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Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
 

Climate Change and Human Impact on the Environment

What will the future reveal about the choices we are making and our attitudes toward the natural world? How might future generations judge these choices and attitudes? This collection uses the painting ‘Manifest Destiny’ by Alexis Rockman and two Project Zero routines, ‘See/Think/Wonder’ and ‘Unveiling Stories,’ to start or continue a dialogue about the impact of humans on the environment. 

“Alexis Rockman is a contemporary American painter known for his fantastical paintings of dystopian natural environments”. (http://www.artnet.com/artists/alexis-rockman/) He depicts the future where creatures struggle to survive toxic conditions and invasive species. In Rockman’s paintings we see an absence of human beings, only the altered landscapes they have left behind. (https://www.artworksforchange.org/portfolio/alexis-rockman/)

Climate change is expected to cause larger migrations both within and across borders - displacing individuals from their homes. This movement is the result of many complex factors such as: sea level rise, desertification, extreme weather events, etc. There is a direct impact on availability of resources such as food and clean water as well as a crisis of public health. 

This collection can be used in several classroom settings: Biology (ecology unit or any units that address human impact on the environment), IBDP Environmental Systems and Societies (many connections with content throughout the course), AP Environmental Science (many connections with content throughout the course), Theory of Knowledge (when exploring the Natural Sciences Area of Knowledge or exploring knowledge claims about evidence), or Geography.

This collection could be used at the start, middle or end of a unit as there are valuable connections possible at any point. An interesting interdisciplinary exploration that I have seen in the middle school Science setting is for students to visit local waterways affected by human impacts and take samples back to their lab to test for pH, phosphorus, etc. Then, students read about the importance of water ways in the spread of humans in their humanities or language class before writing poetry about the human impact on the environment in their second language class (half of the students took French while the other half took Spanish). 

Manifest Destiny could be integrated at any point during the interdisciplinary unit. For example, in the beginning to encourage questions or determine previous knowledge, the middle to spark curiosity, or at the end after students have more information about human impacts on the environment.

In addition to or in place of visiting a local waterway, a link to an interactive map can be found in the additional resources section of this collection. Students can research what communities will be impacted by rising water levels. A scale bar allows users to shift the water levels and observe changes to the area. A possible extension could be to consider how vulnerable communities tend to be the most impacted by water level rise. Two articles included within the additional resource collection provide perspectives from the United States and Australia.

Annotations attached to the painting provide information on how to guide student exploration with each of the thinking routines. Annotations attached to each website include possible questions to consider when using each additional resource. 

Emily Veres
9
 

Student Activity: Investigating Human Impact on Water Resources

In this activity, students will investigate human impact on our most essential resource, water and discover what they can do to make a positive difference.

Ashley Naranjo
10
 

Scientist or Guinea Pig: Science on Station

Do you like being poked, prodded, and analyzed? If you said yes, then you may have a future as an astronaut. Astronauts don't just conduct scientific experiments, they are part of an experiment themselves. Learning about the human factors of spaceflight is an important element to a future trip to Mars. Join STEM in 30 as we explore the effects of space on the humans who travel there.

In this episode of STEM in 30, we will be joined by NASA astronaut Anna Fisher. Fisher has a Doctor of Medicine from UCLA and worked in several hospitals in the Los Angeles area prior to her selection as an astronaut. She will discuss her experience in the first class of astronauts to include women and her work with the robotic arm as well as her background in medicine and how NASA keeps up with the health of the astronaut corps.

November 16, 2016

STEM in 30 at National Air and Space Museum
15
 

Earth Day: A View from Above

The people of Earth didn't see a photo of our planet until the late 1960s. Photos of Earth changed the way we think about our planet. This fast-paced webcast will look at the beginnings of Earth Day and how a better understanding of our place in the universe has evolved through photographic scientific discoveries.

April 22, 2015

STEM in 30 at National Air and Space Museum
11
 

Lighter, Stronger, Better: Composites

What makes the Boeing 787 Dreamliner so dreamy? Composites. These engineered materials allow aircraft to be lighter and stronger. Explore composites in this fast-paced webcast: learn what they are, how they are made and how they are used in the aerospace industry.

January 28, 2015

STEM in 30 at National Air and Space Museum
12
 

Human management of natural resources and why it is important.

What resources do humans use in their every day lives? Why do we need to limit and protect the resources that we use, both renewable and nonrenewable? What effects are there when resources are not managed correctly? How are people protecting resources and finding solutions today? #TeachingInquiry

Naomi Warf
17