Sea Turtle First Aid Investigation

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This activity (located on page 4 of the PDF under GPS: Sea Turtles Activity) is a full inquiry investigation into testing a repair material. Groups of learners perform “first aid” on a cut orange, which represents propeller damage on the back of a leatherback sea turtle. Learners use a variety of repair materials and predict how well various treatments will work, then observe treated, untreated, and uncut control oranges for 4 days. Relates to linked video, DragonflyTV GPS: Sea Turtles.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
5 to 10 minutes

Learning Time:
1 to 7 days

Estimated Materials Cost:
$5 - $10 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 8 - 14

Resource Types:
Activity, Experiment/Lab Activity, Simulation


Materials List (per group of students)

  • oranges, or other citrus fruit, 1 per group, plus 4 additional
  • paper cutouts of turtles
  • a sharp knife, to be used by adult only!
  • a variety of possible repair materials (examples: glue; nail polish; tape; needle and thread; paint; bandages; wax)
  • clean-up supplies
  • office supplies: tape, pencils, paper, scissors
  • optional: plastic storage boxes with lids
  • optional: a digital camera


  • Engineering and Technology
    • Engineering
      • Bioengineering/Biomedical Engineering
  • Life Sciences
    • Diversity of Life
      • Animals
    • Ecology
      • Human Impact
  • Mathematics
    • Data Analysis and Probability
      • Data Analysis
      • Data Collection
      • Data Representation
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • About Inquiry
      • Conducting Investigations
      • Formulating Explanations
  • The Nature of Technology
    • The Design Process
      • Research and Development
      • Problem Solving
      • Troubleshooting and Maintenance

Informal Categories

  • Animals


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves teamwork and communication skills
  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Components that are part of this resource:

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access


Source Collection

  • DragonflyTV


  • , Twin Cities Public Television, Inc., 2007

Funding Source:

  • National Science Foundation, 610429