Connie Scercy Wood, Biology, East Mecklenburg High School
This unit is designed to incorporate the concept of sustainability into a Biology I class for ninth and tenth grade students. The entire ecology unit will be based on the theme of sustainability—sustainable systems in the natural environment and how human impact interferes with that sustainability, and how we can reverse that trend in order to work with the environment and live more sustainably. As part of this unit, students will explore the life cycle of a hamburger from the cow to the consumer, and how composting can not only reduce waste sent to a landfill, but also be used to grow food locally, reducing the carbon footprint of what we eat. They will analyze and evaluate the evidence that forms the basis for the conclusion that the current global warming trend is related to human activities. After calculating their ecological footprint, students will identify ways they can reduce their personal impact on the environment and keep a journal of their efforts for thirty days.