Cultural Connections for Species at Risk
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.
Shores Still Reeling from 2010 Oil Spill
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.
Cascading effects of erosion
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.
Why soils in marshes matter
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.
Lake scavenger hunt
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.
Earth May Be Hiding Thousands of Tree Species
In this guide, students will learn about scientists’ efforts to estimate how many tree species Earth has, analyze a related data visualization and discuss the implications the research has for conservation.
Counting Earth’s tree species
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
Wildfires May Boost Urban Ozone Levels
In this guide, students will explore chemical interactions within wildfire smoke and how urban air pollution can influence the reactions.
Chemistry of wildfire smoke
Students will answer questions about the online Science News article “Wildfire smoke may ramp up toxic ozone production in cities,” which explores new research into the interactions between wildfire smoke and air pollution in cities. A version of the article, “Wildfires may boost urban ozone levels,” appears in the January 15, 2022 issue of Science News.
Where there’s smoke, there’s science
Students will discuss the composition and properties of air and wildfire smoke, and explore how substances in smoke react to ramp up a certain type of air pollution.
Reimagining plastics recycling
Students will evaluate experimental methods for recycling plastics, gather data about the types of plastics they use at home, research plastics recycling in their community and write a letter to local officials that advocates for improving plastics recycling.
Earth Cannot Avoid a Warmer Future
In this guide, students will learn about a United Nations assessment that concludes human-caused climate change is behind extreme weather events. Then, students will discuss and compare climate scenarios and visualize some of the data.