Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

It’s Not Just Dirt!

27.11.2009
Interactive e-lessons help students understand and appreciate soil’s diverse role in the ecosystem.

Soil is the linchpin of the environment, where atmosphere, biosphere, and hydrosphere meet. Despite that, many students see soil as “just dirt” – a place to grow plants, but nothing more. Soil science educators are challenged with the task of helping students and the public recognize the critical importance of soil in the environment.

A collaborative project by soil science and earth science teachers at University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Oregon State University-Cascades, Colorado State University-Fort Collins, Trinity College, and University of Minnesota explored the development and dissemination of soil e-lessons. By harnessing technology, the instructors created learning tools that could reach beyond their classroom walls to teach other students and public audiences about soils as well.

The project, which is featured in the 2009 edition of the Journal of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Education (JNRLSE), aimed to develop and promote the use of online lessons to educate college students and the public about role of soil in addressing food, energy, and environmental issues. To engage learners, the developers focused on the inclusion of active learning strategies, interactive Flash animations, experiential learning activities, transfer problems, embedded questions, images, and text as primary instructional elements. All activities were contained in a web-based format to make them easy to use and share. Development of the e-lessons was supported by a National Science Foundation Course, Curriculum, and Laboratory Improvement Program Award.

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s “Plant and Soil Sciences eLibrary” showcases lessons developed for the program. It features activities on topics such as rocks and minerals, weathering processes, soil forming factors, processes of soil profile development, and soil taxonomy and geography. The lessons cover the fundamentals of why soils are what they are, and how they came to be that way. Developers believe these basic lessons will spark further interest in soil, and help learners recognize soil as an essential part of the environment.

The e-lessons can be readily accessed through the University of Nebraska’s Plant and Soil Sciences eLibrary, under the section entitled “Soil Genesis and Development” at: http://plantandsoil.unl.edu/croptechnology2005/soil_sci/

For more information about these soil e-lessons, contact Martha Mamo, Associate Professor, University of Nebraska-Lincoln; 402-472-8493; mmamo3@unl.edu.

The full article is available for no charge for 30 days following the date of this summary. View the abstract at http://www.jnrlse.org/view/2009/web-lessons-2009.pdf. After 30 days it will be available at the Journal of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Education website, www.jnrlse.org. Go to http://www.jnrlse.org/issues/ (Click on the Year, "View Article List," and scroll down to article abstract).

Today's educators are looking to the Journal of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Education, http://www.jnrlse.org, for the latest teaching techniques in the life sciences, natural resources, and agriculture. The journal is continuously updated online during the year and one hard copy is published in December by the American Society of Agronomy.

The American Society of Agronomy (ASA) www.agronomy.org, is a scientific society helping its 8,000+ members advance the disciplines and practices of agronomy by supporting professional growth and science policy initiatives, and by providing quality, research-based publications and a variety of member services.

Sara Uttech | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.agronomy.org

More articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science:

nachricht Plasma-zapping process could yield trans fat-free soybean oil product
02.12.2016 | Purdue University

nachricht New findings about the deformed wing virus, a major factor in honey bee colony mortality
11.11.2016 | Veterinärmedizinische Universität Wien

All articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

Im Focus: How to inflate a hardened concrete shell with a weight of 80 t

At TU Wien, an alternative for resource intensive formwork for the construction of concrete domes was developed. It is now used in a test dome for the Austrian Federal Railways Infrastructure (ÖBB Infrastruktur).

Concrete shells are efficient structures, but not very resource efficient. The formwork for the construction of concrete domes alone requires a high amount of...

Im Focus: Bacterial Pac Man molecule snaps at sugar

Many pathogens use certain sugar compounds from their host to help conceal themselves against the immune system. Scientists at the University of Bonn have now, in cooperation with researchers at the University of York in the United Kingdom, analyzed the dynamics of a bacterial molecule that is involved in this process. They demonstrate that the protein grabs onto the sugar molecule with a Pac Man-like chewing motion and holds it until it can be used. Their results could help design therapeutics that could make the protein poorer at grabbing and holding and hence compromise the pathogen in the host. The study has now been published in “Biophysical Journal”.

The cells of the mouth, nose and intestinal mucosa produce large quantities of a chemical called sialic acid. Many bacteria possess a special transport system...

Im Focus: Newly proposed reference datasets improve weather satellite data quality

UMD, NOAA collaboration demonstrates suitability of in-orbit datasets for weather satellite calibration

"Traffic and weather, together on the hour!" blasts your local radio station, while your smartphone knows the weather halfway across the world. A network of...

Im Focus: Repairing defects in fiber-reinforced plastics more efficiently

Fiber-reinforced plastics (FRP) are frequently used in the aeronautic and automobile industry. However, the repair of workpieces made of these composite materials is often less profitable than exchanging the part. In order to increase the lifetime of FRP parts and to make them more eco-efficient, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) and the Apodius GmbH want to combine a new measuring device for fiber layer orientation with an innovative laser-based repair process.

Defects in FRP pieces may be production or operation-related. Whether or not repair is cost-effective depends on the geometry of the defective area, the tools...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

Nothing will happen without batteries making it happen!

05.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Multiregional brain on a chip

16.01.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

New technology enables 5-D imaging in live animals, humans

16.01.2017 | Information Technology

Researchers develop environmentally friendly soy air filter

16.01.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>