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Nature Lab

Youth Education Resources for Ages 14-18

The Conservancy’s Urban Conservation program in New York City hosted a large-scale tree-planting event at Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge.
A volunteer plants a tree The Conservancy’s Urban Conservation program in New York City hosted a large-scale tree-planting event at Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge. © Devan King/TNC

All Resources for Ages 14-18 (U.S Grades 9-12)

Download our educational resources for students in high school. Lessons cover urban runoff, biomimicry, climate change, and more! Each lesson plan comes with a free teacher's guide and video.

Teacher Guide

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NEW SERIES: Gray, Green, Blue: Water Security and YOU!

People, businesses and industries, recreation, waste removal, transport, nature, and even lawn care all require water. Making sure there’s enough reliable, clean water for the health and livelihoods of people and natural environments is what we mean by water security, and it is one of the biggest challenges we face. Learn how nature can play a role in ensuring water security and what YOU can do to help in this four-part series: Gray, Green, Blue: Water Security and YOU! You can watch this series in Spanish with subtitles. Mira la serie subtítulos en español.

Gray, Green, Blue Part 1: Water Security
Gray, Green, Blue Part 2: Water Management
Gray, Green, Blue Part 3: Water Funds
Gray, Green, Blue Part 4: Water and You

Teacher Guide

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Recording the Rainforest 

In this lesson, students will explore a compelling question: How can we use science and acoustic technology to care for the land and protect the plants and animals in one of the world’s most biodiverse regions?  

Recording the Rainforest How can we use science and acoustic technology to care for the land and protect the plants and animals in one of the world’s most biodiverse regions?

Teacher Guide

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Coastline Erosion Protection

There are multiple ways to protect coastlines. In this lesson, students compare strong (but expensive) construction materials with the less robust (but cheaper) oyster reefs. Students use an online tool to find historic tide data in a selected coastal location and explore the use of different materials in protecting coastlines. 

 

The Amazing Oyster Reef Investigating the ways to protect coastlines from erosion.

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Biomimicry: Water Security

In this lesson, students follow the journey of water from an area of rural Colombia to its capital city, Bogotá to learn about a special ecosystem high above the city that makes it possible for Bogotá to have clean water year-round. Students will use these plants as inspiration for their own efforts at biomimicry. Vimeo | Powerpoint

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Finding Your Flow: Watersheds

Students will use a video about water in Colombia as a jumping off point to explore the issues facing the watershed in which they live and to identify ways they can become involved in protecting their water along its journey. Vimeo

Water: The Source of Life Learn about Colombia’s Páramo ecosystem, a critical natural resource for both people and nature.

Teacher Guide

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Ecosystem Interdependence: Managing Salmon 

In this lesson plan, students address the impact of unsustainable fishing practices. Salmon runs are an important factor in cycling several nutrients. Overfishing salmon reduces the forest’s capacity for growth and regeneration. Students explore the connection between the size of salmon runs and forest health.  Vimeo

Salmon: Healthy Dinner, Healthy Forests This video explains how salmon are an important part of many Americans' diets — and how they deliver essential nutrients to a wide variety of habitats, especially through the "poop loop.

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Sustainable Fishing

In this set of activities, students explore sustainable fishing through a specific case study in Peru, which is home to one of the world’s largest fisheries. The challenges to the health of fisheries in the waters off the coast of Peru represent a microcosm of the larger world as similar challenges are faced by fisheries everywhere. Vimeo

Fishing for a Future The challenges to the health of fisheries in the waters off the coast of Peru are a microcosm of the larger world as these same challenges are faced by fisheries around the world.

Teacher Guide

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Understanding Climate Change

Students will explore the relationship between weather and climate using local data to derive their own definitions. Students will examine the ways that humans have impacted Earth by analyzing real data and online interactives to discover why scientists are calling this the “Anthropocene.” Vimeo

Nature's Role in Creating Resilience Students will explore the relationship between weather and climate and nature's role in creating resilience.

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Urban Runoff: Stormwater Management

Whether a city is rebuilding after a devastating storm or simply looking to revitalize and improve, working with nature rather than against it is a key part of the process of redesigning our cities to be more resilient and sustainable. This lesson introduces students to the problem of urban runoff and a variety of nature-based design ideas and solutions. Vimeo

Nature-Based Solutions in Urban Design This video is part of a lesson plan on Sustainable Urban Design

Teacher Guide

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Virtual STEM Career Fair

A career in STEM can be incredibly exciting—especially when it’s your job to study American black bears in the Western Great Basin, to advocate for the benefits nature provides to people in cities, or to act as a test engineer on airplane engines. Vimeo

STEM Careers for Grades 9-12 Career fair about STEM-related fields

Explore Our Youth Curriculum

Access resources aligned to The Nature Conservancy's research and designed specifically for a young audience and classroom use.