Student Explorations?>>?Smithsonian Institution | Planet Earth: Protect Our Planet
Smithsonian Institution | Planet Earth: Protect Our Planet

Protecting Our Planet

Although Earth Day has been celebrated around the world for over 40 years, in 2009, the United Nations recognized International Mother Earth Day.? In partnership with the Smithsonian Institution, ePals encourages Global Community members to get inspired and mobilized to take action to protect the environment and promote sustainability.

Activities You Can Do

Featured Activity: Smithsonian Online Exhibit: The Secrets of the Soil



Watch this curator-led tour of the exhibit!

Experience the Dig It! Secrets of the Soil Exhibit from the Smithsonian?s National Museum of Natural History and get inspired by soil. Visit the website for more information, try interactive activities and watch videos. Learn more about what?s going on right under your feet!


Activity: Dig Up Your Own Secrets in the Soil

In the Dig It! The Secrets of Soil online exhibit from the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History you learned about the amazing world of soil through interactive activities and videos. Now it?s your turn to learn what secrets are hiding right under your feet. Follow the steps below to create a PowerPoint presentation about the soil in your area. Upload it to the ePals Student Media Gallery to share your work with classrooms around the world.

  1. Gather a 4"x4"x4" soil sample using a garden spade or other tool. Put your soil sample on a white sheet of paper, label the paper with the location name where the sample was taken and take a digital photo of it.
  2. Record the type of plants you find in the area where you have taken your soil sample. Take a digital photo of the area if that's possible.
  3. Visit the interactive online tool Hidden Horizons. Are you able to identify any of these layers in your soil sample?
  4. With the help of the interactive online tool Earth's Skin Types, try to identify what type of soil you have in your sample. By clicking on each of the 12 types of soils you will see a map of where they are commonly found in the world.
  5. Watch the video Get Soil Savvy to make yourself aware of soil erosion issues. Are there any erosion issues or preservation campaigns in your community?
  6. Using the information that you have gathered and your digital photos create a PowerPoint presentation about your soil sample and the soil in your area.
  7. Share your completed PowerPoint by uploading it to the ePals Student Media Gallery.


More Smithsonian Activities

Prehistoric Climate Change and Why It Matters Today
55 million years ago a period of sudden global warming radically changed life on Earth. See why it matters today.
For Students:?Resources
For Teachers:?Lesson Plans

Interactive: "Habitat Adventure: Panda Challenge!"
Team up with Teng Wu, manager of a Chinese forest reserve, as he tries to protect giant pandas and their habitats.
For Students:?Resources
For Teachers:?Lesson Plans

Blue Planet Music
Catch the environmentalist spirit as you listen to this catchy tune.
For Students:?Resources
For Teachers:?Lesson Plans

Coral Reef Interactive
Help preserve an island's beautiful coral reef and the quality of life on the island.
For Students:?Resources
For Teachers:?Lesson Plans