High School

HS-LS2-7 Design, evaluate and refine a solution for reducing the impacts of human activities on the environment and biodiversity.
              Science and Engineering Practices: Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions
              Disciplinary Core Ideas: Ecosystem Dynamics, Functioning and Resilience;
                                                   Biodiversity and Humans; Developing Possible Solutions
              Crosscutting Concepts: Stability and Change
What could we do?
Students may understand this concept better if they are provided with an opportunity to visit a local natural area and see examples of human impacts, both direct and indirect. Take them on a hiking or driving tour and ask them to list all of the human impacts that they observe, categorizing each as harmful, beneficial or neutral. Conduct a discussion about the observations and categorizations. Do all of the students interpret these impacts the same way? Did they all notice the same impacts? Did they include invasive species as an impact? Many invasive species are the result of human actions. What do they feel are the most important impacts? What could be done to monitor and minimize these impacts? What types of issues would need to be addressed in doing so? In the classroom, have the students develop a method to make the most reduction in the human impact with the least amount of monitoring needed. Test it, if possible.
Where could we go?
Illinois state parks, city parks, national wildlife refuges, forest preserve district sites, nature centers, conservation district sites, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers sites and other locations