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AP/IB/Honors Environmental Science Activity Browse

Search for activities specifically designed for introductory college level environmental science courses. Refine this search by either clicking on the terms in boxes to the right or typing a term into the search box below. Activities include a description, background information, and necessary student documents.


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Science and Sustainability: A Freshman Seminar Course part of Curriculum for the Bioregion:Activities
The backbone of the course is made of two books: Berger and Luckmann's The Social Construction of Reality and Pollan's The Omnivore's Dilemma. Students will discuss these readings in a seminar format, write papers, take exams, carry out a chemistry experiment using mass spectroscopy, and undertake a research project into current pedagogical approaches to science and sustainability.

Plant People part of Curriculum for the Bioregion:Activities
This integrated outdoor-learning, research and reflection exercise gives students a first-hand familiarity with local native plants and their significance in local native societies.

Exploring Personal Footprints part of Curriculum for the Bioregion:Activities
Students apply the main research methods in sociology to explore their personal footprints (i.e., the global consequences of their individual actions).

Social Change and the Climate Crisis: Toward a Sustainable Future part of Curriculum for the Bioregion:Activities
Students gain hands-on research experience and increase their understanding of the applicability of theories of social change and further information about climate change.

Ethnographic Methods for Community Visioning part of Curriculum for the Bioregion:Activities
This project involves students in substantial community-based ethnographic research. Working cooperatively together as a consultancy team, the students learn to use ethnographic and other research methods. They also learn to empower and give voice to various stakeholders and to assemble and synthesize data for a formal report.

Sustainable Solutions for an Aging Population part of Curriculum for the Bioregion:Activities
This activity will help students develop an understanding of the social and cultural dimensions of the lifespan, and in particular of the aging process; and, to further develop their ability to think long-term and multi-dimensionally as they apply anthropological concepts and approaches to a current issue in American society.

Energy Resources: Considering the Sustainability of Past, Present, and Future Resource Consumption part of Curriculum for the Bioregion:Activities
Students consider the vast amount of past and present energy resources in the world, their distribution, as well as the sustainability of their use. It introduces the idea of resource consumption and distribution to high school students.

Renewable - But Is It Sustainable? part of Curriculum for the Bioregion:Activities
Production of biofuels as an alternative energy source is not as simple as the media portray. This exercise enables students to practice critical thinking skills in evaluating the "value" of biofuels - a somewhat ambiguous concept.

Nature and Food part of Curriculum for the Bioregion:Activities
In this activity students read articles or excerpts of books to explore the topic of sustainability in terms of food webs, roles of plants, animals, fungi, and bacteria and their own food choices. Students continue their exploration of these kingdoms with a visit to a farmers' market and a grocery store to compare locally grown foods and grocery store selections.

How Clean is Nuclear Energy? An Evaluation of the Environmental Impacts of Nuclear Power as an Alternative Energy Source part of Curriculum for the Bioregion:Activities
This writing assignment is in lieu of a laboratory activity during the discussion of nuclear chemistry within the general chemistry curriculum.

Alternative Deicers: An Application of Freezing Point Depression part of Curriculum for the Bioregion:Activities
Road deicers raise several environmental and cost concerns. In this activity students consider alternatives while investigating colligative properties.

Researching Ocean Acidification in General Chemistry part of Curriculum for the Bioregion:Activities
This research-based student project used the problem of ocean acidification to cover the sustainability concept of fossil fuel combustion and the disciplinary concepts of kinetics, equilibrium, acid-base chemistry and solubility.

Bottled Versus Tap Water: What You Drink and Why part of Curriculum for the Bioregion:Activities
In the activity students learn about the properties of solutions, acidity and pH, electrolytes versus non-electrolytes, and solution concentration. Hopefully, this activity will also dispel common misconceptions about tap water and bottled beverages.

Your Environmental Impact part of Curriculum for the Bioregion:Activities
The following homework assignments are designed to build understanding of personal water use, sewage, waste generation and disposal, pollution sources and impacts, and energy use and costs.

Clothes Washers Life Cycle- Cost and Environmental Performance part of Curriculum for the Bioregion:Activities
Students in math and business classes work together in groups to evaluate and compare cost and environmental performance of different clothes washers.

Modeling Atmospheric CO2 Data part of Curriculum for the Bioregion:Activities
In this activity, students will use actual CO2 data from the Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii to create their own "Keeling Curve"; conduct an analysis of the data; and, attempt to match it to a mathematical function. They will then use the function to predict increases in CO2, both historical and future.

Don't Just Do Something, Sit There: Suggestions for Observing in Nature part of Curriculum for the Bioregion:Activities
A workshop for enabling students to sit quietly and observantly in the natural world.

Quiet Noticing: Reflective Activities for Environmental Ethics part of Curriculum for the Bioregion:Activities
A series of reflective activities (quiet noticing:) that engage students personal dimensions of questions of values and ethical commitments, such as in environmental ethics courses. The activities and assignments might also be adaptable for other courses where a sustained reflective component is desired.

Ecological Autobiography part of Curriculum for the Bioregion:Activities
The ecological autobiography is a multi-stage reflective and written exercise that draws on students' personal history and experiences as they consider the ecological context of some period of their lives. The goal is to individually and collectively explore how the landscapes and ecological communities we have inhabited influence us as individuals, set the context of our lives, and influence our expectations of landscape.

How Did This Landscape Form? A Field-Based Exercise to Enhance Awareness of the Natural Environment part of Curriculum for the Bioregion:Activities
In this activity students will investigate a landform (such as a waterfall or lake) in the field and apply the scientific method to come up with a geologic hypothesis. The focus of the activity is on making observations of the natural environment and fostering a "sense of place."

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