Working in a social group provides a variety of benefits, including the ability to learn from others and share resources. However, disadvantages can also come with working in a social group. In this activity, students will brainstorm and discuss the pros and cons of social behaviors in a variety of realistic situations. After considering how disturbances affect social behaviors, students will write a paper that evaluates the relationship between disturbances, social behaviors, and population distributions.
Gardens have many functions ranging from vegetable and fruit production to flood mitigation and erosion control. Gardens also can be a haven for pollinators and a repository for native plants. Over the course of a year, students will design a garden for their school or a community organization using scientific concepts they learn in class.
How is the U.S. doing in its transition away from coal-fired power plants to renewable energy sources? Analyze state and national data to learn about the transition and one of the major challenges: keeping the grid stable as large power plants shut down.
When wind and water move, they don’t move alone — they take parts of the land with them. In this activity, students will investigate how water carries sediments from one location to another via erosion and will explore how this natural process can alter the landscape.
In the face of habitat loss and pollution, more species around the world are threatened by extinction. But how should conservation resources be allocated? In this activity, students will debate whether the allocation of conservation resources should consider the cultural significance of a species.
Soil erosion happens naturally and through human actions. In this activity, students will explore how an oil spill changed Louisiana’s coastline, and they will look for examples of landscape features that were created by erosion and examples of human-caused erosion in their area.
Students will discuss a disastrous event that led to erosion and use the event to contextualize the impact of erosion on humans and the ways humans increase and decrease erosion. Learning Outcomes: Determining examples of erosion and its positive and negative impacts on humans and analyzing an example of a human-induced ecosystem disruption and understanding how it caused erosion in the ecosystem over time.
Students will answer questions about the online Science News article “The Deepwater Horizon oil spill ruined long-term shore stability,” which explains how damage to plants and soils is causing coastal marshes to retreat in parts of Louisiana. A version of the article, “Shores still reeling from 2010 oil spill,” appears in the March 25, 2023 issue of Science News.
Lakes can vary in color based on levels of sediment, organic matter and algae. Sometimes though, a lake will stand out – not matching the other lakes in an area. Look for these anomalies by participating in a virtual lake scavenger hunt, and help figure out why these lakes don’t fit in! In this activity, students will learn how climate change influences lake color and will investigate lakes with irregular colors that have been impacted by natural or human-made forces.
Students will answer questions about the online Science News article “Earth may have 9,200 more tree species than previously thought,” which describes researchers’ efforts to estimate the number of tree species on Earth. A version of the article, “Earth may be hiding thousands of tree species,” appears in the March 12, 2022 issue of Science News