Educator Resources

Through a grant from the National Science Foundation, students and faculty at the Institute of Arctic Studies are developing lesson plans for use in K-12 classrooms.

lichens

The World of Lichens module includes a student-driven project and gives students hands-on practice with the scientific method.

catepillar

The Rates of Change, Exponential Growth, and Logarithms module uses caterpillars to illustrate rates of change, exponential growth, and logarithms.  

soil

The Dirty Truth About Soils delves into soil science. Students collect soil cores and analyze them for water, organic matter, and total carbon content.

Lesson Modules

Lichens are incredible symbiotic organisms that can survive in some of the harshest environments on Earth. They serve important roles in ecosystems as pioneering species, and they are used by earth scientists to learn about the timing of past events and to monitor pollution. The World of Lichens module includes a student-driven project and gives students hands-on practice with the scientific method.

This lesson and activity uses biological data on the response of organisms to temperature change to illustrate the mathematical concepts of rates of change, exponential growth, and logarithms.  

Soils are one of the most important natural resources on this planet. By supporting life and cycling water, carbon, and other essential elements, soils help drive important Earth systems and support human civilizations. In this lesson, students delve into the world of soil science by collecting their own soil cores and analyzing the cores for water, organic matter, and total carbon content by soil strata. Students learn how soils link many of Earth’s systems including the biosphere, geosphere, hydrosphere, and atmosphere and how soils can tell scientists a lot about a location’s natural history and climate. 

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