecting and analysing data, making careful observations, looking for patterns and relationships
  • Recognise some of the impact of climate change in water resources
  • Identify Cyanobacteria as bacteria that obtain energy via photosynthesis
  • Understand how Earth observation satellites can be used to monitor Water Quality
Age range
14 – 18 years old
Resource available in:

Did you know?

Cyanobacteria are bacteria that obtain energy via photosynthesis. They absorb light using phycobilin pigments (photosynthetic pigments), which give them their unique blue-green colour, to convert carbon dioxide and water into oxygen and glucose. Cyanobacteria converted the early Earth’s oxygen-poor atmosphere to the oxygen-rich atmosphere of today. The name cyanobacteria refer to their colour (from Ancient Greek κυανός (kuanós) meaning ‘blue’), giving them their other name, “blue-green algae”. Cyanobacteria can be seen and monitored by satellites from space.

The Carbon Cycle

Brief description In this set of three activities, students will learn about the carbon cycle and use it to identify...

Images from Space

Learn how satellites can help us monitoring our planet. Video by ESERO Germany (in English).

Urban Hotspots

Brief description In this set of three activities, students will learn how the built environment leads to the urban heat...

The Power of Earth Observation

We are all intricately interconnected to our Earth – from the trees that provide us with oxygen, to the natural sources that shape our landscape. ESA’s Earth observation programme is at the forefront of monitoring...

The spatial resolution

The observation of our planet with the help of satellites largely depends on the different characteristics of their sensors. The spatial resolution, that is explained in this video, is one of these characteristics. Video by...