Hear about how respect for Earth can help us attain a more sustainable lifestyle in the face of climate change in this video segment adapted from United Tribes Technical College.
In this video adapted from Storyknife Productions, Alaska Native pilots share how they use traditional knowledge to read the landscape and predict the weather.
In this video adapted from KUAC-TV and the Geophysical Institute at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks, Alaska Native students contribute to research on how their environment is changing as a result of global warming.
In this video adapted from Alaska Sea Grant, discover why multiple tsunamis resulted from the Great Alaska Earthquake of 1964.
This video segment from Wild Europe: "Wild Arctic" explores the struggle for survival in one of Earth's most extreme environments.
In this video segment from Nature, learn about the problems bears are creating on ranch land surrounding Yellowstone National Park.
Students are introduced to the concepts of biomimicry and sustainable design. Countless examples illustrate the wisdom of nature in how organisms are adapted for survival, such as in body style, physiological processes, water conservation, thermal radiation and mutualistic relationships, to assure species perpetuation. Students learn from articles and videos, building a framework of evidence substantiating the indisputable fact that organisms operate "smarter" and thus provide humans with inspiration in how to improve products, systems and cities. As students focus on applying the ecological principles of the previous lessons to the future design of our human-centered world, they also learn that often our practices are incapable of replicating the precision in which nature completes certain functions, as evidenced by our dependence on bees as pollinators of the human food supply. The message of biomimicry is one of respect: study to improve human practices and ultimately protect natural systems. This heightened appreciation helps students to grasp the value of industry and urban mimetic designs to assure protection of global resources, minimize human impact and conserve nonrenewable resources. All of these issues aid students in creating a viable guest resort in the Sonoran Desert.
The lessons in this issue of Smithsonian in Your Classroom introduce the work of botanists and botanical illustrators, specifically their race to make records of endangered plant species around the world. “Very little of the world’s flora has been fully studied,” says one Smithsonian botanist, “and time is running out.” In the first lesson, students gets to know six endangered plants. They examine illustrations, photographs, and dried specimens of the plants as they consider this question: If a scientist can take a picture of a plant, are there advantages in having an illustration? They go on to consider some of the big questions that botanists themselves must ask: Which of these species are most in need of conservation efforts? Are any of these plants more worth saving than others?In the second lesson, the students try their own hands at botanical illustration, following the methods of a Smithsonian staff illustrator. All that is required for the lesson are pencils, markers, tracing paper, and access to a photocopier.
Learn about one town's conflict over the issue of spraying pesticides to combat disease-carrying insects, in this video segment from Greater Boston.
This activity is about planetary climate. Once familiar with the factors that determine a planet's surface temperature, learners will use an interactive spreadsheet model of a planet's atmosphere to determine if greenhouse gases, luminosity of the source, the distance of the planet from the source and the albedo of the planet can be manipulated so that the average surface temperature on Mars or Venus could support human life. Learners will then be asked to make some conclusions about these methods and suggest improvements for the spreadsheet model (see related resources for link to this model). The activity requires use of Microsoft Excel software. This is Activity D in the fourth module, titled "How do Atmospheres Affect Planetary Temperatures?," of "Earth Climate Course: What Determines a Planet's Climate?."
In this video produced for Teachers' Domain, learn about MIT professor Cathy Drennan's research into microorganisms that remove carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, from the atmosphere.
Students are challenged to design a method for separating steel from aluminum based on magnetic properties as is frequently done in recycling operations. To complicate the challenge, the magnet used to separate the steel must be able to be switched off to allow for the recollection of the steel. Students must ultimately design, test, and present an effective electromagnet.
This video adapted from KTOO takes a look at Earth's warming and cooling cycles and the current atypical trend of warming that is impacting the glaciers in Alaska's Inside Passage.
The Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness Network (CLEAN) website includes a collection of educational resources related to climate and energy science. The site also hosts an online community for educators to share and discuss resources and teaching methodology.
Learn how a family farm in Wisconsin functions and how it is impacted by climate change in this multimedia video produced by the Wisconsin Educational Communications Board.
The goal of this lesson is to introduce students to the advantages behind the colors and patterns displayed on Wisconsin critters using a collection of photos from Snapshot Wisconsin, a citizen science project utilizing a statewide network of trail cameras. This lesson plan includes an optional outdoor activity.
In this lesson, students find their location on a map using Latitude and Longitudinal coordinates. They determine where they should go to be rescued and how best to get there.
In this video segment adapted from Navajo Technical College, meet a dendroclimatologist who studies the relationship between precipitation and tree growth in the Navajo Nation.
This video segment from NOVA: A Desert Place describes the physical characteristics and organisms that define the desert biome.
Students are challenged to design a permanent guest village within the Saguaro National Park in Arizona. The design must provide a true desert experience to visitors while emphasizing sustainable design, protection of the natural environment, and energy and resource conservation. To successfully address and respond to this challenge, students must acquire an understanding of desert ecology, environmental limiting factors, species adaptations and resource utilization. Following theintroduction, students generate ideas and consider the knowledge required to complete the challenge. The lectures and activities that follow serve to develop this level of comprehension. To introduce the concepts of healthy ecosystems, biomimetics and the importance of sustainable environmental design, students watch three video clips of experts. These clips provide direction for student research and challenge design solutions.