Environment Exploration Activity
Directions: Click on the link to go to a web page or website that has the answer. Link does not work? - research the answer using your favorite search engine. printer version

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1. How can composting help solve the problem of excess waste? Compost video


2. What factors are endangering the "River of Grass"?


3. When you think of insects, you may think of cockroaches, gnats & mosquitoes. UGH!
You may be surprised to learn there are good things about bugs. What are some benefits of insects?


4. What happened to the residents of Love Canal, NY? Why?


5. Name 3 benefits of trees.


6. What is a wildlife habitat garden?


7. How many years passed from the first controlled nuclear reaction to the first nuclear meltdown in U.S. history?


What is a nuclear meltdown?


8. What "weed" is vital to the survival of the monarch butterfly?


9. How are bluebird trails helping them to survive?


How do bluebirds help control insect pests?


10. How are bats important members of the ecosystem?


11. How are bottom trawlers damaging Earth's oceans?


12. How has the peregrine falcon adapted its nesting behavior?


13. List some factors being explored to explain the high number of frog deformities.


14. How was Chernobyl a global disaster?


15. What harm do House Sparrows (a nonnative species) present to native birds?


16. What does it mean when the label on cans of tuna fish say they are dolphin-safe?


17. Why was leaded gas banned in the United States of America?


What chemical in paint can be dangerous to people?


Based on what you know about lead, should lead be used in products that people regularly use?


18. Lee-Anne Waters saved many of the children in her town. How did she do that?


19. Described the environmental disaster the captain of the ship Exxon Valdez caused.


The largest spill was another ocean disaster. Where did it occur? What happened?


20. How many people died at the Union Carbide accident, at Bhopal, India?


21. How is litter harmful to wildlife? Use Google to find the answer


22. Name four different materials that can be recycled. recycling symbol


20 Companies produce half the world's single use plastics. What can you do to reduce your use of single use plastics?


23. Review this school environment activity ideas. List 2 things that are relevant to your school.


24. Research: Name two consequences of air pollution.


25. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service removed the bald eagle from the Endangered Wildlife list.
How many bald eagles are found in your state?


Based on this, do you think the bald eagle has recovered?


26. List three species potentially impacted by arctic drilling. (Research and thinking required)


27. What is a vernal pool?


28. How are invasive species impacting the Great Lakes Food Web?
(Search the GLIN site for information that will help you answer the question)


29. Use the NatureServe Database to identify a species found in your state. How is it threatened or endangered?


30. What is Ecological Forestry?


 31. Name two things that are endangering the ocean's coral


32. Name the two government agencies that identify species to be put on the Endangered Species List.


33. Why couldn't the people of Santa Monica, CA drink their ground water?


Investigate - Is this an issue where you live?


34. What factors are endangering the Chesapeake Bay ecosystem?


35. Name two ways people can help save the Pacific Salmon.


 36. In 1989, many countries agreed to ban trade in ivory. Why?


37. For several years, gypsy moths did great damage to forests in the US.

What are three ways they can be controlled?



38. Everyone knows fish cannot climb ladders. Or can they?


What do these ladders do?


39. Why is the flooding of the Colorado River controversial?


40. Has the restoration of the wolf to Yellowstone Park been successful?


How has it impacted the Yellowstone ecosystem?


41. How does energy use impact the environment?


 42. Is captivity harmful to whales?


43. Evaluate today's school lunch using Eat Local. (Homeschoolers and cyber schoolers - examine one of your family's meals eaten yesterday.)

Nothing locally grown / some possibly locally grown / many locally grown choices

What is a mjor challenge for your family to eat locally grown foods?


44. The machine you are using to do this hunt will some day stop functioning.

List some facts about computer recycling. (research required)


45. What are the sources of mercury contamination in our environment?


46. What is a Superfund site?


How many Superfund sites are located in your state? __________

How many are in your county? __________

47. What is green chemistry?


48. Name one source of alternative energy. (Look it up using your Internet research skills.)


Can it be used in your community?


Can it be used in your school or home?


49. It has been reported that the federal Environmental Protection Agency is failing to protect people from harmful chemicals.
What is the role of the EPA?


50. At Libby, Montana, they mined vermiculite ore for 70 years. Mining provided decades of good jobs and national attention
as the source of 80 percent of the world's vermiculite production.
What is the price the people of Libby have paid for this industry?

Research the answers.


51. Read "Cleansing the Air at the Expense of Waterways" New York Times October 12, 2009.

Is this an issue for your community? Explain.


The Big Picture...
This activity has explored a wide variety of environmental issues.
Which do you feel is the most significant? Why?


Identify and investigate one environmental issue in your community.
What is the short term and the long term impact? What should be done?

Write a letter to the editor of the newspaper regarding the issue.


Evaluate your school's solid waste management. Make a recommendation to the administration on a way to reduce waste or recycle it.


Capturing Carbon - Nova Science Now online video July. 2008
An eighth-grader's science fair project prompts her scientist father to develop a new way to pull excess carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere.


Watch Video Animations of U.S. Carbon Dioxide Pollution - How are things looking where you reside?


Watch: Consumerism and Waste: A Message to Barack Obama from Garrett Padera (It is a 2009 winning Student Cam video!)

How can we change our behaviors at school, home or work to reduce waste?

Which do you prefer paper - plastic - cloth bags? | Fields, Meadows & Fencerows EcoStudy Unit

Saving on Light Bulb Energy Compare-Contrast Activity | Energy, Renewable Energy & Alternative Energy Studies

Observation Science Skills Builders > 40 | Sagan - Reflect on this mote of dust essay

Useful links about the environment

Oceans cause for concern PBL Environmentalist Internet Hunt
Environmentalist Award nomination - a problem based learning activity Environmental/Energy Issue Video Project
Explore Efficient Energy Uses Lentic Ecosystem or Lotic Ecosystem
Energy Alternatives pbl The Environment Report
Milkweed & Monarch Mania Landscape with native plants at school pbl
Product Packaging Conundrum - pbl mshs Chief Seattle's profound words
Energy Alternatives Exploration Sea Fish farms
Natural Resource Wars - who will be the winner? pbl PA Envirothon info
Exploring Biomes - pbl Read: BYO bag
Global Warming and Climate Change pbl Exploring the Environment
Drought Presentation - pbl Wetlands Ecosystem Study Unit
Bluebird Project Water, Water Everywhere - interactive
Environment Issues Game - problem based learning Explore the resources at Environmental Awareness
List the environmental reasons for gardening with native plants. Sustainable Materials Management
Rachel Carson Beetles Eating Up Rockies video
The Sun - renewable energy source activity Predators in paradise
Environmental Education Network, a clearinghouse for all environmental education information, materials and ideas on the Internet. K-12 links range from Acid Rain Lesson Plans to Whales: A Thematic Web Unit. http://www.envirolink.org/ Greenwashing has nothing to do with paint - become better informed

I have long been an ardent recycler. I started an aluminum recycling program in our community which raised over $8000 for technology at our elementary school. I hauled over 1 million aluminum cans in 3 years of collecting. I also planned, planted and cared for the school's habitat garden. At another school, I established a bluebird trail which had 5 families the first year! My yard is a certified habitat garden and a Monarch Waystation.

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All trademarks, copyright and logos belong to their respective owners.
posted 1999, Updated 4/2018, 3/2021, 3/2023

2007 Cynthia J. O'Hora space This work is released to public domain.

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Aligned with National Science Education Standards - National Educational Technology Standards for Students and the Pennsylvania Academic Standards for: Science and Technology, Environment and Ecology, Reading & Writing, Careers