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Intermediate

Environmental Science

Lesson Plans

Field Trip to a Power Plant: A Reading Guide - Uses Global Systems Science GSS) text from Lawrence Hall of Science, available online, to study differences in fuels that power electrical plants.

Building and Monitoring a Living Machine: Students - construct a Living Machine and maintain the living machine for one semester. Explore the principles and components necessary for a healthy living machine. Learn how to monitor abiotic and biotic parameters by monitoring the living machine in class. Keep a journal for recording all observations and relate observations to lessons being learned in class.

 

Lesson Plan Links

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EPA'S Enviro-Mapper – Enter a zip code and your selection area appears with information on toxic releases, water discharge, air emissions, superfund sites and more. Links exist for watershed health, reports on chemical-based releases within an area of choice, brown field development, and environmental monitoring in the New York City area in the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. (Audience: high school and up)
www.epa.gov/enviro/html/
Environmental Research and Education Foundation's Educational Activities for Secondary Schools - Activity 1 deals with Landfills. Activity 2 concerns packaging and transporting municipal solid waste and hazardous waste. Classes who complete the activities will receive a Certificate of Completion from EREF. For grades K-5, EREF offers its Solid Choices curricula, also available on the website. All EREF materials can be downloaded as pdf files.
www.erefdn.org
Endangered Species 2 - Working to Save Endangered Species" (6-8) Science NetLinks, American Association for the Advancement of Science. Students explore the Endangered Species Act and the work of scientists who strive to identify, investigate and protect species.
http://www.marcopolo-education.org/mg/lesson582.aspx
EPA GLOBAL WARMING BY STATE - from EPA, the site offers a state by state discussion on the impacts of climate warming. For each state you will find how climate change will affect human health, agriculture, water resources, forests, and ecosystems. (Audience: middle school and up)
yosemite.epa.gov/oar/globalwarming.nsf/content/ImpactsStateImpacts.html
EnviroScience - The following site has good background information on water quality and testing instruments as well ass lesson plans. Has some good cost-benefit analysis activities, like "The Shell Island Dilemma."
www.leo.lehigh.edu/envirosci/guide/
Coral Reef Connections - This resource explores Australia's Great Barrier Reef, the largest structure on Earth built by living organisms. It demonstrates the types of relationships among living things that have contributed to this incredible biodiversity and elaborates on some of the adaptations that have enabled species to survive and reproduce in this unique habitat.
www.pbs.org/wgbh/evolution/survival/coral/
The Question in Smithdale - Classroom Activity from Science & Children, November/December 1994 posterback. Students simulate a "public meeting" to resolve concerns about a proposed land exchange involving public lands and the town of Smithdale. Includes background and position cards.
www.blm.gov/education/00_resources/articles/
understanding_ecosystem_management/posterback.html
Environmental Rhyme and Reason (Grades to 6-8, 9-12) Analyzing 'The State of the Planet' - Students employ poetry as a medium to relay information and express views about significant environmental issues that exist today and to assess their effects on 'The State of the Planet' as we enter the next millennium.
www.nytimes.com/learning/teachers/lessons/19991123tuesday.html
Air Quality Lesson Plans and Data - All grades. What causes air quality problems? How bad is the air quality? Here is a lead page for a series of lesson plans about air quality. A number of the plans link to data from different parts of Texas.
www.tnrcc.state.tx.us/air/monops/lessons/lesson_plans.html
Global Warming Statistics - This page presents a lesson plan for an inquiry lesson to be carried out by students on global warming. It uses climatic data for locations worldwide for which weblinks are provided. Students are expected to collect and analyze and present data.
www.thirteen.org/edonline/lessons/global/index.html
EPA Environmental Classroom Activities - Superfund for Students and Teachers - This section includes resources to help teachers and educate students (grades 2-12) about the Superfund Program. It includes several activities, environmental cleanup videos, and a participatory program in which classrooms collect weather data for EPA. Activities like: "Waste: Where Does It Come From? Where Does It Go?", "How Hazardous Substances Effect People" and "Examine the Effects of Pollution on Ecosystems".
www.epa.gov/superfund/students/clas_act/index.htm
What Makes up an Ecosystem? - What is necessary for a healthy ecosystem? Here is an 8th grade lesson plan that asks students to make an ecosystem and discuss the organisms that feed upon each other. They will think about how energy moves in the ecosystem.
entowww.tamu.edu/academic/ucourses/ento489/ and click on lesson plans.
Let's Create An Ecosystem - What is an ecosystem? Here is a 7th grade plan (although it is listed under 9-12) to have students create an ecosystem in the classroom using an aquarium. They can maintain the ecosystem and make changes in it during the year. They can also learn about energy flow in the ecosystem.
entowww.tamu.edu/academic/ucourses/ento489/ and click on lesson plans.
Hubbard Brook Ecosystem Study - Why have a research forest? Find out that answer and read about the long-term forest and associated aquatic ecosystems studies that are being done here.
www.hubbardbrook.org/
Earth Systems in a Bottle - Article describing this activity and the activity itself.
www.nsta.org/main/news/pdf/tst0009_48.pdf
As the World Turns - Ecosystems are communities of plants and animals in their immediate surroundings. An ecosystem can be in a desert, a tropical jungle, an ocean or a pond. Create your own ecosystem in a bottle and observe the growth of plants.
www.kineticcity.com//old/lab/HCHO/hcho6.html
To Plant or Not to Plant - Learn about deserts, other biomes, and the plant life they support as you travel with Bill Botanist. Use the interactive game to help him determine which biome will be best for his plant specimens.
earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Laboratory/Biome/
Common Ground (6-8, 9-12) - Through visiting places where habitats overlap, students explore the concept of ecotones. The student will identify the characteristics of ecotones or overlapping ecosystems in wildlife habitat in or near their communities and describe why plants and animals are generally more diverse in ecotones than in separate ecosystems.
www.sd5.k12.mt.us/glaciereft/envi6-12.htm
Spinning the EcoWeb (3-12) - Through a physical activity, students discover the components and relationships of ecoregions and the role of ecosystem management in these ecoregions. The student will: 1. Describe some non-living and living components of an ecoregion (a geographic area where the combination of climate and soils produce a distinct plant community). 2. Demonstrate a component of an ecoregion. 3. Describe how each living component in an ecoregion is related to the sun and to other ecoregion components.
www.sd5.k12.mt.us/glaciereft/envir3-1.htm
How to Build a Pizza Box Solar Oven - This small solar oven is ideal for heating s'mores, warming store-bought cookies or biscuits.
www.nrel.gov/education/solar_oven.html

See Environmental Issues >> Intermediate >> Additional Resources
for Web sites with information on ecosystems.

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