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Soil is the reservoir on which most life on earth depends, as the primary source of food, feed, forage, fiber, and pharmaceuticals.
Soil plays a vital role in sustaining human welfare and assuring future agricultural productivity and environmental stability. The study of soil as a science has provided us with a basic understanding of the physical, chemical, and biological properties and processes essential to such a complex ecosystem.
The Soil Science Society of America (SSSA) is a professional scientific society, made up of soil scientists, educators, and consultants focused on promoting soil science, including enhancing soils topics in schools. For more information about us, contact us. SSSA is pleased to provide teachers with these Soil Essentials:
Work that began as science fair projects for two Baton Rouge, Louisiana middle school students has now been published as peer-reviewed articles in Soil Horizons. Desirae Gardner and Jalen Scott, students at Kenilworth Science and Technology Charter School, teamed up with David Weindorf to complete the two studies that were published in the Mar.-Apr. issue. Read the story here.
They've also been the subject of many news piece. See a sampling at their school website.
As part of our partnership with the National Association of Conservation Districts and the Smithsonian Institution, materials were developed entitled Dig It! The Secrets of Soil. Please visit their education site for additional resources.
Earth Science Week Activity Materials are also available from current and past Earth Science Weeks!
Follow the Lesson Plans and Activities links for more ideas and plans.
Click here for a list of interesting quotes about soil.
Looking for useful tools to assist in the soil education of your class? SSSA has numerous resources to help you talk to students about soils:
Please let us know the grades you teach, how you plan to use the materials, and how many of each item you would like shipped. Requests may be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. Note that due to limited resources, we may limit quantities.
For younger students, we also have a book from the Soil Science Society of America (SSSA) digs in the dirt to educate kids about the living world of soil. Soil! Get the Inside Scoop explores how soil is part of our life - the food we eat, the air we breathe, the water we drink, the houses we live in, and more. Soil! Get the Inside Scoop can be purchased at the SSSA's online store.
We also have an online Teacher's Guide, complete with annotated powerpoints and lesson plans for the Soil's Get the Inside Scoop! kids book
SSSA Members - Interested in volunteering for our Ask a Soil Scientist program? Visit our sign-up page (login required) to register and select your areas of interest/expertise, location, and if you are available for classroom visits in your area. Have questions about K-12 teacher resources? Please Contact Us!