Resources and Human Impact: Population Growth, Technology, and the Environment

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Science Objects are two hour on-line interactive inquiry-based content modules that help teachers better understand the science content they teach. This Science Object, co-developed between NOAA and NSTA, is the second of four Science Objects in the Resources and Human Impact SciPack. It explores how technology can solve problems, but at the same time, can also create new strains on the environment. Improved technology used for harvesting food, coupled with the technology of improved sanitation, has accelerated the growth of the human population. A larger human population increases the impact on the environment and its resources, many of which are limited and non renewable. Due to the rapid growth of the human population and their use of technology in many parts of the world, humans have exceeded the carrying capacity of their environment, compromising human health.

  • Elementary
  • Middle

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Reviews (5)
  • on Tue Nov 04, 2014 10:18 AM

I chose to investigate the SciPack Object of Population Growth, Technology, and the Environment. Through this Object I was able to gather information that was actually quite applicable to my grade level, since Fourth Grade spends a great deal of time teaching and exploring Food Webs and the interdependence between consumers and producers. I think the only difference between the content and the interactive learning object is that it focuses on more considerations that the “eat or be eaten” approach. There are actually many ways to incorporate what this ScienceObject teaches us in regards to how the population of species can increase and decrease depending on different environmental factors. I actually chose this article wanting to hear how technology played an important role in Human Population and our Resources. While investigating the technology section I was actually put back. In today’s age it is almost unthought-of of how much advances in agriculture have molded our ability to grow in population. It would actually be a great integration into Social Studies as settlements begin to arise during the colonial times, and how advancements in the Colonial Era will progress through the Industrial Revolution. Students could actually create a food web based on “manufactured” goods and the progression that they have been produced and the impact that it had on the populations attempting to survive and thrive in the early days of the United States. Students could actually chart population growth in the United States from those times and discuss why they increased and the role that technology actually had in the ability for it to thrive. Another way to integrate the topics discussed could be to have students create a brochure outlining how the technological advances in agriculture allowed for the Native American tribes to thrive in unfavorable living environments.

Lauren Abrams
Lauren Abrams

  • on Wed Sep 03, 2014 5:44 AM

I really enjoy Science Objects. In 1-3 hours, the Resources and Human Impact: Population Growth, Technology, and the Environment Science Object will help me re-learn, refresh, or learn for the first time some critical science concepts I will have to know to obtain my Science Educator credentials. I appreciate that I can complete them at my own pace, and that, if used as park of a SciPack, I have access to a content expert to go to for help. The NSTA Learning Center Science Objects are very beneficial! Not only will they enrich my teaching, the knowledge will enrich my life.

Naomi Beverly  (Marietta, GA)
Naomi Beverly (Marietta, GA)

  • on Mon Aug 05, 2013 3:42 PM

This article is great if you are teaching lessons about world population growth.


  • on Sat Jan 19, 2013 7:43 PM

This SciObject does a wonderful job of reviewing background information that is required to understand its content. The content is interactive (though some of the rollover items do not work, or were not working when I completed it) and easily understandable. The quizzes help the clarify information and provide corrective feedback if you have misunderstood something. This is a great Object for furthering your understanding of how technology and the environment affect population growth. I would recommend this for middle school students.

Tarah H
Tarah H

  • on Fri Nov 26, 2010 3:57 PM

This Science Object does a nice job of pulling together a lot of concepts about how we affect our environment, and how our environment affects us. Beginning with an introduction to Malthusian population growth curves, the resource defines and discusses the concepts of limiting factors, carrying capacity, and environmental degradation. We all require resources to live; we obtain those resources from the Earth, and as more of us vie for those resources, we utilize technology to increase our carrying capacity. Our use of technology has both positive and negative implications for the environment as we reach the limits of the Earth's carrying capacity. Good for the elementary and middle school teacher who needs a quick background, and for the high school teacher who needs an organizational framework and a starting point. Not intended for student use, but contains graphics and sims that could be used in the classroom.

Jennifer Rahn  (Delafield, WI)
Jennifer Rahn (Delafield, WI)

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