Instructional Materials

BBC micro:bit FAQ

The Garden TOOLS for Corn program supports students in grades 3-5 to use and program the BBC micro:bit microcontroller to gather data on environmental conditions and create technology-rich solutions to a variety of garden challenges. This FAQ will provide some basic information about the most common questions regarding the BBC micro:bit.

Elementary
Classroom Instruction
After-School Instruction
At-Home Instruction
Technology
Engineering
Systems Thinking
Informed Decision Making
Food
Water
Lesson
Prairie Protector logo

Prairie Protector - Lesson Set

The following four lessons are provided to connect the Prairie Protector digital game with broader learning objectives.

Middle School
High School
Classroom Instruction
At-Home Instruction
Life Sciences
Multidisciplinary Sciences
Engineering
Lesson
Systems Thinking
Informed Decision Making
Food
Lesson
Garden vegetables, student notebook, and environmental sensor on a picnic table

Garden TOOLS for Corn - Lesson Set

The Garden TOOLS for Corn lesson set is an agricultural technology and engineering curriculum designed for use with students in grades 3-5.

Elementary
Classroom Instruction
After-School Instruction
At-Home Instruction
Technology
Engineering
Lesson
Systems Thinking
Informed Decision Making
Food
Water
Science Standard:
Lesson
Petri dish with genetically engineered plant material

Genetic Engineering: Journey of a Gene - Lesson Set

Genetic Engineering: Journey of a Gene is a standards-aligned, 5-E life science unit that adapts the Journey of a Gene online learning modules created by Dr. Don Lee for the high school biology classroom.

High School
Classroom Instruction
At-Home Instruction
Life Sciences
Technology
Engineering
Lesson
Systems Thinking
Informed Decision Making
Food
Science Standard:
Lesson
Pig laying down in a pen

Biotechnology - Enviropigs - Lesson Set

Biotechnology: Enviropigs is a standards-aligned, 5-E life science unit focused on debating the application of genetic engineering to solve an environmental problem of nutrient pollution.

High School
Classroom Instruction
At-Home Instruction
Life Sciences
Technology
Engineering
Lesson
Systems Thinking
Informed Decision Making
Food
Water
Science Standard:
Lesson
Picture of white and golden rice in two separate bowls

Photo by International Rice Research Institute (IRRI)

Golden Rice: A Genetically Engineered Solution to Vitamin A Deficiency - Lesson Plan

In this standards-aligned, 5-E lesson plan, students will learn about the development of Golden Rice, a genetically-engineered organism, as a way to combat vitamin A deficiency (VAD) in developing countries.

High School
Classroom Instruction
At-Home Instruction
Life Sciences
Lesson
Food
Science Standard:
Lesson
Grassland ecosystem being invaded by invasive Eastern Redcedar trees.

Space Invaders: Ecology and Evolution of Invasive Species - Lesson Set

Space Invaders is a standards-aligned, 5-E life science unit teaching about the ecology, evolution, and effects of invasive species as it applies to both natural and agricultural ecosystems.

High School
Classroom Instruction
At-Home Instruction
Life Sciences
Engineering
Lesson
Systems Thinking
Informed Decision Making
Food
Water
Science Standard:
Lesson
Picture of worker honey bees on capped honey comb

Pollinators in the Biology Classroom - Lesson Set

Pollinators in the Biology Classroom is a standards-aligned, 5-E life science unit that teaches about aerobic and anaerobic respiration, genetics, biotechnology, and food safety in the context of honey bees.

High School
Classroom Instruction
At-Home Instruction
Life Sciences
Technology
Lesson
Systems Thinking
Food
Science Standard:
Lesson
Bumble bee gathering nectar from red clover

Conserving Bumble Bees Case Study

This standards-aligned, 5-E lesson provides students with a case study approach examining bumble bee population surveys and conservation strategies.

High School
Classroom Instruction
At-Home Instruction
Life Sciences
Lesson
Informed Decision Making
Food
Science Standard:
Game
Prairie Protector logo

Prairie Protector - Video Game

The Sandhills and other grasslands in the Great Plains are currently threatened by what is being called "the green glacier"-- a slow but steady encroachment of invasive tree species into ecosystems which have traditionally been dominated by grasses and wildflowers. These invasive species not only threaten the habitat of native wildlife but also threaten the livelihood of ranchers who depend on the vast grasslands to feed their livestock. In Prairie Protector, test your skills at defending the High Plains from this threat!

Middle School
High School
Classroom Instruction
After-School Instruction
At-Home Instruction
Life Sciences
Multidisciplinary Sciences
Engineering
Game
Systems Thinking
Informed Decision Making
Food
Video
Garden vegetables, student notebook, and environmental sensor on a picnic table

Garden TOOLS for Corn - Video Tutorials

The Garden TOOLS for Corn video tutorials provide a guided introduction to getting started with the BBC micro:bit microcontroller including introducing the MakeCode for micro:bit coding platform and how to hook up the battery pack.

Elementary
Classroom Instruction
After-School Instruction
At-Home Instruction
Technology
Engineering
Video
Systems Thinking
Informed Decision Making
Food
Water
Lesson
Garden vegetables, student notebook, and environmental sensor on a picnic table

Garden TOOLS for Corn - Project Cards

The Garden TOOLS for Corn project cards provide guided instructions for BBC micro:bit coding projects that can be used to extend student learning. Project cards include will guide students to... design a soil moisture sensor to match different plant root depths, design a button to count garden visitors, and design an animated scarecrow to scare away pests.

Elementary
Classroom Instruction
After-School Instruction
Technology
Engineering
Lesson
Systems Thinking
Informed Decision Making
Food
Water
Garden vegetables, student notebook, and environmental sensor on a picnic table

Garden TOOLS for Corn - How-To Coding Guides

The Garden TOOLS for Corn how-to coding guides provide step-by-step instructions on how to program the BBC micro:bit in various ways to gather data in a school garden or other outdoor learning space.

Elementary
Classroom Instruction
After-School Instruction
At-Home Instruction
Technology
Engineering
Systems Thinking
Informed Decision Making
Food
Water
Tool
Video
Beyond the Box graphic logo

Beyond the Box - Interactive Career Exploration

Beyond the Box is an interactive career exploration resource that leverages Museum-in-a-Box technology to bring to light the achievements of Black scientists in Agriculture and Natural Resource fields.

Elementary
Middle School
High School
Classroom Instruction
After-School Instruction
At-Home Instruction
Multidisciplinary Sciences
Tool
Video
Diversity Equity and Inclusion
Lesson
Video
LOOPY model of the impact Covid-19 has had on a person

Systems Thinking for Resilience - Digital Lesson

Looking for a way to get started with the LOOPY tool? The Systems Thinking for Resilience learning module will provide a 10-minute video introduce to systems thinking and a quick LOOPY tutorial to help you start modeling a system that is personally meaningful to you. Participants will be asked to engage in reflective practice as they create a system model that answers the question, "How has 2020 changed you and what actions can you take to build or maintain resilience during uncertain times?".

Middle School
High School
Post-Secondary
Classroom Instruction
After-School Instruction
At-Home Instruction
Lesson
Video
Systems Thinking
Video

AgPocalypse - Tutorial Videos

Need a quick start guide before playing the AgPocalypse digital game? Watch the video tutorials below led by game developer, Chloe Lehnert, in which she explains a bit about the game and provides some useful tips.

Middle School
High School
Classroom Instruction
After-School Instruction
At-Home Instruction
Life Sciences
Multidisciplinary Sciences
Technology
Engineering
Video
Systems Thinking
Informed Decision Making
Food
Energy
Water
Video
Prairie Protector logo

Prairie Protector - Supplemental Materials

The following resources provide more information about the phenomenon at the heart of the Prairie Protector digital game-woody encroachment in the Great Plains- and its social, economic, and environmental impacts.

Middle School
High School
Classroom Instruction
At-Home Instruction
Life Sciences
Multidisciplinary Sciences
Engineering
Video
Systems Thinking
Informed Decision Making
Food
Video
Prairie Protector logo

Prairie Protector - Video Tutorial

Need a quick start guide before playing the game? Watch the video below to see a quick walk-through tutorial led by game developer, Conner Lunn, in which he explains a bit about the game and provides some useful tips.

Middle School
High School
Classroom Instruction
After-School Instruction
At-Home Instruction
Life Sciences
Multidisciplinary Sciences
Engineering
Video
Systems Thinking
Informed Decision Making
Food
Tool
Loopy graphic logo

Nicky Case

LOOPY: A Digital Tool for Thinking in Systems

LOOPY is a tool for thinking in systems created by Nicky Case. It allows you to quickly sketch system components (as circles) and their interactions (as arrows) and press play to simulate how a system behaves. In no time at all, you will be experimenting with negative and positive feedback loops, testing predictions, and, most importantly, having fun playing with your system creations.

Elementary
Middle School
High School
Post-Secondary
General Public
Classroom Instruction
After-School Instruction
At-Home Instruction
Tool
Systems Thinking
Game
AgPocalypse digital game graphic

AgPocalypse - Video Game

Farming is a balancing act. Are you ready to take on the challenge of maximizing production while using limited resources like land and water? Play AgPocalypse to test your skills!

Middle School
High School
Classroom Instruction
After-School Instruction
At-Home Instruction
Life Sciences
Multidisciplinary Sciences
Technology
Engineering
Game
Systems Thinking
Informed Decision Making
Food
Energy
Water
Lesson
Milkweed in the Classroom logo in front of photo of milkweed plants

Milkweed in the Classroom - Lesson Set

The Milkweed in the Classroom lessons are designed to help students investigate a real-world phenomenon that is connected with students’ interests and experiences. In this unit, the monarch migration will act as the anchoring phenomenon and students will investigate the guiding question, “How has the monarch migration has changed over time and why?”

Elementary
Classroom Instruction
Engineering
Lesson
Systems Thinking
Informed Decision Making
Food
Community Science
Science Standard:
Tool
Illustration of 14 habits of a system thinker cards

Waters Center for Systems Thinking

14 Habits of a Systems Thinker - Card Set

Practicing systems thinking habits can change the way you see the world and influence the actions or decisions you make. This card set from the Water Center for Systems Thinking introduces 14 habits of a systems thinker that you can start practicing today!

Elementary
Middle School
High School
Post-Secondary
General Public
Classroom Instruction
After-School Instruction
At-Home Instruction
Tool
Systems Thinking
Video
Loopy graphic logo

Nicky Case

Loopy - Video Tutorial

This 4-minute video tutorial introduces the basics of getting started with the LOOPY tool for modeling systems. This tutorial is targeted at students in grades 6 and up and can be used with undergraduate students or the general public.

Middle School
High School
Post-Secondary
General Public
Classroom Instruction
After-School Instruction
At-Home Instruction
Video
Systems Thinking
Lesson
AgPocalypse digital game graphic

AgPocalypse - Lesson Set

The following lessons are provided to connect the Agpocalypse gameplay scenarios with broader learning objectives.

Middle School
High School
Classroom Instruction
After-School Instruction
At-Home Instruction
Life Sciences
Multidisciplinary Sciences
Technology
Engineering
Lesson
Systems Thinking
Informed Decision Making
Food
Energy
Water
Tool
Phenomena
What's Going on in This Graph? - Nebraska Edition graphic

What's Going on in This Graph? - Nebraska Edition

Looking for a flexible way to practice noticing and wondering with your middle school or high school students? Check out this collection of graphs, maps, and charts! Each highlights a FEWSS (food, energy, water, and societal systems) topic and can be used as a focal point for students' sense-making discussions. You can use these as a bell-ringer, anchoring or investigative phenomenon, exit ticket, etc. Additional resources (notice and wonder t-chart template and class slide deck template) are provided to help you and your students get started!

Middle School
High School
Classroom Instruction
At-Home Instruction
Life Sciences
Physical Sciences
Multidisciplinary Sciences
Technology
Engineering
Tool
Phenomena
Food
Energy
Water
Lesson
What's Going on in This Graph? - Nebraska Edition graphic

What's Going on in This Graph - Nebraska Edition - Supplemental Materials

Need a template for students to share out their noticings and wonderings? We've got you covered with our Husker Wonder Notice and Wonder template and Husker Wonder Slide Deck template.

Middle School
High School
Classroom Instruction
At-Home Instruction
Life Sciences
Physical Sciences
Multidisciplinary Sciences
Lesson
Food
Energy
Water
Lesson
Students testing a variable rate irrigation system crafted from foam cup and straws

Increasing Production with Precision Agriculture - Lesson Plan

In this hands-on lesson, students will learn how precision agriculture uses geographic information systems (GIS) to help farmers and manufacturers make smart, efficient, and responsible decisions about how and when they plant, grow, irrigate, harvest, and transport crops.

Middle School
Classroom Instruction
Engineering
Lesson
Water
Lesson
Picture of different apple varieties

Apple Genetics - Lesson Plan

In this standards-aligned, 5-E life science lesson plan, students will learn that the goal of apple breeding is to continuously produce quality apples with desirable traits. Cross breeding and genetic engineering are two methods that have allowed breeders to produce better quality apples.

Middle School
Classroom Instruction
Life Sciences
Lesson
Food
Lesson
Grow lights made from PVC pipe

Grow Stand Math - Lesson Plan

In this standards-aligned, 5-E lesson, students will learn about artificial lighting and its use in agricultural production, they will use engineering design principles and mathematics to design a model using plastic straws and tape and build a grow light stand out of PVC piping and connectors.

Middle School
Classroom Instruction
Engineering
Lesson
Food
Lesson
Picture of beef steaks

Double the Muscle - Lesson Plan

Students often fail to realize that a Punnett square represents the process of gene segregation in which the alleles encoding for a trait are separated during the formation of reproductive cells. In this standards-aligned, 5-E lesson plan, students will participate in an activity that allows the abstract concept of Mendelian studies to be applied to a trait easily seen in cattle, through the double muscling trait.

High School
Classroom Instruction
At-Home Instruction
Life Sciences
Lesson
Food
Lesson

Selectively Breeding Sheep - Lesson Plan

In this standards-aligned, 5-E lesson plan, students will explore a real-world application of genetics and Punnett Squares to help them understand how selective breeding impacts the health of livestock.

High School
Classroom Instruction
At-Home Instruction
Life Sciences
Lesson
Food
Lesson
Image of ripe strawberries

Strawberry Breeding and Genetics - Lesson Plan

In this standards-aligned, 5-E lesson plan, students will learn about DNA by extracting it from strawberries, comparing and contrasting this process to extraction in another model organism, and applying concepts to better understand breeding new varieties of strawberry.

High School
Classroom Instruction
At-Home Instruction
Life Sciences
Lesson
Food
Lesson
Scientist conducting a soil infiltration test.

Sustainable Agricultural Ecosystems - Lesson Set

This EPA-funded, standards-aligned unit presents students with a real-world challenge of sustainably using limited natural resources to produce food, fiber, and fuel for a growing human population.

High School
Classroom Instruction
At-Home Instruction
Life Sciences
Technology
Engineering
Lesson
Systems Thinking
Informed Decision Making
Food
Energy
Water