In this outdoor activity, learners plan a simple foot path and create an environmental impact study of the natural area where the path would be. These steps help learners role-play the scientific process required for many public decisions regarding development projects, such as housing, roads, oil drilling, etc. Learners use math skills to measure the slope where the path would be set. They also scout the site for hazardous organisms like poison ivy, and consider possible environmental problems like erosion and threats to endangered species. Finally, they present a simple Environmental Impact Report on their "findings." This activity can be done on a hill close to home, school or other learning sites, or can be planned as a field trip to a nature center or local open space. Elements of the activity can also be well combined with discussions on news stories about human impact on the environment.
Keywords:slope,Informal Education,Data Analysis,NSDL,Ecosystems,Data Representation,Biological science,NSDL_SetSpec_ncs-NSDL-COLLECTION-000-003-112-056,Education,Problem Solving,Life Science,threshold,Mathematics,General,Social Sciences,Communicating Results,Fractions,Technology and Society,Data Collection,Upper Elementary,Environmental science,Engineering,Anthropology,Populations,Atmospheric science,Construction,Rocks and Minerals,endangered species,Science as a Career,General science,Ethics,erosion,Ecology, Forestry and Agriculture,Plants,Biodiversity,Animals,Formulating Explanations,Human Impact,Geometry,High School,Gathering Data,Middle School,hazard,Earth Processes,trail,Ecology,Technology,Weather and Climate,Conducting Investigations,Representation,Public Policy,Physics,Impacts of Technology,Plane Geometry,oai:nsdl.org:2200/20110926124445849T,History/Policy/Law,The Scientific Worldview,evaluation,environmental impact report,Earth system science,Diversity of Life,Rate,Elementary School,Science and society,Measurement,Technology and the Environment,Risks and Benefits,Environmental Engineering,Geoscience,Asking Questions