Lesson Plan: Curriculum Projects

Environmental Science and Engineering: Water Quality Issues and Solutions

Author: Gail Powell
Level: Middle, High
Content area: Environmental Science

The basis for this project draws from Dr. DuCoste’s experiences with water treatment and Dr. Powell’s experiences in pesticide monitoring of ground and surface water and pesticide regulation. The intent is to provide an avenue for students to experience how scientists study and develop solutions to environmental problems. Both the hydrosphere and the scientific method are significant portions of the 8th grade curriculum so this experience is built around these two units. Just as scientists do, students will experience a five step process: 1. Basic lab research on aquatic organisms, 2. Monitoring the environment for water quality, 3. Developing solutions to environmental issues through use of technology, 4. Developing solutions to issues through the political process and regulations, and 5. Educating the public about the scientific issue so they can become part of the solution rather than part of the problem.

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Invention Convention

Author: Briana Corke
Level: Elementary
Content area: English and Science

Invention Convention is an integrated project combining learning from language arts, science, and math curriculums allowing students to apply their understandings of magnets and electricity by designing or improving an existing invention. Throughout this integrated unit, students will apply their science learning of magnets and electricity while utilizing nonfiction writing and applying principles of design. The Invention Convention is designed to accommodate the needs of accelerated learners in any of the content areas and to accommodate English Language Learners at a variety of developmental levels.

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Design Technology: Children’s Engineering

Author: Erin Denniston
Level: Elementary
Content area: Science

A paradox of education is evident when we say we want students to become good problem solvers but then we don’t give them good problems to solve. We give them instructions to follow, we give them projects to build, we give them experiments to perform but we know from the outset what results we want to see at the end. That’s not problem solving. Design technology is problem solving. And elementary schools should be doing more of it in order to improve problem-solving skills as well as to encourage more American students to pursue science and engineering careers.

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Sustainable Silviculture: Promising Forestry for Centuries

Author: Jodi Riedel
Level: High
Content area: Environmental and Natural Resources

In partnership with the Department of Forestry and Environmental Resources, the NC Forestry Association, and the Weyerhaeuser Corporation, agricultural education students will understand sustainable silviculture practices and the forestry industry. Students will explore the pertinence and value of the forestry industry in North Carolina, while also learning skills that are used in today’s forestry industry. The agricultural education curriculum will also lead students through the exploration of forest ecology, tree identification, and the many practices involved with sustainable silviculture and the forestry careers.

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On Track Learning

Author: Roxanne Moses
Level: Middle
Content area: 8th-grade Science and Math

4-H On Track Learning is a collaborative venture involving the College of Engineering Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, the Kenan Teaching Fellows Program and the Department of 4-H Youth Development and Family & Consumer Sciences.

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North Carolina’s Role in the Global Economy

Author: Susan Taylor
Level: High
Content area: Economics

Using contemporary research and real life examples, students will explore and investigate the impact of economic decisions that North Carolina businesses, consumers, and laborers make. Students will discuss economic issues of concern to North Carolina, debate the merit of certain decisions made, and propose alternatives for workers in North Carolina’s dying industries. The inquiry based research and application will allow students to broaden their understanding of North Carolina’s role in the global economy as well as their own role in the economy. A partnership with the North Carolina Council on Economic Education and National Council on Economic Education made this project possible.

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