Eighth Grade STEAM PBL: Critical Zone Analysis

dirt The eighth grade team embarked on an interdisciplinary venture this year, bringing together all of their content areas and all of their students for an incredible learning experience. The team crafted a Project-based Learning (PBL) experience where the students explored an authentic problem within the local community. Students learned through the project by researching and studying the natural environment. Centered on the "Critical Zone" of the environment, students employed skills of science, language, mathematics, social science, and art to gain a better understanding of the environmental elements and local biome in order the answer their guiding question.

outside PURPOSE: Investigation of how soil and water elements within the “critical zone” of a local space have impact on people, places, and the planet in order to inform local agrobusiness, measure over time, predict future trends, and advise for development and sustainability.

GOAL: Interdisciplinary unit of study that interconnects all content areas of study surrounding the impact of water on larger systems. Information learned and discovered in all subject areas will help inform their initial findings shared with members of the geoscience community.

GUIDING QUESTION: In what ways can we inform local and national geoscience by understanding how the elements of the critical zone change over time, interact with each other, and interact with systems and culture?