SciGuides are a collection of thematically aligned lesson plans, simulations, and web-based resources for teachers to use with their students centered on standards-aligned science concepts.
Human modifications to communities of living organisms in an ecosystem can change the function and processes of that system. The flow of energy through an ecosystem depends upon the diversity of organisms within it; therefore, when this flow is altered, substantial biological and geological changes occur. It is important that our students not only realize that when a local ecosystem is destroyed or negatively affected by human transformations (building, agriculture, technology); the effect is eventually felt globally. We cannot ignore the fact that everything we do impacts our natural environment. The main question is, “How can we be better “keepers of the Earth”?
It is our responsibility to educate our students so that they will become the informed citizens of our future—citizens who are capable of making good decisions based on fact rather than theory. The study of environmental systems should be an integral part of the science curriculum. Doesn’t it make sense to integrate this study with the study of Earth’s biomes, ecosystems, climatic conditions, alternative energy sources, ocean currents, and atmosphere? All of these concepts are intertwined and interactive, and all have a profound impact on our natural environment and our daily lives. Our students will be the driving force in addressing global environmental issues such as renewable energy policy, conservation of wetlands, agricultural restoration, or setting standards for global recycling. Therefore, they must understand that the Earth’s atmosphere, land, oceans, ice and life is a single, connected system, and learn science content that is relevant to their lives. This web guide is designed to help integrate the study of all Earth’s systems with your science curriculum. You will find facts, current research data, lesson plans, investigations, simulations, video clips, and more to help you teach your students about real-world environmental issues.