Soil Quest

grade band: middle school

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Heroes Needed!

And right now, more than ever, SOIL NEEDS OUR HELP!

We rarely think about the soil under our feet, but it actually plays a crucial role in how we get the food we eat, the air we breathe, and the climate we live in. Healthy soil supports all life on Earth!

But, right now, human activities are increasingly making soil unhealthy and drastically changing some natural cycles that we and all living things rely on.

Will you help the Soils of North America?

The Problem

Why are soils becoming unhealthy in our community and around the world? The big culprits include removing plants from soil, using soil-damaging practices to grow and care for farm and garden crops, and leaving soil bare and loose after development. The result is unhealthy soils that release stored carbon into the atmosphere, contributing to climate warming.


How Can You Help?

In this Quest, students will become carbon sequestration experts by investigating the differences between healthy and unhealthy soil in their community, and by examining relationships that soil has with plants, animals, the atmosphere, and the climate. After comparing agricultural practices that help and harm soils, students will identify a place in their community with unhealthy soil. The project they design and carry out will apply what they've learned on the Quest to help restore the soil’s health.

Small grant funds are available to help with the material costs of projects for classes that register for the Quest and submit feedback and data at various checkpoints.

Quest Guidelines

Geographic Focus: United States - 50 states + Puerto Rico

Target Grade Bands: 5th-8th

Focus Ecosystem or Species Group:  Soils & Carbon; Climate

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