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SMD Forum - Primary:
Earth Science  
Instructional Strategies:
Problem-based learning/solving real-world problems  
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This activity is a short engineering design challenge to be completed by individual students or small teams. A real-world problem is presented, designing buildings for hurricane-prone areas, but in a simulated way that works in a classroom, after... (View More)

Hurricane Katrina serves as the focus for this lesson on the relationship between sea surface temperatures and hurricane intensity. Students assume the roles of Senior Science Advisors for the Louisiana Environmental Agency to research and plot the... (View More)

Audience: High school
Materials Cost: Free

Using weather data from both satellite and ground-based observations, this lesson challenges students to select a site location for a hypothetical mountain retreat. Students must determine and then justify a building site after gathering, graphing... (View More)

Audience: Middle school, High school
Materials Cost: Free

In this problem-based learning module, students work in teams to examine a broad array of information related to water quality in Lower Wheeling Creek and the Wheeling Creek watersheds in Wheeling, West Virginia. This module is part of Exploring the... (View More)

Keywords: Water quality
Audience: Middle school, High school
Materials Cost: Free

This problem-based learning module focuses on the dilemma of wetlands management. The module is based upon the continued debate over the restoration of the natural cycle of water to the Florida Everglades. Students are challenged to perform an Earth... (View More)

In this problem-based learning module, students focus on issues related to understanding the nature and transmission of the Rift Valley fever virus, a virus that causes the death of large numbers of livestock in Kenya and in much of sub-Saharan... (View More)

Audience: Middle school, High school
Materials Cost: Free

This module include four problem-based learning scenarios related to volcanoes and emphasize different kinds of volcanic hazards and geologic processes. The four scenarios are: whether to build a new high school in the shadow of a restless volcanic... (View More)

Keywords: Volcano types
Audience: Middle school, High school
Materials Cost: Free

In this problem-based learning activity, students help the Forest Service make a decision: the next time there's a natural fire in Yellowstone National Park, should they try to put it out or let it burn? They perform an Earth system science analysis... (View More)

In this problem-based learning activity, students work in teams to review the many issues that surround ozone depletion. They will evaluate the current status of the Montreal Protocol, considering the interrelationships of Earth's spheres, including... (View More)

Keywords: Ozone depletion
Audience: High school
Materials Cost: Free

In this problem-based learning module, groups of students take on the role of environmental consultants and will research and provide information on the environmental conditions and economic impact that will accompany a developing El Niño. They... (View More)

Keywords: Economic impacts
Audience: High school
Materials Cost: Free
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