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Project Hero


6th, 7th, 8th


Science, Social Studies, Biology, Earth and Space Sciences

Resource Types

  • Activity - Classroom
  • Interactive Media
  • Videos, 4 minutes, 15 seconds
  • Videos, 5 minutes, 33 seconds, CC, Subtitles
  • Podcasts, 2 minutes, 47 seconds
  • Videos, 7 minutes, 54 seconds, CC, Subtitles
  • Videos, 2 minutes, 57 seconds, CC, Subtitles
  • Ebooks

Regional Focus



Google Docs

Project Hero Soil Quest - Explore: Harming the Soil

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Project Hero

  • In this resource, students read text and watch videos to learn how conventional agricultural practices (like using synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides, and tilling) harm soil health. 
  • Students complete a survey to assess the plant care products used in their community and determine if they are harmful to the soil ecosystem and hazardous to human health. 
Teaching Tips


  • The information is presented to students in a variety of ways like video, podcast, and text. 
  • Students have the opportunity to analyze their own communities' gardening practices, which will empower them to make better decisions about the products they use.

Additional Prerequisites

  • This is part of the Explore section of the Project Hero Soil Quest.
  • There is a Virtual Student Guide that explains the activities.
  • The book button displays additional resources that can be explored. The first link in this section is broken.


  • The "Points to Ponder" can be used for class discussion, small group conversations, or individual written reflection.
  • The survey can be completed individually or as a small group. Students can choose to analyze the plant care products in their home, at school, or some other location in the community.
  • Connections can be made with social studies classes as the resource discusses land-use changes and how humans interact with the environment.
  • Related resources include this video on conventional agricultural practices and this video about the connections between climate change and agriculture.
Scientist Notes
This resource is highly suitable for students to understand key human activities that are harmful to soil health, and other techniques that could be adopted to restore and sustain soil health in their environment. In this context, certain agricultural practices such as inversive tillage, spraying of herbicides, inorganic fertilizers, and other chemicals, etc., could harm soil health and certain practices like organic farming, regenerative farming, climate-smart agriculture, etc., could be beneficial to soil and to the climate.
  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • MS-ESS3-3 Apply scientific principles to design a method for monitoring and minimizing a human impact on the environment.
      • MS-ESS3-4 Construct an argument supported by evidence for how increases in human population and per-capita consumption of natural resources impact Earth's systems.
  • Common Core English Language Arts Standards (CCSS.ELA)
    • Reading: Science & Technical Subjects (6-12)
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RST.6-8.9 Compare and contrast the information gained from experiments, simulations, video, or multimedia sources with that gained from reading a text on the same topic.
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RST.6-8.10 By the end of grade 8, read and comprehend science/technical texts in the grades 6-8 text complexity band independently and proficiently.
  • Related Resources


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