Restore a Habitat Challenge

This project asks students to research what an area in their community was like before human activity changed it. Once students are familiar with an area’s natural history, they’ll design engineering-based solutions to reclaim the health of that habitat.
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Overview

Introduction

Picture your community—its busy areas, neighborhoods, parks, and water sources such as lakes or streams. Now imagine your community the year you were born. What animals and plants lived there? Do they still live there? What about 50 or 100 years ago?

A habitat is a place within an ecosystem where a plant or animal lives. Living things have evolved to thrive in their native habitat, with a particular landscape, climate, dominant vegetation, and water source. When a habitat becomes polluted, overtaken by invasive non-native species, broken into small pockets by highways or subdivisions, or degraded by other sources of rapid change, many species will not be able to adapt. Habitat destruction is causing countless plants and animals to drastically decline in number, some to the point of extinction.

Environmental engineers reverse the process of habitat loss by working with biologists, ecologists, conservationists, geologists, and many other kinds of scientists to restore habitat. The work requires a deep knowledge of the ecology and natural history of a particular environment, as well as the ability to think
ahead and plan for future potential threats to a habitat’s well-being.

Your STEM Project:

Plan the restoration of a degraded habitat in your community so that it benefits native plants and animals.

 

Academic Standards & UN Sustainable Development Goals

This project meets the following Next Gen Science Standards:

  • HS-LS2-7 Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics

Design, evaluate, and refine a solution for reducing the impacts of human activities on the environment and biodiversity.

  • HS-ESS3-2 Earth and Human Activity

Evaluate competing design solutions for developing, managing, and utilizing energy and mineral resources based on cost-benefit ratios.

  • HS-ETS1-2 Engineering Design

Design a solution to a complex real-world problem by breaking it down into smaller, more manageable problems that can be solved through engineering.

This project is aligned with the following United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals:

This activity was developed through the support of the Project Management Institute Educational Foundation.

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