Project Modules and Lesson Plans

Project Modules and Lesson Plans Developed by STEM fellows

(just click on title to access)


Alternative Energy-Hydropower Turbines - high school students discuss electricity use and design turbines as an alternative means of generating electricity

Alternative Energy - Wind Turbines - high school students design and test wind turbines accompanying presentations on wind turbines and renewable or not quiz

Alternative Energy-Building an Anaerobic Biodigester - high school students build an anaerobic biodigester to generate methane as a manure management tool

Carbon Footprint Contest - a project defining carbon footprint and taking action to reduce individual environmental impact

Climate Change and Insect Development - a project using painted lady butterflies (other butterflies could also be used) to understand the relation between temperature and insect development and discusses potential effects of global warming on insects

Composting Module - a five lesson module on composting which includes instructions for creating a mini-compost pile

Creating A Class Garden - a service and learning project

Degree Day Calculations - a lesson designed to augment the Climate Change and Insect Development project; the degree-day measures how much “heat” accumulates above a base temperature in a given day.  By calculating degree-day accumulations, students discover not only how many days it takes but how much HEAT is required for metamorphosis to take place (accompanying PowerPoint presentation in pdf format)

Using Excel to Graph - a PowerPoint lesson on simple statistics using Excel to analyze data (in pdf format; contact us for PowerPoint file with teacher notes)

Headwater Stream Assessment - In this multiple day project high school students learn the Ohio EPA's Headwater Habitat Evaluation Index (HHEI), use the method to assess a stream and describe to others the value of the criteria in determining stream quality

Human Dimensions of Drinking Water Quality - a project exploring drinking water quality from both natural science and social science perspectives; this  project includes a lab to test drinking water quality and a case study introducing students to a decision making model

Land Use Affect on Stream Bacteria - designed for high school students following their introduction to bacteria; it connects their knowledge of bacteria to land use to water quality

Maple Syrup Production - introduces high school students to the scientific method and report writing through the design, implementation and analysis of a semester-long experiment

Native Plants - leads students in developing a proposal for a native plant garden

Population Dynamics - Carrying Capacity and Population Growth - a lesson, using the natural history of otters in Ohio and their reintroduction after extinction, to teach carrying capacity and population growth - high school level

Population Dynamics - Overpopulation and Symbiosis - a two lesson module aligned with 7th grade science curriculum: how overpopulation inpacts an ecosystem and how organisms or populations interact through symbiotic relations

Populations - a lesson introducing  basic populations dynamics using the local community (accompanying PowerPoint presentation in pdf format)

Population Growth - Exponential Phase - in this simple project middle school students observe and graph the growth of a duckweed population over several weeks

Renewable Resources - In this 1-3 day lesson students identify natural resources and catagorize them by renewability. They then evaluate what is necessary for a resource to be sustained and locate these resources in their community (grades 4-6)

Science through Mapping - in this lesson students create and test basic hypotheses with a customized on-line atlas

Statistical Analysis and Represention - a two lesson module on use of Excel for statistics and graphic represention of results

Topographic Maps - this introduction to topographic maps addresses the eighth grade Earth and Space Science learning standard, using models to analyze the size and shape of Earth, its surface and interior

Tree Ring Analysis - in this lesson for fourth graders, students examine cross-sections of tree trunks and create a growth story explaining the pattern of tree rings

Pumpkin Activity - After leaning some basic pumpkin facts to get oriented and exited, students will work on data analysis with their pupkin measurement data.

Graphing and interpreting Stream Data - students are asked to graph and interpret data that were previousl collected during a stream field trip. the goal of this lesson is to give students experience handling and interpreting data as would a stream ecologist.

Determinaing water quality by using the Ohio EPA HMFEI - HMFEI is speciafically designed to be used in headwater streams and relatively simple and easy to understand, This tool is incorporated into the classroom.

Evolution in an Agroecosystem, an Inquiry Lab -After this lesson, students should be able to: 1. Recognize evolutionary mechanisms, specifically natural selection and genetic drift, in action; 2. Describe examples of evolutionary mechanisms in nature; 3. Discuss how evolution affects large and small populations; 4. Discuss the influence of evolution on human populations; 5. Produce accurate bar graphs of population data based on two evolution simulations. (grade 9-12)

Historical Advancements and Adaptation of Agriculture Technology - After this lesson, students should be able to: 1. Explain historical advancements in United States agriculture 2. Explain how cultural constraints affect the adaptation of agriculture technology; (Grade 6-8)

Graphing and Interpreting Stream Data: A Follow-Up Lesson to Stream Sampling Students are asked to graph and interpret data that were collected during a stream field trip  - The ultimate goal of this module is to give students experience handling and interpreting data as would a stream ecologist. This module is intended to complement data gathered from streams using the Ohio Environmental Agency's (OEPA) primary headwater habitat classification system. (Grade level 9-12)

Herpetology (the study of reptiles and amphibians) - This 5-lesson unit study focuses on the scientific classification scheme in general and the biological characteristics of reptiles and amphibians in particular. The first lesson follows the concept attainment model and is designed to teach students the purpose and process of the standard scientific classification system and how to apply the system to reptiles and amphibians. Lessons two, three, and four are hands-on inquiry lessons in which students examine live reptiles and amphibians to compare and contrast their characteristics. The final lesson is a cause and effect analysis of the widespread problem of frog malformations discovered in the mid 1990's in the Midwest and Northeast. (Grade 6-)