Soil Science New K-12 Resources

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Dear Science Educators,


Dig It! Get the Scoop on Soils! 


Looking for activities for your virtual or in-person classrooms on Soils?  We've been building so many great resources for you, with the help of scientists and educators, and most are free! You may be familiar with our website - from our communications and outreach at NSTA.



We've been particularly busy in the last 2 years, adding many new resources and tools which are detailed below. We'd like to extend a special thank you to the USDA-NRCS for the grant which made many of these of these new features possible.


Be well and thank you for all your work teaching virtually and about Soils!




New! Know Soil Know Life Educator’s Guide

Know Soil Know Life, for high school and introductory soils courses, provides a deeper dive into topics including physical properties of soil, soil formation, biology, chemistry, classification/survey/interpretations, environmental and conservation, soils and biomes, soils and society and careers in soil science.  The accompanying educator's guide enhances the usability of the book to integrate all information more easily in the book/chapters/sections into classroom curriculum. Components in the educator's guide include:

  • Chapter overview,
  • Suggested teaching sequence and pacing guide,
  • Classroom Powerpoint
  • Links to hands-on activities and readings to support chapter materials,
  • List of relevant NGSS standards addressed,
  • Assessments including chapter questions (login access required), formative and summative assessments,
  • Links to additional optional resources

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The guide does not replace the in-depth information in the book, rather it enhances it! The lessons can also be used in a stand-alone fashion. The hands-on labs and activities bring the text to 'life' for students.




Newly Designed - Website Resources!

The primary K-12 outreach site provides resources ready for the classroom. The website has been redesigned with a new streamlined navigation and modern design. Key components include a section on soil basics, soils by subject, land and people, and lessons/activities. There were over 650K clicks into the site in 2020, we can't wait to see what 2021 brings! We also have a website for kids at


"Thank you all PROFUSELY for the many age appropriate lessons and activities on your site! I have only skimmed the surface, but I am excited about the variety of topics and activities!"  

~Julia Pearsall, Environmental Science Teacher



New! Searchable Database


Recently we created a searchable database of teaching resources including activities, labs, demonstrations, and more. This database can be sorted by activity, current NGSS standards, grade level, and more. In addition, teachers are able to create binders to keep track of resources that fit within their class curriculum. Currently there are over 250 resources in the database.




Soils Poster for Classrooms - Request Your Copy!

This new poster provides a tangible presence in classroom and gives an overview of soil - what it is (and isn't), why it's important, soil horizons, texture, soil triangle, formation, and processes.  This unique poster is two-sided with side A being designed for the middle-school grades while side B is for the more advanced levels (typically high school). 





Ask a Soil Scientist

Our Ask a Soil Scientist program has been active since 2009 and is designed for K-12 teachers and students to ask soils-based questions. It has been a popular feature for questions and requests for classroom visits.  Recently, it's been updated and teachers and students are now able to receive answers via our Discussion Board system.  When a question is posted to the Discussion Board, enrolled members receive a notification email and jump in to answer.  Learn more at