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Published in 2005
Students have the opportunity to take a core sample of their local soil. Using PVC piping, a section of soil is pulled up, allowing students to observe the soil's different layers. Those layers are then separated and identified. The identification process helps students understand what elements make...
Grade Level   5 6 7 8
Classroom Activities Curricula and Instruction
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2
Link to a PDF for an activity: Hands-on experiment to test for acid mine damage
Grade Level   5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
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3
Different types of soil have different capabilities for retaining rainwater. When the soil in an area cannot hold enough rainwater, flooding occurs. Students in this activity measure the amount of water different soil types can handle. Following the activity, students discuss soil and flooding...
Grade Level   5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
Classroom Activities Curricula and Instruction
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4
Students will become familiar with fire terminology, realize how fire can be used as a management tool, and better understand the factors that need to be considered when planning a prescribed burn. In this activity the students will form opinions around fire management issues. They will then work in...
Grade Level   5 6 7 8
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5
Scientists, engineers, and others create geologic maps to determine the best places for people to settle, build, farm, and use land in a variety of ways. They also use geologic maps to monitor the ways that human activity might be changing the land itself over time. As the Geologic Map of Karst in...
Grade Level   6 7 8 9 10 11 12
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6
"Each group will design a water filtration system and present to the class why they picked their design. Students are given a variety of materials (soil, gravel, charcoal, etc) and must try to filter """"polluted"""" (with food coloring, salt, dish soap) water."
Grade Level   K 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
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7
"""""Soil porosity"""" refers to the amount of pore, or open space between soil particles. Pore spaces may be formed due to the movement of roots, worms, and insects; expanding gases trapped within these spaces by groundwater; and/or the dissolution of the soil parent material. Soil texture can also...
Grade Level   5 6 7 8 9 10
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8
We walk around on soil all the time, but how often do we think about what's in it? If you have ever looked closely at soil, you probably saw that it is made up of various types of particles and has various materials mixed in with those particles (rocks, twigs, water, air, worms, insects, and much...
Grade Level   5 6 7 8 9
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9
"The """"Blue Goose"""" has been the symbol of the National Wildlife Refuge System since it was first drawn by Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist J.N. """"Ding"""" Darling, one of the greatest supporters of wildlife conservation in the 20th century. Naturalist and author Rachel Carson had a reminder...
Grade Level   3 4 5 6 7 8
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10
There are many factors that combine to form soil, an important, slowly renewable resource. Some of these factors include climate, organisms, relief, parent material, and time. Soil provides the food, fiber, and building materials to nourish, clothe, and house Earth’s inhabitants. How does climate...
Grade Level   5 6 7 8
Classroom Activities Curricula and Instruction
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11
This activity allows students to experience what rocks and minerals go through during the rock cycle. The activity explains how to manipulate chocolate using heated water and a knife into different states representing metamorphic, igneous, and sedimentary rocks. Chocolate can be ground into small...
Grade Level   3 4 5 6 7 8
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12
Water is often called a renewable resource, but what does that really mean? Is water an unlimited resource? What happens to water after we use it? This investigation will help you understand exactly how much water you use in your home and how you can keep from wasting water. If many people are...
Grade Level   6 7 8 9 10 11 12
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13
It takes energy to run the appliances and machines we use everyday. The national average commercial cost to use this energy is ¤0.10/kilowatt hour. In addition to the financial cost, there is also an environmental cost in the form of carbon emissions. The general rule of thumb is that every...
Grade Level   6 7 8 9 10 11 12
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14
The National Wildlife Refuge System, managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, is the world's premier system of public lands and waters set aside to conserve America's fish, wildlife, and plants. Why not visit a national wildlife refuge in or near your community? A refuge is a place where you...
Grade Level   6 7 8 9 10 11 12
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15
On our ever-changing Earth, conditions may change quickly or slowly. Some changes come from natural processes; some from human activity. Satellites allow us to see conditions and track changes over time — in land use, forest health, land/water interface, and so on. Since 1972, Landsat...
Grade Level   6 7 8 9 10 11 12
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16
"Since 1970, oil and natural gas have provided more than half of the energy used each year in the United States to produce electricity, heat, transportation fuels, and many everyday products from balloons to vitamins. Oil and natural gas are forms of petroleum, a word that literally means...
Grade Level   6 7 8 9 10 11 12
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17
"Does your neighborhood have """"""""wild"""""""" places? What's """"""""wild""""""""? What's the personality of the environment between home and school? What's there? How do you relate to it? How does your perspective of local geography change between being on the ground and exploring from above?...
Grade Level   6 7 8 9 10 11 12
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18
Atmospheric scientists study weather processes, the global dynamics of climate, solar radiation and its effects, and the role of atmospheric chemistry in ozone depletion, climate change, and pollution. They observe what's going on in our atmosphere today and compare it to records from years past. To...
Grade Level   6 7 8 9 10 11 12
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19
Why is CO2 increasing in the atmosphere? Who is doing it? Many people think that CO2 is “pollution-” so that clean burning should be a way to eliminate greenhouse gas emissions. In this demonstration, we review basic chemistry (see illustration) to realize that producing CO2 is an...
Grade Level   6 7 8
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20
The second full week of October is not only Earth Science Week—it is also National Wildlife Refuge Week! During this time, you are encouraged to consider the legacy of Rachel Carson, an early leader in the environmental conservation movement, and the resource management activities of the U.S....
Grade Level   9 10 11 12
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