Just Dirt

Seed to STEM
Grade Level: High School

Students will explore one of a farmer’s most valuable resources, soil. This lesson looks at soil in much more detail than students have probably considered before.  Soil is not just an inert receptacle where we place plants and hope they grow. It is a diverse and dynamic ecosystem of biotic and abiotic forces than can shape the productivity of every square inch of our land.

Learning Objectives

  • Students will be able to identify the abiotic components of soil as they relate to the makeup of soil and classification into soil textures.
  • Students will be able to identify different types of microorganisms that live in soil and their importance to the productivity of the soil.
  • Students will be sampling, culturing, and identifying soil microorganisms from collected soil samples.
  • Students will be able to analyze a soils overall productivity based on both biotic and abiotic factors of a collected soil sample.
  • Students will be able to describe the importance of microorganisms to the overall productivity of soil and the health of the soil ecosystem.