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Our Changing Climate


6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th


Science, Social Studies, Biology, Economics, Civics, History

Regional Focus

North America, United States, Asia, Europe, Middle East


YouTube Video

Why This Plant Could Save the World

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  • This video explains how hemp, a non-psychoactive strain of cannabis, can sequester large amounts of carbon, improve soil quality, and be used to produce a wide range of products.
  • Students will learn that American farmers stopped growing hemp in the early 1900s because of its association with psychoactive cannabis use.
  • Hemp farming is now on the rise again, but some fear that the surge in interest will lead to unsustainable farming techniques.
Teaching Tips


  • The video is broken up into labeled sections, making it easy to navigate.
  • The video description contains a link for "further reading and resources", offering a wide variety of articles and videos that will help students learn more about the topics covered in the video.
  • This in-depth look at hemp covers history, economics, science, climate justice, and human rights topics.

Additional Prerequisites

  • The video contains commercials or ads.
  • The content of the video ends at 10:52 and the rest of the video is sponsored content.
  • Students will need to be familiar with the terms psychoactive, cannabis, weed, sequester, crop rotation, commodities, and regenerative farming. 


  • Social studies and history classes could make a timeline (digital or paper) detailing the history of hemp farming.
  • Science and math classes could learn more about carbon sequestration using Trees From Thin Air, a video and activity that quantifies the amount of carbon a tree can sequester by measuring its circumference. 
  • Economics and ethics classes could discuss how the cotton and nylon industries played a role in the destruction of the hemp market.
  • Social studies classes could learn more about the Tribal Hemp Initiative and the positive economic and environmental effects that hemp farming could have on Indigenous communities. 
  • Other resources on this topic include this Hot Mess video on the importance of soil and this experiment about soil and the carbon cycle.
Scientist Notes
This resource gives a detailed explanation of hemp cultivation, its numerous applications, and competitive advantages in carbon sequestration and regenerative agriculture. This is recommended for teaching.
  • Science and Engineering
    • ESS2: Earth’s Systems
      • HS-ESS2-6 Develop a quantitative model to describe the cycling of carbon among the hydrosphere, atmosphere, geosphere, and biosphere.
    • 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.
      • HS-ESS3-4 Evaluate or refine a technological solution that reduces impacts of human activities on natural systems.
      • HS-ESS3-6 Use a computational representation to illustrate the relationships among Earth systems and how those relationships are being modified due to human activity.
    • LS2: Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics
      • HS-LS2-5 Develop a model to illustrate the role of photosynthesis and cellular respiration in the cycling of carbon among the biosphere, atmosphere, hydrosphere, and geosphere.
  • Social Studies
    • Civics & Government
      • Civics & Government 1 (D2): Students understand the basic ideals, purposes, principles, structures, and processes of constitutional government in Maine and the United States as well as examples of other forms of government in the world by comparing how laws are made in Maine and at the federal level in the United States.
    • History
      • History 1 (D2): Students understand major eras, major enduring themes, and historic influences in the history of Maine, the United States, and various regions of the world by analyzing major historical eras, major enduring themes, turning points, events, consequences, and people in the history of Maine, the United States and various regions of the world.
      • History 1 (D2): Students understand major eras, major enduring themes, and historic influences in United States and world history, including the roots of democratic philosophy, ideals, and institutions in the world by analyzing and critiquing major historical eras: major enduring themes, turning points, events, consequences, and people in the history of the world and the implications for the present and future.
    • Personal Finance & Economics
      • Personal Finance (F1): Students understand the principles and processes of personal finance by explaining how scarcity influences choices and relates to the market economy.
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