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Inland Waterways 1820-1940
In this section of the national Museum of American History’s exhibit “On the Water: Stories from Maritime America,” students learn how the vast U.S. system of rivers and lakes has helped people settle the land and create communities.
El Rio: Do-Your-Own Exhibition
In this Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage lesson, students create a museum exhibition that addresses culture and environment in the Rio Grande/Rio Bravo Basin. The materials are adaptable to studies of other cultural-environmental relationships.
Connecting Cultures: Music of the Mekong River
This Webpage from the Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage discusses the cultural importance of the Mekong River, tracing its path through China, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam. Students can listen to selections of musical recordings, view a movie clip and study a map of the river.
To Fish Or Not To Fish?
In this Salmon River Native Film Project, presented by the National Museum of the American Indian, students of the Salmon River School District explore fishing and the impact PCBs have on the health and well-being of people in the Akwesasne community.
The Environmental Price of Dams
Read this Smithsonian magazine article to learn why some conservationists are demolishing dams in the name of rivers and fish.
Notoriously Durable Styrofoam Could Be Munched by Mealworms
Even with advances in recycling technologies, most Styrofoam still can’t be recycled. So it remains in landfills, taking centuries to break down. Read this Smithsonian magazine article to learn how mealworm larvae might be the answer to this global pollution problem.
Put Out to Dry…Not in My Back Yard
Many people are interested in going green. Even more people want to save money. But local covenants must still be maintained. In this Cooper-Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum lesson, students design an environmentally friendly way of drying laundry, such as a clothesline. Then they brainstorm ideas about how to do this while still following local zoning laws.
It’s a Wrap
Have you ever thought about how one product, such as wrapping paper, could affect our landfills? In this Cooper-Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum lesson, students brainstorm ideas about how to address this problem and write an article to educate others about the issue.
Hidden Costs: Mapping the Source and Costs of Raw Materials
This teacher-created lesson from the Cooper-Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum encourages students to look at production-consumption systems through the lenses of geography, science and economics. Students research the source of materials used in common products and then design an alternative system that helps conserve resources.
Inventive Minds: Theresa Dankovich
Researcher Theresa Dankovich invented a bacteria-killing water filter that is made of biodegradable paper embedded with silver nanoparticles. Watch this video from the Lemelson Center, National Museum of American History to learn more about her work.