This course about the impacts of agriculture includes sections on food and climate, feeding 10 billion people, selective breeding, genetic engineering (GMOs), making meat, fishing and aquaculture, lab meat and plant alternatives, food waste, urban farming, and current challenges in farming.
The course contains text, interactive questions, infographics, data charts, videos, links to references, a final quiz, and a certificate of completion.
This resource takes students through the many aspects of agriculture that affect the environment (e.g., water use, fertilizer and pesticide footprints and ecological effects, deforestation, land use changes, etc.).
It provides ideas for sustainable agricultural solutions.
Students earn a certificate if they complete the course.
Students should have a basic understanding of climate change prior to beginning this course.
Students will need a computer and internet connection to use the interactive features and watch the videos.
The course uses the acronym GEO instead of GMO, but they are talking about the same thing. GEO stands for genetically engineered organism and GMO stands for genetically modified organism.
The course does not discuss the embedded pesticides in many GMO crops (Bt crops) and the much larger quantity of herbicides used on many GMO crops (made to tolerate their chemicals), which may affect water quality, biodiversity, and air quality.
This course provides two levels of learning. Use the button in the top left of the page to toggle between "Simple" and "Advanced." The "Simple" setting is recommended for middle school students, while the "Advanced" setting is recommended for high school students.
Students can proceed through this course at their own pace.
Students could research the large multinational companies that own and sell the majority of crop seeds globally.
Cross-curricular connections could be made with geography and social studies classes when discussing the food, water, and resource needs of our growing global population.
The resource explores and examines the carbon footprint including anthropogenic greenhouse gases contribution from the agricultural sector globally. The datasets used are valid and accurate, and the resource is recommended for teaching.
Science and Engineering
ESS2: Earth’s Systems
HS-ESS2-4 Use a model to describe how variations in the flow of energy into and out of Earth’s systems result in changes in climate.
ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
MS-ESS3-4 Construct an argument supported by evidence for how increases in human population and per-capita consumption of natural resources impact Earth’s systems.
LS2: Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics
MS-LS2-5 Evaluate competing design solutions for maintaining biodiversity and ecosystem services.
HS-LS2-7 Design, evaluate, and refine a solution for reducing the impacts of human activities on the environment and biodiversity.
English Language Arts
R.6-8.12 Read with sufficient accuracy and fluency to support comprehension.
R.9-12.12 Read with sufficient accuracy and fluency to support comprehension.