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Agriculture and the Environment

The concept of "risk" is a huge component to the concepts in these six lessons about natural resources and their ties to agriculture. Students first learn the risks and reasons associated with some agricultural practices. Then, they will explore potential solutions for the various risks agricultural pratices could have on our natural resources.

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Aquarium Gravel Vacuum

Just like we rely on clean, fresh air to breathe, aquatic animals depend on clean, fresh water to do the same. A gravel vacuum is an excellent way to keep a tank clean and students will design their very own in this puzzler.

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Bringing Biotechnology to Life

This lesson is jam packed with 9 hours of lessons surrounding the concepts of biotechnology, DNA, GMO's, and more! After taking on the role of a researcher, learning about the future of how their food is being grown, students will apply their knowledge about these topics, including genetic engineering, to establish where they stand.

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Curds Lab Activity

How does milk become cheese? This lab activity shows students the science behind milk curds. Students will wonder why the milk changes once acidic lemon juice is added and explore science through the lens of their food!

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Dive In

Water is undoubtably one of our most important resources. In this lesson, students use driving questions to discover the agricultural significance of water sources, why water is needed to produce and maintain life, and how they can responsibly use water. They will then use their new skills and knowledge to create a presentation based on careers related to water that they are most interested in.

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Energy Resources

These 15 middle school and high school lessons engage students in activities rooted in collaboration, critical thinking, and innovation. Students will participate in various labs, examine case studies, research careers in energy, and more...all while gaining valuable knowledge surrounding the uses and types of energy involved in the different stages of producing agriculture commodities.

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Extreme Heat Educator Guide

Its no surprise that the weather we experience every day directly impacts the world of agriculture. But what exactly are the results of these weather impacts on food supply, crop health, and soil viability? Well, NASA's Jet Propultion Laboratory and resources from the American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture are here to help students discover the answers through 5 activity based lessons!

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Task Library

Grazing Task

Based on the concept of rotational grazing, this task takes students on a journey to learn about how cattle and the ecosystem are deeply intertwined. Matter cycles, food webs, and interdependent relationships all come into play as students explore how various agriculture practices can cause an ecosystem to improve.

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Greenhouse Gases and Cattle

Using the results from a hands-on energy flow lab, students will use this lab knowledge to build upon and explore how a beef animal's diet directly affects their output of methane emissions and the biogenic carbon cycle. Students will begin to see the correlation between the energy inputs and outputs associated with cattle systems as they search for answers to the overall question of - "What can cattle raisers, scientists, and consumers do to reduce the amount of methane gas produced by cattle?"

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Mini Aquaponic System

Aquatic animals and fish have a symbiotic relationship. Students will study this relationship as they research aquaponics and build a functioning prototype where fish and animals can grow strong and flourish together.

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Miniature Greenhouse

This puzzler encourages students to think of reasons greenhouses are used in production agriculture and why they are so important to food security. These reasons will serve as the basis for understanding as students create their own miniature greenhouses.

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Natural Filtration

Can sand, rocks, soil, and plants actually make water cleaner? Sure they can! In this puzzler, students are tasked with creating a natural filtration system using materials found in nature.

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Toolkit

Phenomena Toolkit

Produced in 2019, the phenomena toolkit is funded by the Beef Checkoff and details a small catalog of phenomena found in beef production. This resource is useful for identifying a starting point of student sense-making. Each phenomena includes a brief description, key concepts, an NGSS PE bundle, and essential questions.

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Photosynthesis

No photos for photosynthesis...only videos! In this puzzler, students are challenged to create a 2-minute video demonstrating the process of photosynthesis. Creativity and prop use are encouranged, as are the use of key vocab words like glucose and carbon dioxide!

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Rain Barrels

What is a rain garden and how do I build one? This is the question students will work to asnwer as they reseach the effects of water runoff into aquatic ecosystems. By designing and developing a prototype at their school, students will feel accomplished knowing they are making a difference for the aquatic life in their area!

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Room to Grow Purple Plow Challenge

Food accessibility and availability solutions are at the core of this year's challenge. Students are encouraged to design creatively and build fearlessly with one end goal in mind: to help solve the fundamental problem of available resources in association with population growth by constructing a functioning greenhouse complete with yield analytics.

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Soil Task

In this middle school task, students use their knowledge of soil, soil weathering, soil properties, grassland ecosystems, cattle grazing, and the relationship between the soil and other moving parts of grassland ecosystems to make predictions about the impacts of rainfall to the ecosystems as well as the resources available to humans. As students make sense of the impacts grazing has on soil ecosystems, they must use and analyze data to construct a model to explain these cause-and-effect patterns.

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Supercattle

In this high school Storyline unit on genetics and heredity, students are introduced to ‘SuperCows’. As they explore the vast variety of cattle breeds, students discover that cattle are specialized for different purposes and while similar, the ‘SuperCows’ are clearly unique. Students wonder what caused this diversity and specificity which leads to investigations about the role of inheritance, DNA and proteins.

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Toolkit

Unit Starter Toolkit: Soil

This middle school life science unit starter toolkit provides anchoring and investigative phenomena, content, and learning design ideas for teachers and developers to build a three-dimensional unit or learning sequence featuring the science of soils. Soil is a living ecosystem, full of bacteria, fungi, and other microbes, and it supports plant, animal, and human life. The capacity for soil to support various living organisms and systems, including agriculture systems, is based on the characteristics of the soil, and in many cases, the management of the soil as a complex resource. This toolkit was designed by teachers and supported by agricultural subject matter experts. We hope that you will use this toolkit to help you plan, adapt, and develop experiences for students.

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Water Cycle

Water is a key component to food production, but how does water get to the plant and how can we best predict what will happen to the rest of the water? Students will study the process of the water cycle before they build a model that demonstrates this movement of water on the earth's surface.

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