Each module is developed by SPICE participants, and contains several lessons that build on each other addressing a common theme. The modules are integrative and interdisciplinary, and in most cases, address ecosystem health themes.
Visit the "Lessons" link for activities that are appropriate for a single class period.

New Modules 2013 - Coming soon !

Toilet Day
This module exposes students to the problems associated with lack of clean water through learning about World Toilet Day. Students will learn about the causes and problems associated with lack of clean water through lectures and activities. In addition, students will conduct toilet paper testing and have a scientific debate on which toilet paper is the “best”.
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Cycling Through Ecosystems
The 6 characteristics of life are required to say that a “thing” is actually a living thing. All organisms or “living things” are organized, grow and develop, reproduce, respond, maintain certain internal conditions, and use energy. However this module is directed toward ecosystem functions and will not go any further into the subject of classification. The concept of cycling is introduced through example in this lesson. The students are provided all the pieces of the water cycle and have to put them together so that they are truly representative of the water cycle.
Download lessons, Living vs. Non-Living ppt , Microcosm ppt



A-Bug and Beyond
This module uses insects as a means for students to explore various Earth Science topics throughout the past, present, and future timescale of life. Each lesson involves hands-on activities that incorporate a student’s creative ability with scientific thought. The ultimate goal of the module is to introduce students to many scientific concepts, including hypothesis testing and the scientific method.
Download lessons, Power Point , Character States, Classification Chart, Worksheet

Acid Wash Genes
Acid washed genes is an inquiry-based lab that allows students to observe heritability of plant height through a plant-breeding project. Students will observe the effects of chemicals in the environment. By exposing plants to the growth hormone gibberellic acid, students will examine how non-target plants can be affected by chemicals they were not intended to be exposed to.
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Air, Air Everywhere; What's Up in the Air Up There?
Students will learn about air pollution, and relate air pollution to acid rain, particulate matter, and to the respiratory system. Students will conduct a litmus test for various aerosols, and will use agar-filled plates to collect particulates in various areas of the classroom.
Download lessons,Power Point

The Amazing Amazon
This module covers the geologic history of the Amazon River from before the formation of the Andes Mountains, which changed the direction of the world’s largest river. Students learn how the Earth’s position in our solar system directly impacts people’s daily life on Earth, and includes an inquiry-based experience.
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The Amazing World of Plants
Topics of focus in this module are plant ids, species and reproduction, classifications, the kingdoms. The students learn how to create a dichotomous key in a lab using leaves from different species of plants, by playing an interactive board game, watching a science fiction movie, and reading a historical vignette.
Download lessons, Lesson 1 ppt, Lesson 3 ppt

Amphibian Malformations
This module focuses on frog metamorphosis, bio-indicators, frog malformations and the current mass extinction. Through inquiry approach students will use various liquids to represent chemicals and other disturbances present in frog communities. Magic Grow® capsules are placed in the liquids to represent tadpoles going through metamorphosis. Students observe the timing and completion of metamorphosis and link their observations to real world problems. Finally, students develop their own ideas through short essays about reducing the sources of frog malformations in their community. Through the unit students will use stories and literature to help evaluate their learning. Download lessons

Baby Sea Turtle Vision
This module focuses the costs and benefits of coastal development. Students will learn about the plant and animals that can be found on the beach as well as the ecosystem services provided by beaches. Students will learn how land development can affect the health of an ecosystem and the animals that live there.Download lessons, Lession 1ppt

Bernoulli's Principle and The Physics of Flight
To attain flight, birds need to overcome the forces of gravity, turbulence, and friction. Turbulence and friction, result in drag. To understand how birds fly, students need to experience physics and mechanics of flight through demonstrations of Newton’s Third law of Motion and Bernoulli’s Principle. In this module students will explore Bernoulli's Principle and apply it to the concept of migration of birds.
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Biodiversity, Who Cares?
While becoming familiarized with the variety of wildlife in their immediate surroundings, students also learn the basic characteristics, adaptations, and habitat preferences of wildlife species. Students also learn how wildlife species can be categorized into different taxonomic groups. Students are introduced to issues associated with biodiversity.
Download lessons, Lesson 1 ppt , Lesson2 ppt , Lesson 3 ppt

Buildings Have Lives Too
In these lessons, students construct and then demolish a gingerbread house. As they demolish the gingerbread house, they must take care to separate their building materials so that they can be recycled. Additionally, students research a disaster they are interested and search for the answers to four major questions.
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Cellular Nation
This module is designed to teach the basic components of an animal cell, how each cellular component functions within the cell, cellular division (Mitosis), and the formation of sex cells (egg and sperm).
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Coastal Communities
This module introduces the concept of adaptation by explaining the difference between survival within one individual’s life, and survival across many generations, and teaches students to classify a group of marine organisms and to appreciate the wide variety of ways in which living things can adapt to their environments. Students will conduct an inquiry-based demonstration on osmosis.
Download lessons, Lesson 2 ppt

CSI Module
Since environmental science is tied into almost everything we teach, the crime scene revolves around the death of an endangered species. Every year the lab can be modified so the crime is slightly different. Forensic analyses include fingerprinting, skull and track id, shoeprint casting, Faces software, and fiber and hair id.
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Density of Fluids and Aqueous Ecosystems
This module contains five lesson plans that explain density and its relationship to biological, chemical and physical interactions in aquatic ecosystems. Each lesson has an introduction to the subject material through an inquiry-based lab and associates with an ecosystem health with the focus.
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Energy Has Many Faces
Energy is all around us. In this module, students will first explore the concept of energy as a consumer in our modern world. A second lesson will teach students how energy is created as they construct a simple generator. A final lesson will teach students about energy conversion as they design, build, and test a catapult.
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Energy Resources
This module covers five methods of generating electric power that do not use fossil fuels (oil, coal, or natural gas). Students will research and learn about the pros and cons of fossil fuels and look at some negative outcomes of fossil fuel use such as global warming. Students will calculate how much carbon dioxide their family produces in an average year, and we will discuss ways to reduce CO2 emissions. After experimenting with solar power students see demonstration of a hydrogen fuel cell powered model vehicle that literally runs on air and has zero emissions.
Download lessons, Power Point

Environmental Disturbances
This module uses inquiry-base teaching to expose to students different examples of environmental disturbances (mainly in aquatic ecosystems), how these affect the environment and what can we all do to help.
Download lessons, Board Games lesson 1 , Environmental Disturbances ppt lesson 1, Natural Disturbances ppt lesson 3

Exploring the Scientific Processes
These lessons provide an activity allowing students to explore the steps of the scientific method using termites, an interactive lecture with kinesthetic hand gestures as pneumonic devices to remember the steps of the scientific processes, and an outline for a long-term (2 week) experiment based on growing pea plants.
Download lessons, Lesson 2 ppt, Lesson 3 ppt

Extinct or Extant?
This module introduces the ideas of extinction and endangered species, and the study of fossils, or paleontology, to students. Activities include a simulation and interactive Power Point presentations.
Download lessons, Extinct or Extant ppt , Palo Puzzle ppt

Flash, Boom, Bang
This Module will discuss the properties of light and sound and how those properties are used by living and nonliving things. Combining knowledge from Chemistry, Electricity and Magnetism using inquiry approach students will develop a “Rube Goldberg” apparatus.
Download lessons, Movie Clip (right click and select "Save Target As")

Floating Fishes
Floating fishes is an inquiry-based laboratory that allows students to discover what buoyancy is, and how different compounds (liquids and gasses) can be used to control buoyancy. A sub-theme is over fishing and discusses what happens to fishes as they are pulled from depth.
Download lessons, PowerPoint

Florida's Water Resources
The nature of wetlands and retention ponds is investigated with a emphasis on water quality and basic mathematics, and the behavior of pollutants in the groundwater environment will be explored with an emphasis on Florida’s water resources. Students will perform an inquiry-based laboratory experiment to determine the behavior of different pollutants based on their density.
Download lessons, Lesson 2 ppt, Lesson 3 ppt

Food Webs and Pesticide Use
This module has been design to introduce students to the feeding relationships in ecosystems and how pesticide use can other management regimes can negatively affect an ecosystem. Students will first be introduced to food webs and the movement of energy through ecosystems. They will then learn about pesticide use, the advantages and disadvantages of their use, and some alternatives to pesticides.
Download lessons, Power Point

Forest All Around Us
Students will take a closer look at the trees and tree parts that make up forests in a guided forest exploration tour, will use tree cookies to uncover information about past environmental phenomena, will learn about the importance of trees and forest for human society, and will make plans to plant trees on their school grounds.
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Fossils and Carbon Dating
Using the Principle of Superposition, students will put the fossils in chronological order and see how scientists use the technique of relative dating to date fossils. The second lesson is an analogy for carbon dating, demonstrating how scientists collect data in the present in order to extrapolate information from the past.
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Green Corn Module
Students will design their own corn farm ecosystem, considering renewable and non-renewable resources, cost, and other environmental factors such as fertilizer, pollution, energy sources, crop rotation, pesticides, etc. This simulation is similar to SimCity or Farmville.
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Inquiry into Butterflies
This module covers diversity of butterflies and the ecological concepts of pollination, herbivory, and habitat, native and invasive species, and mutualism. Students will conduct small group inquiry-based investigations while creating a butterfly field guide, designing a native butterfly garden, and exploring pollination through observations of pollinator visitation and manipulating floral clues.
Download lessons, Lesson 2 ppt, Lesson 3 ppt, sample student work

A History of Life on Earth
The module begins with an outdoor activity. Students will learn what the relative amounts of time are between the major events in evolutionary history and will understand that humans are relative newcomers to the planet, will complete a poster with facts and pictures about organisms that originated during an assigned time period, and posters will be arranged in the classroom to form a timeline.
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If I Ruled the World
This module has been design to cover basic cell structure and function while introducing viruses and pathogens. Students will also be introduced to the field of epidemiology. With students learning the difference between endemic, epidemic, and pandemic as well as how the environment affects the causation of disease and its transmission. Students will understand how public health, epidemiology, and environmental science are used to develop laws and regulations that protect us and our environment by tying all the previous lessons together.
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Invasive Species
This module is designed to introduce students to the concepts of biodiversity and invasive species. Invasive species are a serious threat to the economy, something that students can readily understand. However, invasive species also pose a significant threat to ecosystem health through their negative impact on biodiversity. In order for students to appreciate the impact of invasive species on biodiversity, they first must have an appreciation for biodiversity.
Download lessons, Biodiversity ppt , Invasive's ppt

It's Raining, It's Pouring, Acid Rain Is Falling!
This Module will demonstrate how acids in the air change the pH of water. Through inquiry approach students will test different concentration of acid (vinegar) to simulate different concentration of acid rain. Included are entertaining and informative overview of acid rain and its effects on the environment. This slide show would be useful as an introduction previous to the unit, or as a review after the unit.
Download lessons, Countries and Population Cards ppt, Energy and Carbon Dioxide ppt, World Regions I ppt, World Regions II ppt

Journey to the Center of the Brain
These lessons are designed to engage student interest in the anatomy and physiology of the brain through role play and dissection. Students will be able to identify and understand the major structures of the brain, their functions, how evolutionary forces have driven the development, and the biological processes that underlie brain disorders.
Download lessons, Does it have a Brain ppt , Evolution of the Brain ppt , What's wrong with My Patient ppt, Journey to the Center of the Brain ppt

Living on Earth: Diversity, Dependence, and Adaptation
Students are introduced to anatomy, animal behavior, and anatomical adaptations, natural selection, food webs, and to the idea of the amazing diversity and beauty of the world’s tropical rainforests and the impact that human activity has on them.
Download lessons, Power Point

Look Who's Talkin' All That Trash
This module uses inquiry based techniques that allow students to understand the life cycle of trash. The life cycle of trash will include: how trashed is managed, how much trash is produced, where trash is disposed, and ways to reduce and recycle trash. Student will also learn the effects of land filling trash. Students will be required to think critically and form their own solutions to the growing problem of solid waste.
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Materials and Me
This module is intended to inspire concern on materials and their potential effects on the environment. Students will experience a ‘Gallery Walk’; will be provided with the opportunity to synthesize their individual and collective understanding on the ways things are broken through an inquiry-based lab; and will address how to better sustain the future through materials sustainability concepts such as the various forms of recycling. Power Points provided.
Download lessons, Lesson 1A ppt, Lesson 1B ppt, Lesson 2 ppt,
Lesson 3A ppt, Lesson 3B ppt

Mendelian Genetics and Inheritability
This module contains four lessons designed to teach students the basic concepts governing genetics. Two of the four lessons are inquiry-based activities and include a PTC taste lab, and a card game on hereditary hemophilia.
Download lessons, Card Game files

Mutations, Adaptations and Me
In this unit, students will gain understanding about the process of natural selection and how it has led to differences in human populations. Using kinesthetic learning, they will discover the importance of DNA mutations in the process of adaptation. They will also learn how adaptation to the environment has led to differences in readily observable traits.
Download lessons, PowerPoint lesson 2 &3

Nanomaterials: What, Where, and Why?
Through a class discussion and the use of several demonstrations, students will begin to understand: how objects commonly viewed as “small” are very large when we examine them on a different scale; how small one nanometer is by first understanding the size and scale of the number one billion; examples of nanoscale biomimicry; and how researchers and engineers are using natural nano-phenomena.
Download lessons, Lesson 1 ppt, Lesson 3 ppt

Natural Selection and Heritability: From Butterflies to Humans
This module uses four inquiry-based hands on activities to expose students not only to the idea of evolution, but also to teach students the underlying causes behind both why and how species change over time. Through this module, students will also learn about adaptations, what is DNA, how it is inherited, and how and why it changes over time. They will also learn the ways in which humans have altered the environment in such a way as to affect the evolution of other species at a molecular level, such as the classic example of industrial melanism in the peppered moth.
Download lessons, Dominant vs. Recessive ppt, Butterfly Defense Mechanisms ppt

Powering the Future
Students will learn why energy use and carbon are related and why carbon dioxide in our atmosphere causes climate change by calculating carbon footprints, through role play, and designing turbines. This lesson covers the pros, cons, and hows of six types of energy that are currently being used or being considered for use by power plants in the United States.
Download lessons, PowerPoint

Resources With A Bulldog Growl of Science
“Resources” is a module that introduces students to our E arth’s resources. Students explore the positive and negative effects of these resources on our lives, are challenge d to design a plan in which 120 units of land can be turned into a town, and take the role of a consultant charged with recommending an alternative energy source for the city.
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Rock On: Rocks and Minerals
Students will use their senses to observe and describe rock characteristics using open discovery and directed study. Students will construct foldables to list major facts about each rock type. Students will use a dichotomous key to determine rock type.
Download lessons, Rock Formations ppt , Rock ID ppt ,
Minerals ID ppt

The Science of BLING BLING
This module of lessons provides an introduction to Earth’s vast mineral and energy resources by introducing the students to America’s coal resources, mining, processing, energy production, energy distribution, and coal energy pollution. Students use the internet to visit mineral mining websites to learn about precious metals and gems (Bling Bling), and its effects on people and the environment.
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The Science of World Hunger
The materials are aimed at establishing a knowledge base on where food comes from and how important all the different scientific processes are to agriculture. Students will learn about soils, climate, biomes, agricultural crops, nutrition and how they combine with social science issues to cause hunger problems around the globe.
Download lessons, Nutrition ppt , Crops ppt , Soils ppt , Soil Ribbon , Blank map , Colored map

Science or Pseudoscience: You Decide
Through this unit, students will explore Astronomy, Astrology and Superstitions, such as Friday of 13th. Students will become engaged through internet searches and by investigating their own misconceptions about science interesting discussions and debates are sure to follow.
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Sharks! Man-Eating Monsters?
The purpose of this module is to use inquiry based techniques that allow students to explore the value of sharks in aquatic ecosystems. Through discussion, students will learn that other animals in an ecosystem rely on sharks to maintain that ecosystem and that if sharks are removed from the ecosystem many organisms will be affected. Students will read an article about how some shark populations are threatened due to over fishing, and the module concludes with a guide for shark dissection.
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Treefrog Monitoring
This module introduces students to the importance of bioindicators. Students then learn about tree frog species found in the North Florida area (could be adapted to other regions.) Students will monitor tree frog in their schoolyard using PVC pipes and personal field notebooks. Students will analyze their data using Microsoft Excel®. Using inquiry students will explore the binary classification system and dichotomous key and create their own classification system.
Download lessons, Tree Frog Monitoring Program ppt lesson1, Excel Spreadsheet lesson 4

Triops: Inquiry-based Time Travel
Students will explore "living fossils" in a series of lessons that include: creating their own original species considering form and function, adaptations, life history strategies and evolutionary processes; watching a film on primeval shrimp with question promoting critical thinking and scientific processes; and students will raise triops observing behavoral and environmental factors.
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Water at Work
The module begins with a collaborative research activity in which students conduct scientific research and develop a sound argument based on scientific facts. Students will rotate through 3 mini labs where they will question their knowledge of water quality, practice measuring various water quality parameters and learn to identify point and non-point sources of pollution.
Download lessons, PowerPoint

Water Down Under
This module contains three lesson plans that explain groundwater and possible contaminants. Students will watch the video, “Water’s Journey: The Hidden Rivers of Florida,” and prepare a presentation to report possible sources for groundwater contamination in their neighborhood, model the effects of pollutants and storm water runoff on the aquifer, and identify sources of pollution in local water bodies and test water samples.
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Water For Life
This module includes topics on bacterial life in the water, water borne pathogens, and water sanitation. Students will be exposed to and learn about the importance of water to life on earth, the concerns with water borne pathogens worldwide, and processes of water sanitation.
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Water World!
Students learn about factors that affect water quality; such as, pH and the nitrogen cycle, understand how humans are impacting the delicate balance in aquatic systems, and learn about adaptations of deep ocean creatures. Activities include water testing labs, a video and a power point.
Download lessons, PowerPoint

Water, Water Everywhere
In this module students develop a water cleaning system, they will also turbid water in order to cause the particulates to settle. Through an inquiry approach students will design water filters out of different materials (i.e. sand, activated carbon, etc) to remove different types of contaminants (i.e. turbidity and color) from water. If possible visiting a local stream or lake could be added to test pH, temperature, DO, and turbidity. .
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What the Heck Is Science Anyway?
In this module students learn the definition of science, the roles of a scientist, and about a variety of types of scientists, and recognize that they may be biased in how they view scientists. Students will identify their personal biases.
Download lessons, PowerPoint

Why Do Hormones Matter?
This module introduces the concepts of hormones, how they work, and their effects on humans and plants.  It also explores issues related to hormone-mimicking chemicals that enter the ecosystem.
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Why Geography Matters: Confronting Climate Change in a Changing World
Through experiments, students will learn how different types of land heat and how humans can influence heating patterns. They will also learn about patterns of climate change around the world. Using profiles of countries that are highly vulnerable to climate change,though vulnerable in different ways, students will learn through their own research and a competitive game. Lastly, they will build and monitor a weather station.
Download lesson, Reading Thermometers Smart board Lesson 1; Country Cards for Lesson 2, ; Climate Change Smart board Lesson 2

onderful Wetlands
Through interactive activities and labs, students will learn what wetlands are and why they are important ecosystems. At least one activity or lab demonstrates each of the most important ecosystem services that wetlands provide.
Download lessons; Lesson 1 Power point; Lesson 3 Power point

Wonders of Wildlife
The purpose of these lessons is to introduce students to the basic components of an ecosystem broadly and the Florida ecosystem more specifically, to explore the role that fire can play in different ecosystems around the US, and to introduce students to the basic concept of evolution and adaptations. Illustrations by Camila Pizano.
Download lessons, Lesson 1 ppt , Lesson 2 ppt , Game pieces

Your Food, Your Energy, Your Planet
These lessons are designed to develop the students’ appreciation for their food, and how easy (or difficult) it is to grow sustainable crops in a given region; to guide students in creating a garden landscape; students will track their energy consumption in their household, and try to think of ways to reduce it; and to explore solutions to larger issues such as global warming and climate change.
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