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Human impacts

2. Vocabulary Station

3. Waste Station

7. Needs & Desires Station

Welcome! To answer the question above, go through each station in order. Make sure to check in with your teacher along the way!

6. Agricultural Technology Station

4. Consumption Impacts Station

Question: How can we mitigate the effects of human consumption on our environment?

1. knowing Station










9. doing station

5. Technology Impacts Station

8. Mitigation Station






As you begin the Human Impacts unit, explore the following questions for a preview of the knowledge you will be using as you learn about human impacts on Earth.It is okay if you do not know all the answers. Just try your best.Your teacher will use your responses to help guide your instruction on this unit/topic.



Great job! The code letter #1 is W Write it down!

CONNECT 3!In the padlet, you'll type 3 words that are similar/connect to the vocabulary terms that would help someone guess the word without using it itself.

MEME WAR!In the padlet, you will follow directions to find a meme or gif to represent the vocabulary terms.

SCAVENGER HUNT!Similar to what we did in Unit 3, you are going to search your home to find the vocabulary words in this padlet.

Vocabulary Station

Choose ONE of the following activities to complete! Each one has a description of the activity and the link below! When you've completed a vocabulary station, let your teacher know and they will tell you the code letter #2!

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develop solutions to reduce personal consumption and its environmental impact

identify ways in which human consumption affects the environment

Objectives For The Next 2 Stations

explain how human consumption is connected to environmental issues


Waste Station

How much waste do you think you waste each day?What common things do you throw away each day or week? How much waste do you think is produced each day in the United States? Click the Data circle to find out! Then click the circles that appear.

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Potential Impacts

Letter Code #3!

Click here to open the Mentimeter and send the types of things you throw away each day!

Great job! The code letter #3 is E Write it down!

Human Consumption

Humans are regularly consuming natural resources. Consumption refers to the use of resources. When consumption becomes too high, resources can become scarce and difficult to obtain. Because many daily activities require natural resources, such as fossil fuels for generating electricity, resource consumption is vital to manage.

Most everyday activities require some form of resources. Natural resources are necessary for most individuals, whether it is the food you eat, the fuel to power vehicles, or the electricity you use. However, the use of these resources can have substantial impacts on Earth's systems.

Impact: Water pollution can add excess nutrients, harmful chemicals, or disease-causing organisms to water supplies.

Water Pollution

Standard processes involved in developing everyday products and food supplies can impact local water quality. Industrial waste and runoff from agriculture can cause water pollution.

Consequences: Contamination of drinking water can lead to diseases with both short and long-term health effects on humans. Water pollution can harm ecosystems by affecting plants and wildlife.

Impacts: Burning fossil fuels produces gases, such as carbon dioxide, that enter the atmosphere and are breathed by organisms and mixed with water vapor.

Air Pollution

The burning of fossil fuels results in air pollution. Vehicles are a common source of air pollution. However, air pollution is also a common side effect of many industrial processes.

Consequences: Air pollution impacts the respiratory system of many animals and has been connected to heart disease and cancer. Carbon dioxide contributes to acid rain which damages plants.

Impacts: Land space is required for landfills. Also, landfills require proper maintenance and risk possible soil and water contamination. Recycling helps reduce the need for new resources but also requires additional energy consumption.

Waste Disposal

Using resources and products made from natural resources often results in waste. Waste may be disposed of in various ways, including placing it in landfills or sending it to recycling centers.

Consequences: Groundwater contamination from landfills can lead to water pollution in local environments. Soil contamination can harm local vegetation.

As you can imagine, the impacts of resource consumption often increase as the demand for resources increases. As more resources are desired, the pressure to more quickly and affordably obtain those resources can lead to conditions that will worsen the impacts of resource extraction and processing.

Increasing Demands = Increasing Impacts

Consider the following scenario: A farmer wants to increase crop production to meet a growing demand for more food. To ensure a greater crop yield, the farmer uses pesticides to reduce plant loss from insects. The farm is located near a river.Which impact would most likely result from the farmer's actions?Click the question mark to answer!

An increased risk of air pollution from the pesticides used on the field

An increased risk of water pollution from agricultural runoff

An increased risk of soil contamination as there will be more crops

Great job! The code letter #4 is S Write it down! Click the arrow to move to the last page of this station.


Technologies that improve energy efficiency help reduce the need for nonrenewable resources. Increasing energy efficiency also helps reduce overall costs associated with using fossil fuels. For example, better insulation allows less fuel to be used for heating.


Fossil fuels are commonly burned to boil water for steam to generate electricity. It is more beneficial to find multiple ways to use that hot water, such as for creating electricity and as a heat source.


Strategies to Meet Demand

Finding alternative strategies for resource use helps protect and conserve limited supplies of nonrenewable resources. For example, recycling metals helps provide a source of materials that does not require extracting raw materials from the Earth, saving fuel.

Since most of our commonly used resources are nonrenewable, meeting the demand for these resources requires efficiency and conservation

apply scientific principles to propose solutions for reducing the negative effects of technology on the environment

explain the importance of assessing and minimizing the environmental impact of technology

Objectives For The Next 2 Stations

describe how technology can both positively and negatively impact the environment

It is almost impossible to imagine a world without technology, especially in our school!Technology refers to using science to make products that improve human life. It can apply to the product itself, such as a computer, a tool, or a vehicle. It may also be applied to new strategies or methods developed using scientific principles. Technology has dramatically changed throughout human history, but there have been significant advancements in technology over the last few decades.Click the image of the computers to see how our technology has improved over time.


Reflect on the technology in your life:


You may already be aware of the many benefits that come with technology. The availability of technology enhances the ability to connect with others, be entertained, and learn. While these are direct benefits to the individuals using the technology, there are also many advantages that technology can provide to Earth systems.

Weather radar technology has provided methods for scientists to monitor and track weather and climate conditions. This monitoring helps them prepare for severe weather hazards. It also provides a way to better understand humans' impact on Earth's climates.

Advancements in technology have provided the means to develop alternative energy sources. For example, solar farms offer a means to generate electricity that is less harmful to the environment than traditional fossil fuels.

More advanced computer systems allow for more control and efficiency when utilizing natural resources. These technicians use various information to ensure that the natural gas powerplant makes the most of the nonrenewable resource.


Despite the many benefits of technology use, some drawbacks exist. One of the most prominent examples of a disadvantage is the waste. As new technologies emerge, there is often a transitional time where older materials are discarded and replaced with more modern options. Consider how often companies encourage the purchase of the latest phones and computers. These products are usually made with plastics that, if not properly recycled, can result in pollution that lasts a long time.

The technologies humans use, and their impacts, can have lasting effects on the planet. Click the video below, type your name, and watch about the lasting results of humans. As you watch the video, consider how using technologies and developing materials may dramatically impact Earth, even into the distant future.


Scientists recognize that it is crucial to prioritize the development and widespread adoption of renewable energy sources



Future technology must embrace a circular product approach, designing products with recycling in mind that last longer.


Future developments can implement innovative technologies and practices in urban planning, agriculture, and resource management to optimize efficiency, reduce waste, and address environmental challenges

Scientists are striving to develop new methods and strategies that can provide more sustainable methods of developing and using technology.

Sort the computers to the right into either the benefits or disadvantages column.


Benefit or Disadvantage?

Decrease in plant diversity

Increase in crop yields

Increase in Algae Growth in Lakes


Increase in food availability

Agriculture is one example of a field impacted by new and improved technologies. Despite humans practicing agriculture for thousands of years, technological advancements over just the past hundred years have dramatically altered what modern agriculture looks like.

Agricultural Technology

Early Agriculture

  • primarily done by hand
  • relied on simple tools
  • benefited from the development of simple machines, such as the wheel
  • domesticated animals such as oxen and horses
  • focused on growing food primarily for their families.

Modern Agriculture


  • due to the development of the engine and motorized vehicles, tractors are common - changed how efficiently a farmer could manage their fields
  • modern technologies, such as computers, provide methods for tracking data and managing complex planting and harvesting schedules - farmers can now grow more crops

Technology also provides a means to meet the growing demand for human resource consumption. For example, there is a considerable need for more food as Earth's global population increases. Technology allows for more efficient and greater crop yields. Farmers have access to real-time weather information as well as farm equipment to ensure that they are able to produce more than would have previously been possible.

Technology Benefits in Agriculture

In some instances, technology that was once seen as beneficial is revealed to have dramatically harmful impacts. The danger of using chemical pesticides was not fully understood until the 1970s, when connections were made to pesticide use and severe medical conditions in humans and wildlife.

Technology Disadvantages in Agriculture

Fertilizers, especially chemical fertilizers, are a commonly used tool for increasing crop yield. However, excess fertilizer is often washed into local waterways when it rains. The nutrients then feed algae in the ponds, lakes, and streams. The additional nutrients result in an increase in algae. The emergence of all of the new algae affects water quality. It can be harmful to other aquatic organisms, such as fish.

Technology Disadvantages in Agriculture

Answer the following question:

apply scientific principles to propose ways to minimize and monitor impacts

analyze the environmental impacts associated with various human needs and desires

Objectives For The Next 2 Stations

describe the concept of human needs and desires in the context of the environment

Delivery Services

Have you or your family ever had anything delivered to your house?Consider the costs of that delivery. Answer the question, then click the info button to learn more.

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When you received that delivery, was it something that you claimed to "need"?What are some things that you have said you "need" this week?


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Click here to open the Mentimeter and send the things you've said you "need" this week!

Psychologist Abraham Maslow developed the concept of the hierarchy of needs in the mid-1900s. According to this organization, the most basic needs are physiological, such as the need for food, water, and shelter.Someone may say they "need" something, like the latest phone or a new video game, but these are considered desires. This is because those items are not required for survival.


Needs Vs. Desires

  • Desires are what make humans unique from different organisms
  • When basic needs are met, an individual is often more comfortable pursuing specific desires related to those needs.
  • For example, when you are hungry, you may wish to have a hamburger or a salad. While either of these foods meets a necessity, the ability to choose based on taste preference is related to desires.

  • While some materials and resources are necessary to meet basic survival needs, products that are desired rather than needed account for some of the most significant environmental impacts.

Wood is a critical resource for buildings and construction. As the population grows, there is an increased need for housing. However, the desire for bigger homes and properties contributes to forest clearing, causing deforestation. Deforestation reduces biodiversity and contributes to climate change.


In many areas, transportation is a necessity. Most forms of transportation require fossil fuels. Burning fossil fuels results in harmful air pollution. Smaller, more fuel-efficient cars, carpooling, or public transportation help reduce this impact. However, this is balanced against the desire for larger, personally-owned vehicles.

Air Pollution

Individually packaged food and drink containers are often convenient to use. However, the widespread use of these single-use products contributes to increasing plastic pollution. Plastics do not readily break down and stay in the environment for hundreds of years.

Plastic Pollution

Let's Reflect

How do our needs and desires impact the environment in both positive and negative ways? Write as much ways as you can in the box to the right.

Great job! The code letter #7 is R. Write it down!

Scientists identify the problem- examples: limited availability of specific resources or the efficiency with which resources are being used

What Do Scientists Do?




Scientists recognize that resource availability, technology impacts, and growing desires are concerns and work to develop solutions to address the issues.

Scientists develop strategies- examples: may involve exploring alternative renewable energy sources or the development of technology to improve resource use efficiency

Scientists evaluate impacts- examples: renewable energy is an excellent alternative to traditional fossil fuels. However, costs often make these resources more inaccessible, requiring exploring options to make these resources more accessible.

When exploring the prevalence of products in countries like the United States, it is crucial to consider the environmental impacts and develop strategies to mitigate the adverse effects. Here are some examples!

Sustainable Agriculture

Shoppers can look for eco-friendly and sustainable options. Label information about material sourcing, manufacturing processes, and recyclability can be found.

Sustainable Products

Raising awareness about how product purchase and use impact the environment helps people educate themselves about conserving resources.

Eco-Friendly Shopping

Sustainable, long-lasting products, such as reusable water bottles, reduce the waste produced by disposable products made for short-term use.


Sustainable practices, such as supporting local and organic agriculture, help provide necessary food while minimizing harmful effects on the environment.

Mitigation Strategies

I'm in 8th grade, there's nothing I can do to mitigate human impacts on our environment

-8th Grade Students




What Can We Do?


One common way to reduce consumption is through electricity. We can improve insulation by sealing cracks around our windows, use smart thermostats, turn off lights, unplug electronics when not in use


Another common way to reduce consumption is through transportation. We can carpool, use public transportation, buy fuel-efficient vehicles


With our consumption, we need to reduce waste. We can do this by avoiding individually packaged plastics/products and by finding alternative ways to dispose of trash

Great job! The code letter #8 is S Write it down!

Let's create a plan for reducing our personal consumption and its impact on our environment. You can choose either option below to share your plan. When you're done, let your teacher know and they will give you the final code letter!



GRAFFITI WALLIn the Classkick, you will follow directions to create a graffiti wall based on what you can do to mitigate impacts!

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MITIGATION COMMERCIALIn the Flip, you will follow directions to create a commercial spreading awareness of what we can do to mitigate impacts!

Question 1:

Answer each question and then close out of each box. When you close out, the next question will appear! Go through each question until you reach the letter code!

  • This information indicates that in 2018, there were a total of 292.4 million tons of waste produced.
  • That same year, each person made an average of 4.9 pounds of waste daily.

The graph below illustrates municipal solid waste (MSW) generation rates in the United States from 1960 to 2018. The chart shows the total waste generation each year and the waste generated per person daily. You may also notice that there has been a general increase in waste production since 1960.


Waste Graph

Question 5:

Answer each question and then close out of each box. When you close out, the next question will appear! Go through each question until you reach the letter code!

Question 3:

Answer each question and then close out of each box. When you close out, the next question will appear! Go through each question until you reach the letter code!

Wow! That's a lot of trash!

Potential Impacts

Question 4:

Answer each question and then close out of each box. When you close out, the next question will appear! Go through each question until you reach the letter code!


Throughout the activity, you can keep track of your progress by finding a "code letter" when you complete each station!The letters will form one of the answers to the question "How can we mitigate the effects of human consumption on our environment?"Each time you find a letter, write down the station number and the letter on your own piece of paper/computer note. At the end, you'll be able to fill in the code below by placing the letter to each station on the corresponding number. Once you've gotten all of the letters, an answer will emerge!For example, if the code letter from station 5 is an e, you would place the e above the letter 5 in the code.

CODE:___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ 6 1 9 7 3 2 5 8 4

Question 2:

Answer each question and then close out of each box. When you close out, the next question will appear! Go through each question until you reach the letter code!





Computers Over Time

By the late 1980s, companies were producing much smaller computers. These computers were not only smaller but began to be available at a price that households could afford to purchase for personal use.

Introduced in the early 1990s, portable laptop computers gained popularity for their transportability. By this point, computers could store gigabytes of data and serve various functions, from word processing to gaming.

While desktop and laptop computers are still readily used, smartphones and tablets are among the most popular forms of computers. Technology has allowed for incredible miniaturization of parts and efficient data storage.

The computers of the 1950s were massive, often requiring entire rooms for the equipment. These computers were usually limited to essential functions and could typically store only around 100 kilobytes of data.

Did you consider the following?

Shipping "Costs"

  • actual shipping costs for the item
  • products are made from materials that originate from natural resources
  • those resources need first to be extracted
  • delivered in a vehicle most likely powered by fossil fuels
These represent not only the monitary cost, but also the environmental cost associated with the purchase and delivery of a package