SC.7.E.6.6

Identify the impact that humans have had on Earth, such as deforestation, urbanization, desertification, erosion, air and water quality, changing the flow of water.
General Information
Subject Area: Science
Grade: 7
Body of Knowledge: Earth and Space Science
Idea: Level 2: Basic Application of Skills & Concepts
Big Idea: Earth Structures - Over geologic time, internal and external sources of energy have continuously altered the features of Earth by means of both constructive and destructive forces. All life, including human civilization, is dependent on Earth's internal and external energy and material resources.
Date Adopted or Revised: 02/08
Date of Last Rating: 05/08
Status: State Board Approved
Assessed: Yes

Related Courses

This benchmark is part of these courses.
2002070: M/J Comprehensive Science 2 (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022, 2022 and beyond (current))
2002080: M/J Comprehensive Science 2, Advanced (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022, 2022 and beyond (current))
2001010: M/J Earth/Space Science (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022, 2022 and beyond (current))
2001020: M/J Earth/Space Science, Advanced (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022, 2022 and beyond (current))
7820016: Access M/J Comprehensive Science 2 (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2018, 2018 - 2023, 2023 and beyond (current))
2002085: M/J Comprehensive Science 2 Accelerated Honors (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022, 2022 and beyond (current))
2002200: M/J STEM Environmental Science (Specifically in versions: 2015 - 2022, 2022 and beyond (current))
2001100: M/J Coastal Science 1 (Specifically in versions: 2022 and beyond (current))
2001105: M/J Coastal Science 2 (Specifically in versions: 2022 and beyond (current))

Related Access Points

Alternate version of this benchmark for students with significant cognitive disabilities.
SC.7.E.6.Pa.3: Recognize that ground on the Earth’s surface changes over time.
SC.7.E.6.In.5: Recognize that humans have had an impact on Earth, such as polluting the air and water and expanding urban areas and road systems.
SC.7.E.6.Su.5: Recognize that polluting the air and water can harm Earth.

Related Resources

Vetted resources educators can use to teach the concepts and skills in this benchmark.

3D Modeling

Wind Farm Design Challenge:

In this engineering design challenge, students are asked to create the most efficient wind turbine while balancing cost constraints. Students will apply their knowledge of surface area and graphing while testing 3D-printed wind farm blades. In the end, students are challenged to design and test their own wind farm blades, using Tinkercad to model a 3D-printable blade.

Type: 3D Modeling

Lesson Plans

Can You Hear My Voice?- Lesson 3:

This is the final lesson of 3 within an integrated civics unit. In this lesson, students will create a simulation program in Scratch in which they walk through the steps to address an environmental issue either at the local or state level.

Type: Lesson Plan

Can You Hear My Voice?-Lesson 2:

This is lesson 2 in a 3-lesson unit plan. In this integrated civics lesson, students will choose an environmental issue, determine whether it should be addressed locally or by the state, research public policy alternatives, identify an appropriate government agency and/or representative to address the issue and determine a course of action. Additionally, students will learn how computer technology can be used to aid in civic action.

Type: Lesson Plan

Florida's Rock Cycle (Part 3): The Weathering and Erosion of Coquina and the Castillo de San Marcos National Monument:

In this integrated lesson plan, students will reflect on their observations of weathering and erosion of Castillo de San Marco National Monument (from lesson 2) and the roles and responsibilities of those involved in its preservation. As a final product, they will draft a letter to the government official/agency responsible for the monument, detailing what they have learned about the Castillo monument, how the science of weathering and erosion apply, why it is important to prioritize restoration/preservation of the monument, and their ideas for better maintenance based on their research. As a culminating activity, students will peer review each others’ letters for improvement.

Type: Lesson Plan

Repercussions of Human Impact:

Students will discuss the consequences of human impacts on Earth and then teach a topic to other classmates in this integrated lesson plan.

Type: Lesson Plan

Cruise Ship Port Commission Meeting:

Students will debate the environmental and human impacts associated with building a cruise ship port in their county, exploring the roles and responsibilities that the scientific community, individuals, and interest groups play in influencing government policy with this integrated lesson plan.

Type: Lesson Plan

Human Impacts on Earth:

Students will evaluate whether various human activities impact the Earth and then discuss our civic duties and obligations to our Earth.  They will also use scenarios to examine whose responsibility it is to protect the Earth from human impact in this integrated lesson plan.

Type: Lesson Plan

Florida's Rock Cycle (Part 2): Weathering and Erosion of Castillo de San Marcos National Monument:

In this integrated lesson plan, students will investigate the weathering and erosion of coquina rock in the Castillo de San Marcos National Monument via Google Earth and will research the history of the monument and the government agency responsible for its preservation.

Type: Lesson Plan

Human Impact on Marine Water Quality:

Students will brainstorm and illustration various human impacts on marine ecosystems and who is responsible for protecting these systems, in this integrated lesson plan.

Type: Lesson Plan

Cruise Ship Waste and Environmental Policy:

Students learn about, summarize, and discuss US regulation and international policy as it relates to cruise ship waste dumping in this integrated lesson plan.

Type: Lesson Plan

Human Impact and Civic Duty to Earth:

Students will brainstorm and share knowledge about human impacts on Earth and their civic duty to protect the Earth through anchor charts (round robin style), discussion, and a worksheet in this integrated lesson plan.

Type: Lesson Plan

Florida's Rock Cycle (Part 1): Weathering and Erosion on Your School Campus:

Students will identify signs of weathering and erosion on their school campus in a fieldwork investigation. They will then identify the appropriate school/district official to contact about their concerns, and create a professional email to that official advocating for the maintenance and repair of their school.

Type: Lesson Plan

Help! They are damming the river!:

Students will observe a teacher demonstration of a simple stream table that illustrates the results of damming the flow of a river.  Next students will read position statements of stakeholders concerning a newly proposed dam of a local river. Given a list of government agencies, students will work in a group to determine which agency can best address their concerns about the potential dam.

Type: Lesson Plan

A Rocky Debate: How do coastal structures reduce rates of coastal erosion?:

Students will be tasked with analyzing various methods of protecting coasts from erosion. Students will review a dataset with logistics about each type of coastal structure. Students will rank which structures they feel should be utilized to best protect a local beachfront town. The students will write a letter to the local government to persuade them on which structure should be used. Students will be challenged to think critically, analyze information, and work collaboratively in this model eliciting activity.

Model Eliciting Activities, MEAs, are open-ended, interdisciplinary problem-solving activities that are meant to reveal students’ thinking about the concepts embedded in realistic situations. Click here to learn more about MEAs and how they can transform your classroom.

Type: Lesson Plan

Clean the pier- To fish or not to fish?:

Students will examine the impact humans can have on the water quality at a popular public fishing pier and ways that citizens can interact with the government to address cleaning the pier in this integrated MEA. Students will analyze the revenue from the fishing pier, peak visiting times, and amounts of marine debris accumulated to determine the pros/cons of closing the fishing pier more frequently to clean the marine debris. Students will research which government agency must be contacted with a proposal.

Model Eliciting Activities, MEAs, are open-ended, interdisciplinary problem-solving activities that are meant to reveal students’ thinking about the concepts embedded in realistic situations. Click here to learn more about MEAs and how they can transform your classroom.

Type: Lesson Plan

Clean It Up:

Students will help a volunteer coordinator choose cleanup projects that will have the greatest positive impact on the environment and the community.  They will apply their knowledge of how litter can impact ecosystems along with some math skills to make recommendations for cleanup zones to prioritize.  Students will explore the responsibilities of citizens to maintain a clean environment and the impact that litter can have on society in this integrated Model Eliciting Activity.  

Model Eliciting Activities, MEAs, are open-ended, interdisciplinary problem-solving activities that are meant to reveal students’ thinking about the concepts embedded in realistic situations.  Click here to learn more about MEAs and how they can transform your classroom.

Type: Lesson Plan

The Surprising World of Complex Systems:

This lesson introduces students to complex systems and to basic concepts from the field of system dynamics that lie at the heart of systems thinking. These concepts include stocks and flows, feedback loops, unintended consequences, and the basic principle that the behavior of complex systems can best be understood by looking at the system as a whole, and specifically by analyzing the system’s underlying structure. The lesson introduces these topics through an immersion in (and a role-play simulation of) the dynamics of urban recycling systems, many of which have been thrown into crisis in the past two years. Through this current-affairs example of complex systems in crisis, we identify some key structural features that help to explain how these systems behave over time. We also discover how well-intentioned action can cause negative unintended consequences when we try to intervene in a complex system without understanding how it operates.

Type: Lesson Plan

Sea Level Rise: The Ocean's Uplifting Experience:

The purpose of this lesson is to introduce students to the concept of sea level rise as it occurs through climate change by having them examine 3 specific parameters:  ice distribution, thermal expansion, and analyzing and interpreting data.  The lesson and activities within the lesson were designed using the three dimensions of the Framework for K-12 Science Education and the Next Generation Science Standards – specifically crosscutting concepts, science and engineering practices, and disciplinary core ideas. While there isn’t any required pre-requisite learning required for this lesson, a general understanding of sea-level rise, glaciers, and climate may be beneficial to students. During classroom breaks, pairs of students will develop/discuss their models, revise their interpretations of their models or data, and think-pair-share their thoughts on the investigation segments.

Type: Lesson Plan

Gr. 7 Lesson 3-Groundwater Pollution:

Students will be able to explain how aquifers can become polluted on the land surface and identify human impacts. 

Type: Lesson Plan

Gr. 7 Lesson 2-The Everglades and Aquifers:

Students will be able to explain what an aquifer is and why aquifers are important for us and the Everglades. Students will also be able to explain how aquifers can become polluted. 

Type: Lesson Plan

Gr. 7 Lesson 1-Discovering What Wetlands Do:

Students will be able to 

  • Describe how human impacts have had an effect on the Everglades, such as water quality and altered flow of water 
  • Explain 3 important wetlands functions 
  • Write an informative text to examine the multi-step procedures and how they relate to human impacts on the Everglades using new vocabulary in context 

Type: Lesson Plan

Deforestation:

In this 5E lesson, students will collect data through a simulation game on deforestation and be able to describe how humans have impacted a simulated forest. Students will learn about subsistence farming and its role in rain forest (primary) forest deforestation.

Type: Lesson Plan

Netting 4 Bugs:

This is a STEM challenge in which students design and create a net to collect macroinvertebrates in simulated streams. Then students analyze the quality of their nets by the amount of macroinvertebrates they are able to collect. After testing, they will redesign to improve their nets. The final test will be done by evaluating a simulated stream's water quality. Students will conduct a simulated bioassessment of a stream by sampling macroinvertebrates and evaluating a stream's water quality using a pollution tolerance index. They learn about the human impact on waterways and the importance of using aquatic macroinvertebrates to monitor water quality.

Type: Lesson Plan

Medium Needed:

In this MEA, groups of students will evaluate the media for growing plants hydroponically in order to help restore some native species of the Everglades. Students will learn about hydroponics as an alternative agricultural practice, the rock cycle, types of landforms in Florida, and will use different methods to analyze data and arrive to conclusions, as well as present them in a detailed description of procedures and conclusions, including justification and evidence for each decision.

Model Eliciting Activities, MEAs, are open-ended, interdisciplinary problem-solving activities that are meant to reveal students’ thinking about the concepts embedded in realistic situations. Click here to learn more about MEAs and how they can transform your classroom.

Type: Lesson Plan

Sea Ice Analysis Grade 7:

The changing climate is an important topic for both scientific analysis and worldly knowledge. This lesson uses data collected by the National Snow and Ice Data Center to create and use statistical analysis as a tool to evaluate the sea ice loss. Students will use technology to quickly generate graphs for each month looking for trends, patterns, or deviations over time.

Type: Lesson Plan

Wolves of Yellowstone - Ecology & Human Impact:

In this MEA, students will decide how many wolves to introduce into Yellowstone National Park's ecosystem. The number of wolves could influence many factors, from the tourism industry to local farming businesses, as well as the populations of other species in the area. Students must choose to introduce the number of wolves they feel will be most beneficial to the preservation of Yellowstone National Park as determined by the mission statement of Yellowstone and the National Park Service.

Model Eliciting Activities, MEAs, are open-ended, interdisciplinary problem-solving activities that are meant to reveal students’ thinking about the concepts embedded in realistic situations. Click here to learn more about MEAs and how they can transform your classroom.

Type: Lesson Plan

STEM-Water Filtration:

This is a STEM-Engineering Design Challenge lesson. Students will go through the process of creating a water filtration system using their knowledge of the impact that humans have on the Earth and percent change.

Type: Lesson Plan

Finding, Producing, and Moving Oil: Examining Effects on the Environment:

Oil is a natural resource of vital importance to nations around the world. In this lesson, students will read a short informational text that outlines the benefits and burdens of responsible use of oil, including what needs to be considered when exploring and drilling, when using hydraulic fracturing, and when transporting oil. The article also briefly discusses actions the U.S. took after several major oil spills to help better protect the environment in the future. This lesson is designed to support reading in the content area. The lesson plan includes a note-taking guide, text-dependent questions, a writing prompt, and sample answer keys.

Type: Lesson Plan

Human Footprint and Albedo:

Students will learn that the human footprint can be a causal factor for high and low albedo which in turn can be contributors to deforestation, urbanization, erosion air and water quality and the change of water flow. Students will learn how to take albedo readings and see if they correlate to the aforementioned problem areas.

Type: Lesson Plan

Solar Powered MEA:

Students will explore ways in which energy conservation affects the environment.

Model Eliciting Activities, MEAs, are open-ended, interdisciplinary problem-solving activities that are meant to reveal students’ thinking about the concepts embedded in realistic situations. Click here to learn more about MEAs and how they can transform your classroom.

Type: Lesson Plan

Deforestation A Global Issue:

An interactive writing lesson that reinforces content area learning through argumentation.

Type: Lesson Plan

Human Impact On Life And The Ecological Processes In Each of Earth's Spheres:

Students will use their previous knowledge of the interactions of earth's atmosphere, cryosphere, geosphere, hydrosphere and biosphere for this unit. They will explore different forms of human impacts such as urbanization, deforestation, desertification and erosion and learn how these impacts affect Earth's spheres. They will also learn what we can do to minimize this human impact.

Type: Lesson Plan

Everything is NOT Okeedokee in Okeechobee!:

Students will gain background knowledge and develop a greater understanding of how human impact has affected local waterways. Students will work collaboratively to develop and defend an argument about how urbanization and different types of pollution have resulted in water flow changes from Lake Okeechobee.

Type: Lesson Plan

"It's All Down Hill":

Students will be able to determine the cause/effects of deforestation and urbanization on the environment. Students will use inductive/deductive reasoning skills to determine how to correct the negative effects of human impact. This assignment involves: Direct instruction, recalling prior knowledge, group experiments, and a teacher-led demonstration that will allow students to see the effects of deforestation on the environment and how it (and other factors) can cause landslides first hand. Note: This lab will take at least 3-5 days of preparation before the lesson is started. Please refer to the "Complete Lesson" print out.

Type: Lesson Plan

Earth Movers and Takers:

In this lesson, students are given a fictious town that has a number of problems with erosion that have been exaserbated by the people who live there. In groups students are required to draw the town and analyze the problem to create solutions for solving the town's problems with erosion.

Type: Lesson Plan

How BIG is your footprint?:

Through daily journal entries and analysis, students will come to understand how their daily habits are negatively impacting Earth and how they can change their activities to reduce the size of their impact.

Type: Lesson Plan

Nitrogen - Good, Bad and Ugly:

Students will explore the concept of the nitrogen cycle and its importance for living organisms by role playing and diagramming the paths nitrogen takes within its renewable cycle.

Type: Lesson Plan

Recycling: Are We Doing Our Part?:

Students will explore their understanding of human impacts on the environment, then relate it to how we must reuse, reduce, recycle. Next students will conduct a survey on recycling habits, create data displays using their collected data, draw conclusions, and present group's findings to the class.

Type: Lesson Plan

What's in the Water in Your Watershed?:

Students will work in groups to collect water from different areas in a watershed and measure the following characteristics: pH, salinity, dissolved oxygen, and temperature. Students then construct a water filtration apparatus and observe changes in the listed characteristics based on filtration. This activity guides the students to understanding the differences in water quality in various locations within the watershed through investigation and collaboration.

Prior to teaching the lesson, teachers should have a basic understanding of the watershed where the water will be collected. Detailed information can be obtained from the water management district. See for links to Florida's water management districts.

Ideally, the water should be collected by the students from a site on or near school property. Be sure to follow school and district guidelines for field work.

Type: Lesson Plan

Water Troubles:

This Model Eliciting Activity (MEA) presents students with the real-world problem of contaminated drinking water.  Students are asked to provide recommendations for a non-profit organization working to help a small Romanian village acquire clean drinking water.  They will work to develop the best temporary strategies for water treatment, including engineering the best filtering solution using local materials.  Students will utilize measures of center and variation to compare data, assess proportional relationships to make decisions, and perform unit conversions across different measurement systems.

Type: Lesson Plan

Future Car - Energy and the Environment:

Students must choose which type of automotive power plant is the best choice for a car company to use in its upcoming eco-friendly model. The students must make this decision based on characteristics of each power plant, such as efficiency, production cost, and production energy. Students must decide what they feel makes the car most “ecological.” They may choose a very low-polluting car that is very difficult and costly to produce, or one that has more emissions, but uses very limited resources to develop. This lesson could be used to either as an introduction or a follow-up to a lesson about ecology, energy use and conservation, or human environmental impacts.

Model Eliciting Activities, MEAs, are open-ended, interdisciplinary problem-solving activities that are meant to reveal students’ thinking about the concepts embedded in realistic situations. Click here to learn more about MEAs and how they can transform your classroom.

Type: Lesson Plan

Deforestation and Urbanization:

This a lesson on the effects of deforestation and urbanization. Student will complete a diorama project with essay which is included in the lesson plan. There is a rubric for the essay attached as well.

Type: Lesson Plan

Thirst of a Nation:

In this inquiry activity students will be engineers that are tasked to design, build, test and evaluate a prototype to filter water.

Type: Lesson Plan

Brr! How Cold is the Antarctic? :

In this PBL activity, students use online data to determine the extent of temperature changes in the Antarctic. They will analyze their data using measures of central tendency as well as measuring its variability. They will also use scratch to assist them in the calculations. These lesson will take two 50-minute periods.

Type: Lesson Plan

Sustain Me:

The purpose of this MEA is to have students explore human impact on Earth as well as to look at workable solutions that they can implement in order to minimize this impact. This MEA focuses on water sustainability as defined by the EPA and requires that the students explore several Low Impact Development (LID) options to implement at school.

Model Eliciting Activities, MEAs, are open-ended, interdisciplinary problem-solving activities that are meant to reveal students’ thinking about the concepts embedded in realistic situations. Click here to learn more about MEAs and how they can transform your classroom.

Type: Lesson Plan

Original Student Tutorials

Human Impact: Desertification:

Explore desertification and the impact people have on it as you complete this interactive tutorial.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Human Impact: Deforestation:

Explore the loss of forests due to human impacts in this interactive tutorial.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Perspectives Video: Experts

Bycatch and the Impact on Biodiversity:

Dean Grubbs of Florida State Universisty, discusses the impact bycatch has on ocean life.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

Why did we throw it away?:

Dean Grubbs explains how different types of trash, like plastics, ends up in the ocean and how they become a detriment to marine life.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

Human Impact on the Ocean:

Dean Grubbs explains the ways in which humans can impact the ocean.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

Monitoring Water Quality in the Florida Keys:

Water quality is extremely important to the aquatic ecosystem, and human activities all over the country can impact the water around the Florida Keys. Dive in and learn more!

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

Mangrove Restoration:

Mangrove restoration efforts are rooted in hard work by many volunteers. Learn more now!

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

Perspectives Video: Professional/Enthusiasts

Determining Remote Locations with Math:

Ecologist, Rebecca Means, describes the process of determining remote locations in the USA and developing quantitative questions that are appropriate.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Professional/Enthusiast

Salvaging Timber from Riverbeds :

Coleman Mackie discusses the process of how he salvages pre-cut timbers from the bottom of river beds, the importance of ring density, buoyancy and the uses of the recovered logs.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Professional/Enthusiast

Sampling Bird Populations to Track Environmental Restoration:

<p>Sometimes scientists conduct a census, too! Learn how population sampling can help monitor the progress of an ecological restoration project.</p>

Type: Perspectives Video: Professional/Enthusiast

Text Resources

Oil and the Environment:

This informational text resource is designed to support reading in the content area. Oil is a natural resource of vital importance to nations around the world. This article outlines the benefits and burdens of responsible use of oil, including what needs to be considered when exploring and drilling, when using hydraulic fracturing, and when transporting oil. The article also briefly discusses actions the U.S. took after several major oil spills to help better protect the environment in the future.

Type: Text Resource

The Money of Global Warming: Q&A with McKenzie Funk:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. The climate on Earth is changing and there are individuals and companies positioning themselves to make money on these changes. For example, oil companies are acquiring leases in previously frozen regions, arid farmland is being purchased because the land may be better in the future for growing crops than it is now as a result of climate changes.

Type: Text Resource

Water, Water, not Everywhere:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. The article describes the cause and effect of farming and agriculture on the groundwater reserve. The article explains the water cycle and how scientists used two satellites named Tom and Jerry to track the changes in the amount of groundwater on earth. The article also details how gravity played a role in helping satellites detect the changes in water level. Finally, the article explains how farming uses the groundwater reserve stored many years ago, and how it depletes this reserve as a result.

Type: Text Resource

Flu River:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. This article discusses how a drug widely used to flight influenza—Tamiflu—is contaminating bodies of water. It describes how this poses potential risks to humans and wildlife.

Type: Text Resource

Energy Companies Triggered Quakes, Study Says:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. Scientists recently linked the injection of carbon dioxide into the ground with increased numbers of earthquakes in Texas. This may have consequences for plans to store CO2 underground to slow global warming or inject it during the process of oil mining.

Type: Text Resource

Drinking Water: Bottled or from the Tap?:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. The National Geographic Kids article discusses the environmental problems caused by disposable water bottle use.

Type: Text Resource

Humans Threaten Wetlands' Ability to Keep Pace with Sea-Level Rise:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. The text discusses the different benefits that wetlands bring to the environment, their potential resilience to sea level rise, and the different ways in which human-caused climate change is affecting their potential resiliency.

Type: Text Resource

Deforestation:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. This article discusses deforestation, its causes, and its effects on ecosystems.

Type: Text Resource

Thirst for Water Moves and Shakes California:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. Humans have been pumping large amounts of groundwater from the Central Valley of California for their own hydration needs. Recent research has found that this loss of mass is causing the Earth's crust to shift, which may be causing small earthquakes and the slight rise of mountains in California.

Type: Text Resource

STEM Lessons - Model Eliciting Activity

Future Car - Energy and the Environment:

Students must choose which type of automotive power plant is the best choice for a car company to use in its upcoming eco-friendly model. The students must make this decision based on characteristics of each power plant, such as efficiency, production cost, and production energy. Students must decide what they feel makes the car most “ecological.” They may choose a very low-polluting car that is very difficult and costly to produce, or one that has more emissions, but uses very limited resources to develop. This lesson could be used to either as an introduction or a follow-up to a lesson about ecology, energy use and conservation, or human environmental impacts.

Model Eliciting Activities, MEAs, are open-ended, interdisciplinary problem-solving activities that are meant to reveal students’ thinking about the concepts embedded in realistic situations. Click here to learn more about MEAs and how they can transform your classroom.

Medium Needed:

In this MEA, groups of students will evaluate the media for growing plants hydroponically in order to help restore some native species of the Everglades. Students will learn about hydroponics as an alternative agricultural practice, the rock cycle, types of landforms in Florida, and will use different methods to analyze data and arrive to conclusions, as well as present them in a detailed description of procedures and conclusions, including justification and evidence for each decision.

Model Eliciting Activities, MEAs, are open-ended, interdisciplinary problem-solving activities that are meant to reveal students’ thinking about the concepts embedded in realistic situations. Click here to learn more about MEAs and how they can transform your classroom.

Solar Powered MEA:

Students will explore ways in which energy conservation affects the environment.

Model Eliciting Activities, MEAs, are open-ended, interdisciplinary problem-solving activities that are meant to reveal students’ thinking about the concepts embedded in realistic situations. Click here to learn more about MEAs and how they can transform your classroom.

Sustain Me:

The purpose of this MEA is to have students explore human impact on Earth as well as to look at workable solutions that they can implement in order to minimize this impact. This MEA focuses on water sustainability as defined by the EPA and requires that the students explore several Low Impact Development (LID) options to implement at school.

Model Eliciting Activities, MEAs, are open-ended, interdisciplinary problem-solving activities that are meant to reveal students’ thinking about the concepts embedded in realistic situations. Click here to learn more about MEAs and how they can transform your classroom.

Water Troubles:

This Model Eliciting Activity (MEA) presents students with the real-world problem of contaminated drinking water.  Students are asked to provide recommendations for a non-profit organization working to help a small Romanian village acquire clean drinking water.  They will work to develop the best temporary strategies for water treatment, including engineering the best filtering solution using local materials.  Students will utilize measures of center and variation to compare data, assess proportional relationships to make decisions, and perform unit conversions across different measurement systems.

Wolves of Yellowstone - Ecology & Human Impact:

In this MEA, students will decide how many wolves to introduce into Yellowstone National Park's ecosystem. The number of wolves could influence many factors, from the tourism industry to local farming businesses, as well as the populations of other species in the area. Students must choose to introduce the number of wolves they feel will be most beneficial to the preservation of Yellowstone National Park as determined by the mission statement of Yellowstone and the National Park Service.

Model Eliciting Activities, MEAs, are open-ended, interdisciplinary problem-solving activities that are meant to reveal students’ thinking about the concepts embedded in realistic situations. Click here to learn more about MEAs and how they can transform your classroom.

Original Student Tutorials Science - Grades K-8

Human Impact: Deforestation:

Explore the loss of forests due to human impacts in this interactive tutorial.

Human Impact: Desertification:

Explore desertification and the impact people have on it as you complete this interactive tutorial.

Student Resources

Vetted resources students can use to learn the concepts and skills in this benchmark.

Original Student Tutorials

Human Impact: Desertification:

Explore desertification and the impact people have on it as you complete this interactive tutorial.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Human Impact: Deforestation:

Explore the loss of forests due to human impacts in this interactive tutorial.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Lesson Plans

The Surprising World of Complex Systems:

This lesson introduces students to complex systems and to basic concepts from the field of system dynamics that lie at the heart of systems thinking. These concepts include stocks and flows, feedback loops, unintended consequences, and the basic principle that the behavior of complex systems can best be understood by looking at the system as a whole, and specifically by analyzing the system’s underlying structure. The lesson introduces these topics through an immersion in (and a role-play simulation of) the dynamics of urban recycling systems, many of which have been thrown into crisis in the past two years. Through this current-affairs example of complex systems in crisis, we identify some key structural features that help to explain how these systems behave over time. We also discover how well-intentioned action can cause negative unintended consequences when we try to intervene in a complex system without understanding how it operates.

Type: Lesson Plan

Sea Level Rise: The Ocean's Uplifting Experience:

The purpose of this lesson is to introduce students to the concept of sea level rise as it occurs through climate change by having them examine 3 specific parameters:  ice distribution, thermal expansion, and analyzing and interpreting data.  The lesson and activities within the lesson were designed using the three dimensions of the Framework for K-12 Science Education and the Next Generation Science Standards – specifically crosscutting concepts, science and engineering practices, and disciplinary core ideas. While there isn’t any required pre-requisite learning required for this lesson, a general understanding of sea-level rise, glaciers, and climate may be beneficial to students. During classroom breaks, pairs of students will develop/discuss their models, revise their interpretations of their models or data, and think-pair-share their thoughts on the investigation segments.

Type: Lesson Plan

Perspectives Video: Expert

Monitoring Water Quality in the Florida Keys:

Water quality is extremely important to the aquatic ecosystem, and human activities all over the country can impact the water around the Florida Keys. Dive in and learn more!

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

Perspectives Video: Professional/Enthusiast

Sampling Bird Populations to Track Environmental Restoration:

<p>Sometimes scientists conduct a census, too! Learn how population sampling can help monitor the progress of an ecological restoration project.</p>

Type: Perspectives Video: Professional/Enthusiast

Parent Resources

Vetted resources caregivers can use to help students learn the concepts and skills in this benchmark.

Perspectives Video: Expert

Monitoring Water Quality in the Florida Keys:

Water quality is extremely important to the aquatic ecosystem, and human activities all over the country can impact the water around the Florida Keys. Dive in and learn more!

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

Perspectives Video: Professional/Enthusiast

Sampling Bird Populations to Track Environmental Restoration:

<p>Sometimes scientists conduct a census, too! Learn how population sampling can help monitor the progress of an ecological restoration project.</p>

Type: Perspectives Video: Professional/Enthusiast