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Dirty Decomposers
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Educational Use
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Students design and conduct experiments to determine what environmental factors favor decomposition by soil microbes. They use chunks of carrots for the materials to be decomposed, and their experiments are carried out in plastic bags filled with dirt. Every few days students remove the carrots from the dirt and weigh them. Depending on the experimental conditions, after a few weeks most of the carrots will have decomposed completely.

Subject:
Engineering
Environmental Science
Science
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Lesson Plan
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Date Added:
09/18/2014
Earth's Systems: What Is Soil?
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Educational Use
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Explore soil and how soil types vary when found in different landscapes on Earth's surface in this video (2:19) created by NASA eClips and WGBH. Use the video to observe soils found in different landscape environments and describe why this natural resource is essential to life on Earth.

Subject:
Science
Material Type:
Audio/Video
Provider:
PBS LearningMedia
Date Added:
11/06/2023
Earthworm Hunt: The Search is On!
Conditional Remix & Share Permitted
CC BY-NC-SA
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This field investigation allows students to collect and observe earthworms using liquid extraction to help develop background knowledge at the start of a new earthworm unit.

Subject:
Biology
Science
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Lesson Plan
Provider:
Science Education Resource Center (SERC) at Carleton College
Provider Set:
Pedagogy in Action
Date Added:
02/24/2021
Ecosystems
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Ecosystems are composed of all interacting organisms (biota) along with their physical and chemical environments. Physical aspects of an ecosystem, called abiotic components, include variables related to temperature, sunlight, soil, and other factors. [33:28]

Subject:
Science
Material Type:
Audio/Video
Provider:
BioEd Online
Date Added:
07/01/2022
Erosion in Rivers
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Educational Use
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Students learn about water erosion through an experimental process in which small-scale buildings are placed along a simulated riverbank to experience a range of flooding conditions. They learn how soil conditions are important to the stability or failure of civil engineering projects and how a river's turns and bends (curvature, sinuosity) make a difference in the likelihood of erosion. They make model buildings either with a 3D printer or with LEGO® pieces and then see how their designs and riverbank placements are impacted by slow (laminar) and fast (turbulent) water flow over the soil. Students make predictions, observations and conclusions about the stability of their model houses, and develop ideas for how to mitigate damage in civil engineering projects.

Subject:
Earth and Space Science
Engineering
Science
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Eduardo Suescun
Sophia Mercurio
Date Added:
09/18/2014
Feed the World: Soil and Sustainability
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Educational Use
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How is farming a system? What are the inputs (fertilizer, pesticide, seed) and outputs (crop yield, emissions, runoff)? What impact does soil as a storage have on the consequences of these inputs and outputs?

Systems thinking, applied in business and environmental science, examines the interconnected parts of a whole, categorized as inputs (external additions), outputs (productions), storages (reserves for future use), and flows (movement of matter and energy). In agriculture, inputs like seeds, fertilizers, and water interact within the soil system, influencing crop production. Soil composition—sand, silt, clay—along with nutrient levels (Nitrogen, Phosphorus, Potassium) and pH, affects plant growth. Mismanagement, particularly over-fertilization, can lead to cultural eutrophication, creating "dead zones" in water bodies by depleting oxygen, crucial for aquatic life.

This learning module includes 9 lessons and/or activities.

Subject:
Biology
Chemistry
Science
Material Type:
Module
Unit of Study
Provider:
Feed the World
Date Added:
03/13/2024
Fossil Fondue
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Educational Use
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To understand how fossils are formed, students model the process of fossilization by making fossils using small toy figures and melted chocolate. They extend their knowledge to the many ways that engineers aid in the study of fossils, including the development of tools and technologies for determining the physical and chemical properties of fossilized organisms, and how those properties tell a story of our changing world.

Subject:
Earth and Space Science
Engineering
Science
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Lesson Plan
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Date Added:
09/26/2008
A Good Foundation
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Educational Use
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Students explore the effects of regional geology on bridge foundation, including the variety of soil conditions found beneath foundations. They learn about shallow and deep foundations, as well as the concepts of bearing pressure and settlement.

Subject:
Earth and Space Science
Engineering
Life Science
Physics
Science
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Lesson Plan
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Christopher Valenti
Denali Lander
Denise W. Carlson
Joe Friedrichsen
Jonathan S. Goode
Malinda Schaefer Zarske
Natalie Mach
Date Added:
09/18/2014
Groundwater Detectives
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Educational Use
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Student teams locate a contaminant spill in a hypothetical site by measuring the pH of soil samples. Then they predict the direction of groundwater flow using mathematical modeling. They also use the engineering design process to come up with alternative treatments for the contaminated water.

Subject:
Engineering
Environmental Science
Science
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Ben Heavner
Janet Yowell
Malinda Schaefer Zarske
Melissa Straten
Date Added:
10/14/2015
GrowNextGen: AFNR natural resources
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Educational Use
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This unit helps meet some of the AFNR curriculum standards for natural resources. Students will learn how to test texture and other physical characteristics of soil, conduct water quality tests, engineer a water filter, identify air quality parameters, and research careers in natural resources. This unit features 3 lessons and 8 files. Lessons are aligned to NGSS.

Subject:
Biology
Science
Material Type:
Module
Unit of Study
Provider:
GrowNextGen
Date Added:
02/23/2024
GrowNextGen: Dinner and data and drones, oh my!: technology in agriculture
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Educational Use
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Drones (or UAVs-unmanned aerial vehicles) are taking to the skies. What are they doing up there? What other technologies are there that help growers become more productive, yet more thoughtful about the effects on the environment, on which they depend on to continue producing food? This unit features 3 lessons and 5 files. Lessons are aligned to NGSS.

Subject:
Biology
Science
Material Type:
Module
Unit of Study
Provider:
GrowNextGen
Date Added:
02/23/2024
GrowNextGen: Engineering solutions in agriculture
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Educational Use
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Looking for an activity that combines robotics, coding, and engineering with a real life problem? This unit uses MakeBlock parts, Scratch programming, and modeling to help students design a solution to soil compaction. This unit features 2 lessons and 2 files. Lessons are aligned to NGSS.

Subject:
Biology
Science
Material Type:
Module
Unit of Study
Provider:
GrowNextGen
Date Added:
02/23/2024
GrowNextGen: Growing more food: biotechnology
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Educational Use
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Grow soybeans using Round-Up Ready seeds to illustrate how biotechnology can be used as a tool to increase production. Introduce students to different options for growing soybeans, investigate no-till farming versus conventional cultivation and the effects of each on soil fertility, and analyze Round-up Ready soybean growth. Students share the results of their investigations in a technical paper. This unit features 3 lessons and 9 files. Lessons are aligned to NGSS.

Subject:
Biology
Science
Material Type:
Module
Unit of Study
Provider:
GrowNextGen
Date Added:
02/23/2024
GrowNextGen: Healthy soils
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Educational Use
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“Soil” doesn’t just mean “dirt.” It is a mixture of minerals like rocks and clay, organic material like dead leaves, living organisms like worms, microbes, and insects, and even air and water. There is an entire world beneath your feet! Soil quality is important because it helps to sustain an ecosystem responsible for our food and fiber needs, environmental quality, and human health. This unit features 1 lesson and 1 file. Lessons are aligned to NGSS.

Subject:
Biology
Science
Material Type:
Module
Unit of Study
Provider:
GrowNextGen
Date Added:
02/23/2024
GrowNextGen: Managing nutrient and pesticide needs in agriculture
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Educational Use
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In this threaded PBL*, (an effort to integrate agricultural understandings into the normal sequence of an Environmental Science classroom) students will conduct several “close reads” (reading for understanding, analysis and application) which expose students to the science and engineering that is required to understand what farmers have to consider as they produce crops. These close reads take complex content and make it readable for students who are in middle school or high school and allow the teacher to incorporate literacy skills within their classroom. In the last section, students will conduct a real life simulation that illustrates a decision-making process to determine the application of chemicals to a fictional farm while addressing the needs of controlling specific nuisance weeds. Students will take a position on the application of chemicals to a field and defend their statement. This unit features 7 lessons and 12 files. Lessons are aligned to NGSS.

Subject:
Biology
Science
Material Type:
Module
Unit of Study
Provider:
GrowNextGen
Date Added:
02/23/2024
GrowNextGen: Nitrogen fixation and legumes: say what?
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Educational Use
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If the atmosphere is about 80% Nitrogen (N2), but plants cannot use that form, how do they get nitrogen? In this unit, students plant and care for soybeans under one of five different nitrogen/microbe regimes.

As the plants grow, students analyze and maintain records of their plant’s progress. Students will become familiar with the vegetative and reproductive stages of the soybean (more information and pictures of these stages can be found at the OSU crop extensions sites). Students keep records of the dates in which they observe these reproductive transitions. This unit features 2 lessons and 7 files. Lessons are aligned to NGSS.

Subject:
Biology
Science
Material Type:
Module
Unit of Study
Provider:
GrowNextGen
Date Added:
02/23/2024
GrowNextGen: Oh soy good! Milk types and food security
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Educational Use
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Investigate various milk sources and their composition through core disciplines of Science, Math, Social Studies and Language Arts to discover the availability of milk types within multiple cultures that serve as a complete food source and help to ensure food security. This unit features 6 lessons and 10 files. Lessons are aligned to NGSS.

Subject:
Biology
Science
Material Type:
Module
Unit of Study
Provider:
GrowNextGen
Date Added:
02/23/2024
GrowNextGen: Smart farming: using data to make decisions
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Educational Use
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Become a “farmer” on a journey from pre-planting to harvest to see what decisions farmers are making every year as they farm. Growers across the country are gaining access to more and more data about their farms. The data is being gathered through equipment or other precision agriculture techniques, then it must be analyzed so that decisions made will be based on evidence. Scientists in all disciplines use the same practices as farmers. This unit features 5 lessons and 27 files. Lessons are aligned to NGSS.

Subject:
Biology
Science
Material Type:
Module
Unit of Study
Provider:
GrowNextGen
Date Added:
02/23/2024