Science

Index - SCIENCE - Projects
(Biology, Botany, Zoology, Chemistry, Physics, Earth Science, Astronomy, Ecology, Environmental Science)

Projects are numbered and indexed in top section Click on the title, or scroll down to find the matching number & full text of the activity below.

LESSON PLANS are full format, formal Lesson Plans. 
Other Project listings are adaptable to various grade levels and can be differentiated.  Many are interdisciplinary:  be sure to look in related subject area pages (listed at left) for more ideas.

Click here for CURRICULUM STANDARDS to projects listed below.

No
Topic
Main Subject Area
Related Subject Areas
1
Prairie Root Systems (DOC) LESSON PLAN (2-3)
science, biology, botany
mathematics
2
Introduction to Prairie Plants LESSON PLAN (3-4)
science, biology, botany

3
Where Does the Water Go? (PDF) LESSON PLAN (6-8)
science
mathematics
4
Notable Features of a Watershed (PDF) LESSON PLAN (6-8)
science
mathematics
5
Everything is Connected LESSON PLAN (9-12)
science, biology, zoology, earth science, ecology

6
Particulate Study During Burning Season (DOC)   LESSON PLAN (10-12)
science, environmental science

7
Water in the Flint Hills 
science, earth science, biology, chemistry

8
Tallgrass Prairie Ecosystem- a Grassland biotic community
science, biology, ecology

9
Other grasslands of the world in Africa, Asia, Australia, and South America
science, biology, botany
social studies, economics, sociology; language arts, writing
10
Warm and cool season grasses
science, biology, botany
career, agriculture and technology, agronomy
11
Parts of a grass plant
science, biology, botany
career, agriculture and technology, agronomy
12
Wildflowers, forbs & legumes
science, biology and botany

13
Increasers, Decreasers, and Invaders
science, biology, botany
career, agriculture and technology, agronomy
14
Issue of over-grazing and rangeland carrying capacity
science, biology, botany
career, agriculture and technology, animal science, agronomy; language arts, writing
15
Other domestic grazers - horses, sheep, goats, pigs
science, biology
agriculture and technology, animal science, agronomy
16
Wild “grazers” - large and very small
science, biology, zoology

17
Tallgrass prairie food chain
science, biology, zoology
social studies
18
Nitrogen in the tallgrass prairie
science, biology, ecology, chemistry
career, agriculture and technology, agronomy
19
Ethnobotany - edible and medicinal native plant uses
science, biology
family and consumer science, culinary arts
20
What is a herbarium?
science, biology, botany
writing, speaking
21
Physiology, history, and ecological significance of the Bison in the tallgrass prairie
science, zoology
career, agriculture and technology, animal science; history; language arts, writing
22
Konza Prairie Biological Station
science, biology, earth science
career, agriculture and technology, agronomy, animal science
23
Aquatic life forms and streamside ecosystems
science, biology, zoology, ecology

24
Stocking a farm pond with fish
science, biology
mathematics
25
Insects & arthropods 
science, biology
language arts, writing
26
Importance of pollinators in the prairie
science, biology, ecology

language arts, journalism
27
Birds in the Flint Hills including Greater Prairie Chicken 
science, biology
language arts, writing
28
Wildlife in the Flint Hills-Mammals, Reptiles & Amphibians, etc. 
science, biology
art, photography, illustration; language arts, writing
29
Climate, grazing, and fire
science, biology, ecology, earth science
language arts, writing
30
Biodiversity, interdependence & habitat 
science, biology, ecology
language arts, writing
31
Ecosystem services of the tallgrass prairie ecosystem
science, ecology
social studies, economics
32
Three prairie regions of North America
science, biology
social studies, geography
33
Extent of the tallgrass prairie
science, biology and ecology
social studies, geography
34
Fragmentation / human develpment of the prairie
science, biology, ecology
language arts, writing
35
Seasons & rhythms in prairie
science, biology, zoology

36
“Go back” pastures - succession of plant species
science, biology, botany
social studies, history; language arts, writing
37
Prairie restoration
science, biology, botany
career, agriculture and technology, agronomy
38
Decomposers & fungi 
science, biology, agronomy

39
Woody invasion of tallgrass prairie 
science, biology, zoology
language arts, writing
40
Research historical woodlands - trees native to the Flint Hills
science, biology
social studies, history
41
Prescribed burning
science, chemistry, biology, earth science
career, agriculture and technology and agronomy; language arts, writing
42
Major exotic and invasive species
science, biology, zoology
language arts, writing
43
Controlling “noxious weeds”
science, biology, chemistry, zoology
social studies, government
44
Eastern Red Cedar invasion
science, biology, geology
Language arts, math
45
Chemistry and economics of herbicides
science, chemistry, agronomy and biology
business; math
46
Climate change & carbon cycle in the Flint Hills
science, biology, ecology, earth science

47
Geology of the Flint Hills
science, geology
career, agriculture and technology, construction; social studies, geography, economics
48
Soil - the foundation of life
science, geology
career, agriculture and technology, construction; social studies, geography, economics
49
Main soil types in your area 
science, geology
career, agriculture and technology, agronomy
50
Impact of oil and gas production
science, geology, ecology
social studies, economics; business
51
Current issues involving production of oil
science, geology, ecology
social studies, economics
52
Impact of industrial wind development
science, biology, ecology
business; social studies, economics; career, agriculture and technology, industrial production
53
Water quality & treatment
science, chemistry, physics

54
Biomimicry and perennial polyculture
science, biology, ecology
career, agriculture and technology, agronomy; language arts, reading, writing
55
Observation of the night sky
science, astronomy
writing; art
56
“Light pollution” and darkness in the Flint Hills
science, astronomy
writing
57
Interpret a quotation about Tallgrass Prairie and Fire
science, biology, agriculture, agronomy;
language arts, reading, writing
58
Interpret a quotation about Soil and Water Conservation
science, earth science, biology
language arts, reading, writing
 59  Fossils & Flint Hills Paleontology science, earth science, geology, biology language arts, reading, writing 

SCIENCE - Projects


(Biology, Botany, Zoology, Chemistry, Physics, Earth Science, Astronomy, Ecology, Environmental Science)

Any activities with blue links below – are fully-developed LESSON PLANS – click to link to lesson materials in Lesson Plans section. 

1. Prairie Root Systems


In this Prairie Root Systems (DOC) LESSON PLAN (grades 2-3), students will recognize that prairie plants have extensive root systems. They will use a diagram to determine plant height and root length. Students will use a measuring tool to construct a visual from yarn. (science, biology, botany; mathematics)

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2. Introduction to Prairie Plants


In this Introduction to Prairie Plants LESSON PLAN (grades 3-4), students explore biodiversity, view introductory power-points, read background info, perform card activities, keep notebook plant journal, perform assessment, take field trip if possible, explore numerous references. (science, biology, botany)

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3. Where Does the Water Go


In this Where Does the Water Go? (PDF) LESSON PLAN (grades 6-8), raw climate and stream outflow data is collected, graphed and analyzed by students for the community in which they are located. Results of the graphing are used to explain the water cycle. Students will graph raw climate and stream outflow data to explain the water cycle within their local watershed district. [Links directly to Next Generation Science Standards recommended classroom activities] (science; mathematics)

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4. Notable Features of a Watershed


In this Notable Features of a Watershed (PDF) LESSON PLAN (grades 6-8), students observe and chart porous and impervious features of the watershed. Summarize the effect the features have on the water quality and outflow. [links directly to Next Generation Science Standards recommended classroom activities] (science; mathematics)

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5. Everything Is Connected


In this Everything is Connected LESSON PLAN (grades 9-12), students examine and formulate conjectures regarding connections between ecosystem elements - plants, animals, weather, etc. Explore concepts of food chains, food webs, inter-dependence of organisms, interactions and dynamics in ecosystems. (science, biology, zoology, earth science, ecology)

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6. Particulate Study During Burning Season 


In this Particulate Study During Burning Season (DOC) LESSON PLAN (grades 10-12), students examine reasons for prescribed burning in range management and governmental regulations on burning practices; take air quality samples during burning season; evaluate competing public policy issues. (science, environmental science)

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7. Water in the Flint Hills

 

What are the sources of water in the Flint Hills?  Students will identify rivers, streams, and springs of the Flint Hills region.  What are the major river systems of the Flint Hills? Do you have any large reservoirs in your area?  When was it built and how is it used? Are there any water quality issues in your local area?  What are the causes and solution?  What is a “spring” and why is it formed?  What are some famous springs in the Flint Hills and in your area?  How were they used?  Students will create a graphic organizer summarizing water resources and issues in their local area. (science, earth science) 
Flint Hills Raindrop Journey Flint Hills Springs Flint Hills Headwater streams Flint Hills Water resources-quantity Water resources in Kansas Water Precious Resource Kansas Springs  Nitrates in Groundwater Drilling a water well Kansas Alliance for Wetlands & Streams

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8. Tallgrass Prairie Ecosystem - a Grassland Biotic Community


Students will explore the concept of biotic community and will identify the characteristics of the tallgrass prairie ecosystem as a grassland biotic community.  If 60% of prairie biomass is underground, why is this and what does it consist of?  
Students will create an illustrated poster outlining the basic features of the grassland biotic community (science, biology, ecolog
y) Kansas ecosystems map Grasslands of Central North America Secrets of Prairie Plants Value of Prairie Plants Prairie root systems Prairies Atlas Prairie is a Grassland Community-Learning in the Prairie LESSON p. 17, Zonation of Plants-Learning in the Prairie FIELD TRIP LESSON p. 75,See Art Activity No. 13

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9. Grasslands of the World in Africa, Asia, Australia, & South America


Students will explore similarities and differences between the Flint Hills tallgrass prairie and other grasslands of the world in Africa, Asia, Australia, and South America. How are the grasses, wildlife, and ecosystems different in those places? What economic enterprises depend upon those grasslands? Have they established grassland preserves? What challenges do they face ecologically that we do not face? What similar challenges do we have? How are their native cultures different and adapted to their ecosystems? Students will write a compare and contrast essay comparing the Flint Hills to another grassland in the world. (science, biology, botany, social studies, economics, sociology, language arts, writing)AFRICA Kenya-Heartbreak on Serengeti Tanzinia-“Eoko”-Poem of Masai Herders ASIA (Mongolia) Mongolia Steppes & Mining Threat Love Poem-My Nature Land AUSTRALIA (Northern Territory) New Generation Heals Homelands Folktale Humans & Fire SOUTH AMERICA Patagonia (Argentina & Chile)  Sheep ranching Tehuelche creation story

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10. Warm & Cool Season Grasses


Students will identify and describe the four main warm season grasses in the tallgrass prairie. How are they alike and different in appearance, growth habitat, extent, and use? Students will create a chart of the four grasses classifying their various differences and characteristics.

Students will identify and describe the most common cool season grasses in the tallgrass prairie? Which are native and which are introduced? What advantages and disadvantages does each species have to ranchers? Students will create a summary chart of four cool season grasses.

Students will visit a prairie site and create a log recording the names and brief description of as many grasses as they can identify (science, biology, botany, career, agriculture and technology, agronomy)Range Grasses of Kansas-Cool & Warm Season Kansas Grasses Field Guide

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11. Parts of a Grass Plant


Students will identify and explain the function of the different parts of a grass plant. Students will explore the ways grasses are well-adapted to climatic extremes, how they reproduce and disperse seed, and their importance over time in nature and to humans. Examining one of the main native prairie grass plants, students will sketch and list the parts and their functions.  Students will write a process paper describing the reproductive process of a species of grass. (science, biology and botany). Grasses  Clue Chart for Grasses-Learning in the Prairie FIELD TRIP LESSON p. 99

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12. Wildflowers, Forbs & Legumes

Students will investigate the nonwoody, nongrass-like prairie plants commonly referred to as wildflowers, also known as forbs. What is the definition of a forb?  What is the morphology - external structure and parts - of these plants?  What different types and shapes of leaves do they have?  What are the different types of flowers they have and how do these parts work? What type of root systems do they have?  Some forbs are legumes - what is a legume?  How do legumes fit into the Nitrogen Cycle and why are they especially important to the prairie?  What are some common native prairie legumes?  What are the different colors of wildflowers in the tallgrass prairie?  How do all these plants contribute to biodiversity of the prairie and why is that important?  Students will create a graphic organizer illustrating the different types of leaves or flowers of these plants. Using field guides, students will research four wildflower species with a variety of shapes and colors, and create a graphic organizer with a sketch of each and a list of its characteristics:  latin name, common name, flowering season, height, type of area found in, special characteristics.  Students will visit a prairie site with a wildflower field guide and create a log recording the names and brief descriptions of as many wildflowers as they can identify.  (science, biology, botany, career, agriculture and technology, agronomy)  See also Art Activity No. 10, Science Activity No. 1Wildflowers Field Guide  Wildflowers Guide Value of Prairie Plants Secrets of Prairie Plants Plant parts - drawings Interdependence of a Flower-Learning in the Prairie FIELD TRIP LESSON p. 63, What Good is a Weed?-Learning in the Prairie FIELD TRIP LESSON p. 87, Sleep Movements in Plants -Learning in the Prairie LESSON p. 127, Seasonal rhythms & seeds-Learning in the Prairie LESSON p. 175,  Expressing the rhythms of the prairie-Learning in the Prairie LESSON p. 197

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13. Increaser, Decreaser, & Invader


Students will explain the difference between the terms increaser, decreaser, and invader in the context of tallgrass prairie. How do these terms help us evaluation rangeland health. Which grasses and forbs are increasers, which are decreasers, and which are invaders? In your area, which of these can you identify, and what can you observe about their extent in the prairie? What grazing systems might help bring back the decreasers and reduce the increasers? What can be done about invaders? What is the more technical Floristic Quality Index (FQI) that rates each plant for its tolerance of disturbance? How are these two rating methods similar? Look up and compare the “coefficient of conservatism value” for a few plants you know to be increasers, decreasers, or invaders. Students will create a comparative chart describing increasers, decreasers, and invaders, and at the bottom summarize best management practices for the prairie plants (science, biology, botany; career, agriculture and technology, agronomy)

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14. Issue of Over-Grazing & Rangeland Carrying Capacity


Students will examine the range management issue of over-grazing and rangeland carrying capacity. What do “stocking rate” and “carrying capacity” mean? What is the difference between full season single-stocking and half season double stocking? What the stocking rates and months for these grazing systems? What is rotational grazing? What is an “animal unit”? What does the phrase “take half, leave half” mean? What are the symptoms of an over-grazed pasture? What increaser species are indicators of excessive grazing pressure? How can over-stocking be a cause of over-grazing? How important is timing of cattle grazing with respect to plant growth? At what point in the season do plants begin to store energy in their roots? What happens if pastures are over-grazed beyond this point? What happens to the grass plants if double-stocked cattle are not removed from the pasture after the recommended date of July 15? How can poor grazing distribution be a cause of over-grazing? Which end of a pasture do cattle tend to graze harder? What management practices can ranchers use to encourage better grazing distribution? How can ranchers restore a pasture that has been over-grazed? Who in your area has won the local Conservation District’s Grassland Award for good stewardship of the prairie? What practices did these good managers utilize? Students will examine Natural Resource Conservation District and Extension Service publications on good grazing practices, and will write a newspaper article of ways to prevent over-grazing. (science, biology, botany; career, agriculture and technology, animal science, agronomy, language arts, writing.) Managing FH grasslands Stocking Rate & Grazing Mgmt Summer Grazing Strategies in FH Grazing Distribution Forage Facts

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15. Other Domestic Grazers - Horses, Sheep, Goats, Pigs & Poultry


Students will explore economic and land stewardship issues with other domestic grazers - horses, sheep, goats, pigs and poultry. What other livestock species besides cattle and bison can eat prairie grass? What are the different physiologies and digestive systems of these grazers? What nutritional requirements do they have? What types of grazing issues do horses, sheep, goats, pigs and chickens present? For example, why do horses as grazers put a different kind of pressure on a pasture than cattle? How are their teeth different so that they crop the grass closer to the ground? What are recommended stocking rates for horses and other species - how many acres do they need? What are the economics of raising these species - for pets, recreation, hobbies, niche market food products, etc. Students will explore grazing systems and best management practices for these alternative species, and create a chart comparing different aspects of each species. (science, biology, agriculture and technology, animal science, agronomy) Multi-species grazing Sheep ranching (South America) Meat Goats Pigs-Swine See also Career-Ag-Tech Activity No. 17 Horses

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16. Native Wild Grazers- Large & Small


Students will identify species of native wild “grazers” - large and small which also graze the prairie. What large, wild ungulate (hoofed) species in the Flint Hills are grazers? What do they like to eat? What other smaller (even tiny) wild creatures also consume prairie grass? How could grasshoppers be considered as the second most important grazer on the prairie? What are the habitat requirements and ecosystem of these other grazers? In what way is the presence or absence of these lifeforms considered to be an indicator of the ecological health of the prairie? Students will create a poster (could arrange from large to small) to illustrate the variety of wild species which “graze” the prairie. Other Grazers (science, biology, zoology)
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17. Tallgrass Prairie Food Chain


Students will analyze the tallgrass prairie food chain showing how energy in a natural community. What is a trophic level? What are the primary producers on the prairie? What are the primary, secondary, tertiary, and apex consumers? Which tallgrass prairie organisms occupy different levels? At what level are herbivorous domestic livestock such as cattle? At what level are omnivorous humans eating (1) wild plants? (2) venison (deer meat) or grassfed beef (from cattle)? At which level can humans obtain the most significant food supply from native prairie? As human population grows and food needs increase, what will be the pressures to plow and remove native prairie to grow crops humans can eat directly as secondary consumers (gaining more calories per acre)? However, what tallgrass prairie ecosystem services would be lost if the tallgrass prairie were destroyed, and how might this also affect food supply? Students will create a tallgrass prairie food chain pyramid containing both wild species, domestic species, and humans (science, biology, zoology; social studies, economics) Prairie Food Chain LESSON Web of interdependence-Learning in the Prairie LESSON  pp 33-37, Illustrating roles in prairie food web-Learning in the Prairie LESSON p. 147


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18. Nitrogen


Students will investigate special aspects of nitrogen in the Flint Hills ecosystem. Where is nitrogen found in the ecosystem? Which type of plants are particularly good at fixing nitrogen - name some of these specific species. How does availability of nitrogen affect the productivity of grass? What does burning do to the nitrogen availability? Which type of grass does this favor - warm season or cool season? How does the nitrogen content of the grass change when it is dead and how does this affect decomposition rates, and the storage of carbon over time? What role is played by the streams of the Flint Hills? How do small stream plants and animals help remove inorganic nitrogen that may be washed in, keeping water clean? Explain the process of how lightning adds to the nitrogen cycle? Students will create a graphic organizer summarizing different ways that nitrogen affects, and is affected by, the Flint Hills tallgrass prairie. (science, biology, ecology, chemistry; career, agriculture and technology, agronomy)

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19. Ethnobotany - Edible & Medicinal Native Plant Uses


Students will explore ethnobotany by identifying local edible and medicinal native plant uses by Native American people and early pioneers. What plants could be used as a food source? How were they prepared? Which plants might be used to heal or provide special vitamins and nutrients? How were teas used? Students will create a poster containing examples of an early Native American’s wild foods diet. (science, biology, family and consumer science, culinary arts) Edible Plants


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20. Herbarium


Students will investigate the activities of a herbarium. What is a herbarium? What is their purpose? How do they store and catalog plants? What problems do they face - what are some of their policies? How does this relate to the concept of biodiversity? What databases are in the K-State Herbarium? Students will write the dialogue for a tour guide leading guests through the K-State Herbarium - explaining what this institution does and why. https://www.k-state.edu/herbarium/index.html (science, biology, botany; writing, speaking)

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21. Physiology, History, & Ecological Significance of the Bison in the Tallgrass Prairie


Students will explore the physiology, history, and ecological significance of the Bison in the tallgrass prairie. What are the physiology of the bison? How does it graze and behave in herds? Why do some say it was a “keystone” species in the prehistoric tallgrass prairie. What is the history of Native American use of the buffalo? What is the story of the over-hunting and near-extinction of the buffalo? What were the industrial uses for buffalo in the late 1800s? What was the connection between deliberate removal of the buffalo and removal of the Native Americans? Students will write a history of bison in the Flint Hills. (science, zoology; career, agriculture and technology, animal science; history; language arts, writingAncient bison Bison on Konza Bison atlas Bison Bison on Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve

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22. Konza Prairie Biological Station


Students will investigate the Konza Prairie Biological Station. What two entities own and operate this preserve? Who can do research on it? Can you hike there? Can you pick wildflowers there? How are they studying the three ecological processes that sustain tallgrass prairie: fire, grazing, and climate? Do they have grazing animals there? What kind - why? Watch the video on ecological research (PDF).  What types of current research are taking place? Students will create a poster illustrating 5 effects of burning being researched on the Konza. (science, biology, earth science; career, agriculture and technology, agronomy, animal science)

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23. Aquatic Life Forms & Streamside Ecosystems


Students will investigate various aquatic life forms common in creeks and rivers in the Flint Hills. What are the differences in habitat for large, lowland waterways and smaller upland streams? What categories of life will you find there? What are common fish species? What is a mussel and what is its physiology? What water-related insects are common, and how can you observe their various life stages? Where can you see crayfish in a stream - what is their physiology? What amphibians are present? How does the presence of frogs indicate the ecological health of a stream? What snakes and turtles are common? Which Flint Hills mammals rely on aquatic habitat? If possible, take a field trip to a nearby creek. Students will create an illustrated poster classifying and describing different aquatic life forms. (science, biology, zoology, ecology) 
Students will explore the concept of riparian areas and streamside ecosystems. What makes a healthy riparian area? Why is ground cover and vegetation important near streams? What species make a healthy riparian area in an upland pasture? What trees are desirable in a lowland river riparian area? What understory of vegetation indicates a healthy riparian environment? What livestock management practices lead to a healthy riparian area? Students will read county extension service bulletins on riparian management and write a newspaper article advising ranchers on best practices. (science, biology, language arts, writing)
Frogs & toads  more Frogs & Toads Fish Life in a Pond Streams  Stream ecology Freshwater mussels  Aquatic snails  Riparian areas & wetlands  Riparian areas Kansas Alliance for Wetlands & Streams Riparian Buffers Animal ID Guide&Photos-Amphibians Frog Growth, Songs, Types Invasive Aquatic Species Freshwater Mussels Turtles Streamside Habitat Challenge River Critter Sitings
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24. How to Stock a Farm Pond With Fish

 
Students will research how to stock a farm pond with fish. How do you figure the size of the pond? Students will walk the perimeter of the pond and create a formula to determine the area of the pond. Students will estimate the pond depth and determine the volume of water in the pond. Students will research recommended species for Kansas ponds and recommended stocking rates. From this, students will determine the number of fish to put in. They will research the cost of stocking a small pond. What are some of the problems to avoid in stocking a pond? How long will it be before they can go fishing? How long will this fish population live? Students will summarize their research by creating a “Guide to Stocking Your Pond” brochure (science, biology, mathematics) Pond fish & wildlife Pond Stocking Kansas Aquaculture Assoc

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25. Insects & Arthropods


Students will explore the world of the smaller wildlife on the prairie.  How do these life forms fit into the food web?  How do we depend on them?  How do they make our lives harder?  easier?  What do they eat?  Are they grazers?  Why do artists and photographers want to capture their color, intricacy, and beauty?  What is their anatomy and physiology?  How are they classified by humans?  How do they reproduce?  How long do they live? Students will choose one order of insects (or arthropods) on the prairie and prepare a presentation describing and explaining their ecological roles.Kinds of Prairie Grasshoppers-Learning in the Prairie LESSON p. 23, Insects on Prairie Grasshoppers + folklore  For many of these, also click on “catalog of images”Kansas Butterfly checklist Kissing Bugs Ants and Collecting/Studying Ants  Dragonflies   Damselflies   Centipedes & Millipedes Jumping Spiders Orbweaving Spiders  Crab Spiders Ground Spiders Insect Collections 

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26. Pollinator Species


Students will explore the role of pollinator species that live in the intact prairie of the Flint Hills. What are the prairie pollinators? For example, what is the life cycle, behavior, and pollination activities of a few of the 400-500 species of bees? Why are these pollinator species important to the prairie ecosystem? To human agriculture? Why are they declining? What will be the impact on agriculture and human food security if this decline continues? Students will write a newspaper article explaining the major importance of these tiny creatures. (science, biology, ecology, language arts, journalism) Plight of Pollinators Importance Bees Pollinator lesson

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27. Birds in the Flint Hills including Greater Prairie Chicken

 
Students will explore the rich variety of bird species in the Flint Hills. What bird species rely on open prairie without trees? What are their identifying features? What are their diets, habitat, reproductive habits, and other behaviors? How are their numbers? What raptors are common in the prairie? What are their identifying characteristics, diets, habitat, reproductive habits, and behaviors? What birds like to live in farm buildings? Which live in forested areas along streams? What are the distinctive songs you can identify? What makes the Turkey Vulture a unique and major component of the ecosystem? Students will write a comprehensive description essay on one bird of their choice. Students will investigate the habitat, behavior, and species health of the Greater Prairie Chicken. Why is this species symbolic of the tallgrass prairie? What is its famous courtship ritual? (See video or try to observe in person). What threats have reduced its numbers? What land management practices are being developed to help bring it back? How are pasture burning practices relevant here? How is the Greater Prairie Chicken used in eco-tourism? How have artists and photographers focused on this species? Students will write an informative essay describing the Greater Prairie Chicken habitat and behavior, and efforts to preserve and increase the species. Students will photograph or create a drawn or painted portrait of a male booming Prairie Chicken. (science, biology, art, photography, illustration; language arts, writing) Turkey Ranching for birds  Seasons & birds  Birds song lyrics  Prairie Chicken  Owls  Raptors  Grassland birds Birds-How Like & Different from Us Signaling in prairie birds-Learning in the Prairie LESSON p. 143 

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28. Wildlife in the Flint Hills-Mammals, Reptiles & Amphibians, etc.


Students will investigate the anatomy & physiology, habitat, behavior, reproduction cycles, ecological niches, and species health of the many varieties of wildlife in the Flint Hills. How do these species fit into the food web?  What human management issues are involved with this species?  Have any artists and photographers focused on this species? Students will write an informative essay describing the characteristics of three related species. (science, biology, art, photography, illustration; language arts, writing) Prairie Animal Printouts Pike’s animals Predators  Ft Riley Hunting & Fishing Wildlife Management   Mammals Field Guide Herpetofaunal Atlas (click to species & photo) Snakes  Turtles Animal ID Guide & Photos-Snakes,Lizards,Amphibians Mice Mustelids (weasel family) Mammals Small Vertebrates of the Prairie-Learning in the Prairie FIELD TRIP LESSON p. 85,Detective Work (Wildlife Clues)-Learning in the Prairie FIELD TRIP LESSON p. 97,Wildlife-KSU Ext  Forestry Mgmt for Wildlife River Critter Sitings Animal Tracks

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29. Climate, Grazing & Fire


Students will identify the causes and effects of the three primary ecological processes that have shaped the natural character of the Flint Hills tallgrass prairie: climate, grazing and fire. What is the role of each? What aspects of the ecosystem depends upon their processes? Students will write a cause and effect paper describing these 3 processes. (science, biology, ecology, earth science; language arts, writingFire & seasonality Fire & grazing Intro to FH Why are grasses so common in the prairie?-Learning in the Prairie LESSON p. 131

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30. Biodiversity


Students will examine the concept of biodiversity within remaining intact tallgrass prairie. What does biodiversity mean? How diverse are Flint Hills grasses, legumes, insects, mammals, birds, aquatic life forms? Students will write an evaluation paper describing the health of the tallgrass prairie in their area based upon the concept of biodiversity. (science, biology, ecology, language arts, writing) KU Biodiversity Institute - Botany (see also other divisions), Value of Prairie Plants  Secrets of Prairie Plants Patch burning to promote biodiversity Prairies-Biodiversity pp16-17,Web of Interdependence-Learning in the Prairie LESSON p. 33, Ecological niches in prairie-Learning in the Prairie FIELD TRIP LESSON p. 51,Zonation of Plants-Learning in the Prairie FIELD TRIP LESSON p. 75,Interdependence of a Flower-Learning in the Prairie FIELD TRIP LESSON p. 63,What Good is a Weed?-Learning in the Prairie FIELD TRIP LESSON p. 87, What’s on my Plot? -Learning in the Prairie FIELD TRIP LESSON p. 93,Habitats for wildlife-Learning in the Prairie LESSON p. 165, What good is it?-Learning in the Prairie LESSON p. 171

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31. Ecosystem Services of the Tallgrass Prairie Ecosystem


Students will investigate ecosystem services of the tallgrass prairie ecosystem. What are “eco-services” and which does the tallgrass prairie ecosystem provide? Based on these, what arguments could be made for the economic importance of the tallgrass prairie ecosystem? At what point does future environmental health become an economic value for today? Students will write a descriptive essay telling what life in our local area would be like if the tallgrass prairie were entirely eliminated. Would it be different from anywhere else? What sights and sounds would be different? What wildlife (large and small) would be severely impacted? What ripple effects could this have? What would be the health of the water and air? What economic enterprises and cultural features in the area would be lost? Students will create a poster illustrating the ecosystem services of the tallgrass prairie. (science, ecology, social studies, economics) Tallgrass Prairie Ecosystem Value of Prairie Plants Secrets of Prairie Plants

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32. Prairie Regions of North America


Students will examine the characteristics of the 3 prairie regions of North America. Why are these areas different? What are the characteristics of their climate and soil? What different species of grasses typically grow in these areas? Historically, what was the extent of each region? Students will create a 3 column chart of the different features of these three regions (science, biology, social studies, geography) Maps of three prairie regions FAO USDA 

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33. Extent of the Tallgrass Prairie


Students will compare the historic extent of the tallgrass prairie to remaining areas - recognizing the Flint Hills as the major remnant, study the minimum dynamic threshold sizes for a functional tallgrass prairie ecosystem, analyze maps featuring these areas, and evaluate their local county within these thresholds. (science, biology and ecology, social studies, geography) Prairie Conservation


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34. Fragmentation / human development of the Prairie


Students will define fragmentation of the prairie and explore the major economic forces contributing to the degradation or removal of tallgrass prairie in the Flint Hills. What human-imposed structures and activities separates areas of tallgrass prairie? Are there ways that development can be structured to minimize fragmentation? Students will write a problem-solution essay summarizing the threat of fragmentation in their local area and what might be done to prevent it. (science, biology, ecology, language arts, writing) 
Students will explore the damaging impact of fragmentation on wildlife. What size landscape is required for various species of Flint Hills wildlife? How many of these large landscapes remain? What dangers do human-imposed structures such as highways present to animals attempting to cross them (and possibly danger also to humans)? What wild species are affected when prairie is lost to woody invasion? How have wildlife adapted? What species have been lost? How will future urbanization affect the wildlife and plant life of the tallgrass prairie? Which animals are affected? Does this affect plant life also? Choose one large native mammal and write a summary of its territorial needs. (science, biology, zoology)
Prairie Conservation Download-Flint Hills Legacy Area Conservation Area  How Big Does a Prairie Need to Be? Siting Wind Farms While Protecting Nature-Site It Right Prairie animals that lost out-Learning in the Prairie LESSON p. 151, Animals that won out-Learning in the Prairie LESSON p. 159,  Human cultures adjust to the prairie-Learning in the Prairie LESSON p. 197,See Science Activity No. 37 Preservation & Restoration,See Science Activity No. 52 Industrial Wind

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35. Seasons & Rhythms on the Prairie


Students will explore the seasons and different kinds rhythms of nature in the tallgrass prairie.  Various lessons from the Learning in the Prairie book will lead students in this process.Rhythms in Nature:-Learning in the Prairie LESSON p. 37, Rhythm in Visual Design: -Learning in the Prairie LESSON p. 41, Daily Rhythms in Prairie: -Learning in the Prairie FIELD TRIP LESSON p. 57, Seasonal rhythms in Prairie-Learning in the Prairie FIELD TRIP LESSON p. 117, Seeing Rhythms of the Prairie-Learning in the Prairie FIELD TRIP LESSON p. 123, Seasonal rhythms & seeds-Learning in the Prairie LESSON p. 175 

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36. "Go Back" Pastures - Succession of Plant Species

 
Students will compare “go back” pastures - areas of early plowing - to intact prairie. What are the differences in plant species and in soil composition? Why and when did people plow these areas to begin with? What was the local population in your county during this era, and then after it? What architectural remains, such as stone house ruins, attest to this period of settlement? How and why were these early farmers unsuccessful? How much soil was lost in these areas? Students will use photography to portray the difference between “go back” land and native prairie. Students will explore concepts of biological “succession” and compare lists of plants dominant in “go back land” and “native prairie. Students will write a historical sketch describing the folly of early farming on upland areas of the Flint Hills. (science, biology, botany; social studies, history; language arts, writingPrairie-Succession p. 15:

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37. Prairie Restoration


Students will investigate the process of prairie restoration. How can landowners restore tallgrass prairie that has been plowed or destroyed on their land? How much does it cost and how long does it take?  Will it ever be the same as a natural prairie? Is it easier to preserve prairie in the first place, or to just plant it back?  Students will write a restoration plan for a local area of land. (science, biology, botany; career, agriculture and technology, agronomy) Dyck Arboretum restoration Establishing Native Grasses Growing Prairie Plants-Learning in the Prairie LESSON p. 181, Preserving a sample of tallgrass prairie ecosystem-Learning in the Prairie LESSON p. 191,See Science Activity No. 34 Fragmentation

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38. Decomposers & Fungi

 
Students will explore the processes of decomposition and recycling of nutrients on the prairie?  What is the role of the decomposers? What are different types of fungi?  What are the parts of a fungus?  How do fungi live? How do fungi sometimes “partner” with plants? What is a fairy ring? Are some mushrooms edible?  What is the danger in eating them?   How can some fungi be damaging to crops?  How is the soil a community of organisms that recycles the waste products and dead bodies of plants and animals in the prairie?  How is nature’s circular recycling of resources different from the typically linear flow of resources from human user to landfill?  Students will draw a diagram of the parts of a mushroom.  Students will make a poster illustrating the circular movement of resources on the prairie.  Students will write a paper of the uses of fungi as a human food source.  (https://www.emporia.edu/ksn/v08n3-march1962/index.html) There’s a Fungus Among Us Decomposer Dynamics Recycling in a Prairie-Learning in the Prairie FIELD TRIP LESSON p. 109,A Study of Garbage-Learning in the Prairie LESSON p. 187 

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39. Woody Invasion


Students will investigate the impact of woody invasion on the Flint Hills tallgrass prairie. How great a threat is woody invasion to the remaining prairie? What trees and shrubs are most aggressive? What can be done to alleviate this problem? How hard is it to stop? Why might some landowners prefer woody invasion? Why is this threat increasing? Will landowners act in time? What do you predict will occur in the next 25-50 years? Students will write a problem-solution essay on the major threat of woody invasion in the Flint Hills. (science, biology, agronomy)
Students will explore the increasingly popular management practices of some recreational landowners who intentionally encouraging invasion of woody species. What does this do to increase their deer and other game species? Why? What areas do deer and other game prefer? What could be the long-term effects of this type of land management on the prairie ecosystem? Students will write a newspaper article encouraging recreational landowners to limit woody invasion and preserve open prairie and the native wildlife that depend on it. (science, biology, zoology; language arts, writing)  See also Science Learning Activity No. 44

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40. Research Historical Woodlands & Which Trees Were Native to the Flint Hills


Students will research historical woodlands and which trees were native to the Flint Hills. Historically, what species grew locally, in what sorts of environments did they grow, and how could they survive there? Why were there so few trees in early days? How were they used by early peoples? What happened to some of these large native groves when settlers came? How widespread are these native trees today? What non-native (exotic/introduced/invasive) tree species are in the Flint Hills now? Which tree species are most aggressive? Who is the State Forester and what services does he provide to landowners? Students will prepare a field guide-type entry for one native Flint Hills tree species, including leaf type, seed/nut, etc. (science, biology, social studies, history) Kansas Forest Service 

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41. Prescribed Burning


Students will describe the chemical and biological effects of prescribed burning on Flint Hills’ plant communities. How does burning change the soil chemistry? Why doesn’t burning contribute to climate change - what happens to the carbon that is released? What invasive species are controlled by fire? Which are not? Why? Why is it important to have adequate soil and plant moisture before burning? What are pros and cons of different frequency-of-burning: one-year, two-year, three-year, etc.? How is timing important in burning for plant and animal species? What are the benefits of a “mosaic” of plant cover for prairie chickens? What is patch burning? Why is later burning more effective in controlling woody invaders (after they have begun to leaf out)? What human factors are reducing burning as a practice? How can we visually identify areas that are not being burned by analyzing the plant growth forms and presence of trees? What is the future of these areas? What are the air quality and health issues resulting from burning? What regulations have been created to minimize these problems? Students will write a persuasive newsletter article to encourage ranchers to burn their pastures. Students will write a newspaper article for urban areas to explain the reason for burning pastures. Students will create a brochure regarding smoke management and air quality concerns for ranchers and urban dwellers. (science, chemistry, biology, earth science, career, agriculture and technology and agronomy, language arts, writing) Prescribed Burning as a Management Practice  Fire ecology Oklahoma Prescribed Fire Council Planning & Conducting Prescribed Burn   Patch burning to promote biodiversity   Prairie Primer-scroll to Fire & Prescribed Burning

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42. Major Exotic & Invasive Species


Students will identify ecosystem imbalances due to major exotic and invasive species such as the zebra mussel and Serecia Lespedeza and Old World Bluestem (Yellow Bluestem and Caucasian Bluestem). Where did these species come from? How are they spreading? How can we identify the Serecia Lespedeza plant? How great a threat is this to the remaining prairie and water resources? Students will write a newspaper article persuading landowners to identify and control Serecia Lespedeza on their land. (science, biology, zoology; language arts, writing) 

Serecia Lespedeza  and more Serecia Lespedeza and more Serecia Lespedeza Serecia Identification Invaders  Zebra Mussels   

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43. Noxious Weeds


Students will investigate the issue of “noxious weeds.” Where did these plants come from? How do they spread? What governmental agency decides that a plant is a noxious weed and what are their criteria? What governmental agency is responsible for controlling them on public lands? By what methods can these weeds be eliminated? What plant species in your local area are listed? What is the responsibility of a landowner if noxious weeds invade his/her property? What is the impact on neighboring landowners if weeds are not controlled? Are there any legal penalties to a landowner for failure to control noxious weeds? Students will create a poster illustrating the various noxious weeds. (science, biology, chemistry, zoology; social studies, government) Musk Thistle


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44. Invasion of Eastern Red Cedar Trees


Students will explore the impact of the invasion of Eastern Red Cedar trees in the Flint Hills. Why is this species considered by some to be the biggest threat to the remaining tallgrass prairie? How fast does it grow? What is the source of its seeds spreading, and how quickly and easily does it spread? How much water does it consume? Does this have a significant impact on Flint Hills water sources? What is the impact of Eastern Red Cedar on the viability of tallgrass prairie? What is the impact on native wildlife habitat - what likes to live in solid cedar stands? Do you see small sprouts of this species in your area? How big will they be in 20 years if allowed to grow? What will happen to the prairie grass around them? Are cedars hard to eliminate? By what non-chemical means can the sprouts be killed? What are the reasons for its rapid invasion into so many areas of the Flint Hills? What does urban development and reduction of burning have to do with it? Why are landowners allowing them to invade their property? What does the allowing the increase of more and more cedars do to the probability of their seeds invading all the remaining tallgrass prairie? Should this species be declared a noxious weed? What would be the impact of that? Students will research the water consumption of Eastern Red Cedars, and quantify the impact on local water resources. Students will write a brochure to be sent out to all owners of remaining tallgrass prairie informing them of the importance of controlling this aggressive species. Controlling Eastern Red Cedar Tree Invasion  See video: “Invasion of the Water Snatchers” (15 min.)  (science, biology, geology, language arts, communication; math)

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45. Chemistry & Economics of Herbicides


Students will examine the chemistry and economics of herbicides used to control Serecia Lespedeza, undesirable increasers, and woody invaders. Why are some more effective than others? How much do they cost landowners to use, relative to the value of the land, or its potential annual earnings, per acre? What regulations control the use and application of herbicides? What professional applicators are in your area? How much work do they have and how many employees? How do they prevent hazards of this occupation? Students will create a chart of herbicides, their chemical process, and the plants they are used to control. Students will write a description of the business of professional herbicide application. Students will determine the percentage of cost of herbicide application relative to annual per acre earnings and land value, and write a report of their findings. (science, chemistry, agronomy and biology, business, math)  Rangeland Brush Management Rangeland Weed Management 

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46. Climate Change & Carbon Cycle in the Flint Hills


Students will investigate potential impacts of climate change in the Flint Hills. What is climate change? Students will review the carbon cycle and how it is involved in climate change. What causes climate change? What are the predictions of impact of changing climate in the tallgrass prairie ecosystem? What will be the effect of extreme weather events such as prolonged drought? What overall changes in temperature will occur and how will this affect growth patterns? How will plants and animals be able to adapt to this rapid change? What is the overall prediction globally of extinctions which may occur as a result of climate change? In the Flint Hills, which species will be winners and which will be losers? What disruptions in the prairie ecosystem will occur? Why doesn’t pasture burning contribute to climate change - what happens to the carbon that is released (contemporary carbon cycle)? Why does conservation of natural areas such as Flint Hills allow plant and animal communities to be more resilient? Students will choose one organism - plant or animal, that they think will be affected, examine its needs, growth patterns, seasonal cycles, and create an outline predicting the future effects and outlook for this organism. (science, biology, ecology, earth science) Climate Change Droughts in KS Scroll to-Drought Planning for Rangeland Geologic sequestration of CO2 Kansas climate  Climate change in prairie - impact & resilience Links Carbon/Energy/Climate Issues
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47. Geology of the Flint Hills 


Students will explore the geologic history of the Flint Hills. What was the inland sea? What organisms lived in it? What fossils of their remains are found in your area? Students will reproduce a simplified vertical chart of the geologic history of the Flint Hills using different colors for layers and including an graphic illustration of some component of the period.  Students will write a first person story in the voice of a Flint Hills rock telling its story through time.  Students will create an outline of facts about the inland sea. Students will write an informative essay describing the inland sea. (science, geology) Geologic Cycles of FH Students will identify the main rock types in the Flint Hills. How were they formed? How do they affect the landscape of the Flint Hills? What are the commercial and industrial uses of these rocks? How does this benefit the local economy? What is the impact on the prairie environment? Students will create a power-point presentation on local geology in their area. (science, geology, career, agriculture and technology, construction; social studies, geography, economics) Intro to FH 20,000 Years Change   Geological Cycles Defining FH   Ks Geologic Maps   Ks Physiographic Regions See also Science No. 59 Paleontology-Fossils

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48. Soil the Foundation of Life

 

Students will explore the formation, characteristics, and function of soil in the tallgrass prairie.  What is soil?  What is soil texture?  What is a soil profile and horizon?  How is soil classified?  What is the difference between land and soil?  How is land classified, and is this related to soil classification?  Why is soil erosion such a serious threat?What is the biosphere?  How do plants and minerals help form soil?  How does the water cycle affect soil formation?Formation of Soil (includes optional FIELD TRIP ACTIVITY Understanding Soil Soil lesson

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49. Local Soils


Students will examine the local soils in their area through the Natural Resources Conservation Service mapping and soil survey. Why is soil important? What soils are most common in your area? What formed those soils? What crops and land uses are best for each soil? What is soil erosion and soil conservation? Why has soil conservation historically been a large issue in the Great Plains. What are best management practices to conserve soil? What is a “range site” and what are the different kinds in your area? Students will create a Powerpoint presentation explaining soil types, formation, and critical management issues to conserve this most critical resource (science, geology, career, agriculture and technology, agronomy) NRCS Web Soil Survey


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50. Oil & Gas Production


Students will research and compare the economic and ecological impact of energy development in the Flint Hills in the area of oil and gas production. What formed the oil and gas resources in the Flint Hills? In what underground geologic layers are they located? The Kansas Geologic Survey provides geologic, water survey, oil and gas, and mineral information for Kansas. What can you learn about oil and gas development from their website? What are the short-term and long-term ecological costs and economic benefits of oil production? What are best management practices to reduce surface damage on oil leases? What is the role of the Kansas Conservation Commission in preventing environmental damage from oil production?  What local businesses rely on oil production in the area? How many local long-term jobs are dependent upon oil industry? What is a petroleum engineer: how are they trained and what do they do? What field of earth science will they study? What are the two types of income from oil production: what is the difference between a “working interest” and a “royalty interest”? What type of property is a “mineral right” vs. surface ownership? How do local governments tax oil producers? How significant is this source of public revenue? What were some of the problems of early day oil production methods? Can damaged areas be restored? What governmental agencies regulate oil production today? What sorts of concerns do they address? What water quality issues do they monitor? What are penalties for violating environmental regulations? What is the impact of oil production fields on the landscape? What are the connections between ecology and economics? Why are these energy issues complex when considered on a local and global scale? Students will visit the Kansas Geological Survey website which provides geological, water resource, oil and gas, and mineral information for Kansas. Students will create a chart of the costs and benefits of this form of energy production. (science, geology, ecology, social studies, economics, business) Oil in FH  Kansas Conservation Commission-Oil & Gas See also Soc Studies Learning Activity No. 19 

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51. Current Issues Involving Production & Consumption of Oil


Students will further investigate past and current issues involving production and consumption of oil: economic cycle - price swings and impact on local economy; wastewater injection and incidence of earthquakes; surface damage on oil leases; climate change and burning of fossil fuels, etc. How long will Flint Hills oil resources last? What energy conservation measures can help reduce consumption to save some nonrenewable resources for future generations? Students will write an argumentative (persuasive) essay regarding a controversial issue involving production or consumption of oil (science, geology, ecology, social studies, economics) See also Soc Studies No. 19 Earthquakes Induced Seismicity  

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52. Industrial Wind Development


Students will research the economic and ecological impact of energy development in the Flint Hills in the area of industrial wind development. How do wind turbines work? What are the short-term and long-term ecological costs and economic benefits? What are the ecological advantages of wind energy within in the larger context of climate change? What are the ecological disadvantages of wind developments and how are these related to siting decisions (where to put them)? Some recommend wind projects should be sited on “brownfields” (abandoned or underused industrial land) or on previously disturbed lands; excluding wind development from sensitive areas. Where are the current Flint Hills developments sited? Were these previously disturbed areas, or were they intact native prairie? Why did Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius urge developers to voluntarily restrain from putting wind energy projects in the Flint Hills? How large are wind turbines and bases? How deep do they go into the ground - what is the volume of cement and steel in the earth? How does this affect underground water resources? Could these areas be restored to their former natural state? How much surface area of prairie is lost? What is the impact on wildlife? Why are birds at special risk? What is the impact on the larger landscape: from how far away are turbines visible? How does this impact local potential for eco-tourism (people wanting unspoiled natural horizons); what is the effect on neighboring land values? Who gains and who loses? How many long-term local jobs are generated? Are these developments subsidized by taxpayers? How much local tax do they pay? What are the connections between ecology and economics? Why are these energy issues complex when considered on a local and global scale? Students will create a chart of the costs and benefits of this form of energy production. (science, biology, ecology, business, social studies, economics, career, agriculture and technology, industrial production) Siting Wind Farms While Protecting Nature-Site It Right Utility-scale wind developments map KS Tallgrass Heartland Info, Who is Concerned; FAQ The “green footprint” on threatened landscapes See also Science Activity No. 34 Fragmentation and Human Development

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53. Water Quality & Treatment


Students will explore the chemical and physical processes of their local water treatment plant. Where does our water come from? How is our water purified for drinking? What impurities are removed? Which might remain? What hazardous chemicals are utilized in the area? What regulations prevent these from entering the local drinking water supply? What are “acceptable limits” of certain impurities in drinking water? Examine a case study of a community whose water supply was contaminated: what biological and/or chemical substances were responsible and by what margin did they exceed acceptable limits? Students will create an outline of the process of water treatment in their area. See also Social Studies - Water Quality and Quantity activities (science, chemistry, physics) Wastewater systems Stormwater Runoff Water Purification River Atlas: Water Quality Issues

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54. Biomimicry & Perennial Polyculture


Biomimicry - what is it? How does perennial polyculture mimic the prairie? How can humans someday revolutionize modern agriculture and conserve soil, water and energy through “natural systems agriculture?” Students will read and write a summary of how plant breeders at the Land Institute in Salina, Kansas are working to create the first perennial crops for the tallgrass prairie. (science, biology, ecology, career, agriculture and technology, agronomy, language arts, reading, writing) Land Institute Biomimicry


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55. Observation of the Night Sky


Students will explore observation of the night sky in the Flint Hills. What is observable with just a pair of binoculars? With a smaller telescope? How and why does the location of stars change in the sky as the night goes on? Which planets, stars, and star clusters can you identify? How do constellations assist in identification? Where is the Milky Way, and what is its orientation at the time of your observation? Students will create a sky map of 5 constellations they have identified, specifying the date and time of observation. Students will research and write a summary of facts about one planet and one star they have located and observed. Students will write a poem or create a painting to illustrate the beauty of the night sky. (science, astronomy, writing, art)  Native Amer view  FH Night Sky “Imagine”  Night Sky The Moon Meteorites in KS

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56. Light Pollution & Relative Darkness of the Flint Hills


Students will identify the sources of “light pollution” in Kansas, and determine the relative darkness of the Flint Hills. Where are the darkest areas? Why is this region so attractive to astronomers and amateur star-gazers? What might be the opportunities for eco-tourism in this area? What kinds of outdoor lighting can reduce light pollution? Do we have any organizations of astronomers and amateur star-gazers? How does the Symphony in the Flint Hills encourage people to take up star-gazing? Students will identify good locations for dark skies in their area, and write a letter to an astronomy or science organization, inviting astronomers and amateur star-gazers to their community to view the skies. (science, astronomy, writing)  Astronomy & Night Sky-p.15

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57. Interpret a Quotation About the Tallgrass Prairie & Fire


Students will interpret a quotation about the tallgrass prairie and fire. Explore the quotations section in this website’s Flint Hills Information Resources on the Tallgrass Prairie and Fire. What is your favorite quote? Why do you think it is true? Why do you think the author wrote it? What does it mean? Write a personal response paragraph interpreting the main point of the quotation. (science, biology, agriculture, agronomy, language arts, reading, writing) Info Resources:  Quotations - Tallgrass Prairie & Fire 

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58. Interpret a Quotation About Soil & Water Con

s

ervation


Students will interpret a quotation about soil and water conservation. Explore the quotations section in this website’s Flint Hills Information Resources on Conservation. What is your favorite quote? Why do you think it is true? Why do you think the author wrote it? What does it mean to you personally? Write a personal response paragraph interpreting the main point of the quotation. (science, earth science, biology, language arts, reading, writing) Info Resources:  Quotations - Soil & Water Conservation


59.  Fossils & Flint Hills Paleontology


Students will investigate the geologic history of Flint Hills as revealed through fossil evidence.  What is “paleontology”?  What are fossils and how do they form?  What can they tell us about the past?  Where can we find fossils in the Flint Hills?  What are some common types of Flint Hills fossils?  Students will sketch and write a description of five main types of fossils and identify the geologic period from which they came. Students will study the inland  (science, earth science, geology, biology)  See also Art Learning Activity No. 12.  Invertebrate Fossils (good photos) Insect Fossils Fossils of Kansas See Science Activity No. 47 Geology  See also Art Activities No. 9



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