• Views 26
  • Favorites
Photo via Unsplash

Database Provider


Project Hero


6th, 7th, 8th


Science, Social Studies, Biology, English Language Arts

Resource Types

  • Video, 1 minute, 41 seconds
  • Digital Text
  • Activity - Outdoors

Regional Focus


Project Hero Soil Quest - Solve: Define the Problem

Ask a Question

Project Hero

  • In this activity, students will visit the site they have chosen for a soil improvement project to make observations and ask and answer questions about the site to determine the criteria and constraints for the project.
  • Students will define the soil problem that they will address in their project.
Teaching Tips


  • This section gives students excellent ideas for making observations that will help them identify and articulate problems.
  • It allows students to get outside and use problem-solving skills.

Additional Prerequisites

  • The Virtual Student Guide explains the activities.
  • This is part of the Solve section of the Project Hero Soil Quest. Make sure to check out the first part of the Solve section on surveying the site.
  • Students will have to visit the site and speak with the people who maintain the soil on the site for this activity.
  • To speak with the people who maintain the site, students will need to understand who owns the property (is it public land or private property?) and whether the owner is also the person who cares for it or if it is maintained by the owner's employees or volunteers.


  • Students could work in small groups on the Questions to Consider and then make a short slideshow presentation to present their answers to the class.
  • Cross-curricular connections can be made with social studies or civics classes as students identify who is in charge of maintaining the soil on the site and discuss the implications of different types of land resources management or ownership.
  • Other resources on this topic include this video on the design process for building stormwater infrastructure in New Jersey, this TED video on the importance of the soil's microbiome, and this video on soil erosion.
Scientist Notes

With the use of this resource, students would be able to determine why the soils in their neighborhoods are unhealthy and implement initiatives aimed at reviving the soil's health, biodiversity, and climate. This resource is advised for use in the classroom.

  • 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.
    • LS2: Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics
      • MS-LS2-3 Develop a model to describe the cycling of matter and flow of energy among living and nonliving parts of an ecosystem.
  • College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Standards
    • Dimension 1: Developing Questions and Planning Inquiries
      • D1.5.6-8 Determine the kinds of sources that will be helpful in answering compelling and supporting questions, taking into consideration multiple points of views represented in the sources.
    • Dimension 2: Civics
      • D2.Civ.11.6-8 Differentiate among procedures for making decisions in the classroom, school, civil society, and local, state, and national government in terms of how civic purposes are intended.
      • D2.Civ.13.6-8 Analyze the purposes, implementation, and consequences of public policies in multiple settings.
    • Dimension 3: Developing Claims and Using Evidence
      • D3.3.6-8 Identify evidence that draws information from multiple sources to support claims, noting evidentiary limitations.
  • Related Resources


    Login to leave a review