Online Student Book


Web links for S&S Teachers

WindmillsShown below are several sites that relate generally to Science and Sustainability (S&S). They are followed by sites related to specific parts of the course. You can scroll down through all of the sites, or jump directly to sites related to a specific part of the course by clicking on the list below.

Generally Helpful Sites for S&S

Part 1: Living on Earth
Part 2: Feeding the World
Part 3: Using Earth's Resources
Part 4: Moving the World


Generally Helpful Sites

The World Factbook

Teachers will find the information on this site useful as a supplement to activities involving Material World. This site allows teachers (or students) to click on a country's name, in an alphabetical list, and access information about geography, climate, economy, politics, population, industry, and much more. the information available. This may be valuable to students when studying a country in Material World or during Activities 10 and 30.

The World Bank's Countries and Regions

On this site, the World Bank provides economic, agricultural, climatic, demographic, and societal information about countries around the world. Students can click on a world map to gain access to important information about the country they are studying as part of the course.

STELLA® Modeling Software

Science and Sustainability students have opportunities to use STELLA while studying population dynamics and types of models in Activities 7 and 8. STELLA is produced and distributed by High Performance Systems in Hanover, NH.
Click here for more information on STELLA and to download NCSA Deer Population Models for these activities.

Education for Sustainable Development Toolkit

ESD Toolkit is an index of teacher resources about sustainability that are currently used in high school and college classrooms. Much of the information is in the form of course descriptions and syllabi, but visitors to the site will also find descriptions of long-term projects relating to sustainability (including contact information for each project).

Tapped In


Tapped In is an on-line meeting place for teachers. It's like a chat room, bulletin board, and SEPUP workshop all in one. SEPUP teachers can organize meetings in the virtual SEPUP office, leave curriculum ideas and suggestions on the bulletin board, join the SEPUP listserve, or meet and exchange information with teachers working with other programs around the country. You need to be a member, but it's all free! To sign up, go to Tapped In and click on "Steps," under "Join Us." You can also visit the site as a guest: just click on "Guest Login" and follow the directions from there.


Part 1: Living on Earth

Activity 1, Sustainable Living

If any students have allergies to nuts, they should be excused from participating in this activity and should not remain in the room. Alternatively, you can have students determine the calories in a mini-marshmallow, puffed cheese snack, or potato chip.

Life Cycle of the Fruit Fly

This page contains a narrative description of the fruit fly’s life cycle. It includes detailed information for interested students and teachers, and may be useful in identifying the flies used in Part 1.

Population Dynamics of the Fruit Fly

This page describes an activity that can be carried out as an extension with the fruit flies used in Part 1. It provides an opportunity for students to design an experimental procedure, using an organism they are familiar with from lab.

Phytoplankton Images

On this site, students can see detailed microscopic phytoplankton images as an extension or alternative to the microscope viewing of phytoplankton in Activity 2.


This website shows a micrograph of yeast. Yeast is the fungus which creates carbon dioxide and makes bread rise, and also causes fermentation in the production of beer. (Yeast is introduced as a model organism in Activities 3 and 28.)

GLOBE Project Vegetation Maps

This website provides color coded information about vegetation for all land on Earth. Students may find this information useful when completing Activities 7-11.The GLOBE website also provides information on air temperature, precipitation, soil moisture, and other variables describing the physical and chemical nature of the planet.

Environmental Protection Agency

The Environmental Protection Agency provides up-to-date data about greenhouse gas concentrations and atmospheric temperatures at this website. When students study carbon dioxide emissions as a result of combustion, this additional information may be valuable.

Population Connection
(formerly Zero Population Growth)

Population Connection produced the "Population Growth" video included in the course kit and provides other information and resources for teaching about human population dynamics in classrooms. Students study population dynamics in Activities 7-9; the topic is a fundamental concept upon which many of the later activities depend.

World Population Figures
(U.S. Census Bureau)

This site provides the most up-to-date estimate of world population produced by the U.S. Census Bureau. It will be useful to students and teachers in discussions about how global population is changing over time and projections of future population levels.

U.S. Urban Population Figures, 1790-1990
(U.S. Census Bureau)

This site provides detailed demographic information about the 100 most populous urban sites in the U.S. for every census taken from 1790 to 1990. As an extension to their production of population curves for other animals, students can graph this data to show population increase for various urban areas near their homes. They can discuss the types of curves which are made and consider environmental and other factors influencing the growth and decline of human populations. Data at this site is organized by year, so students will need to look at several population lists to find the data for one geographical area over time.

U.S. County Population Figures, 1900-1990 (U.S. Census Bureau)

This site provides census data for every county in the U.S. from 1900 to 1990. While fewer years are provided than on the urban population site, students may find this site more useful: the data is organized by county, so it is easier to find; and since every county in the country is included, students are likely to find data which is relevant to them even if they don’t live in one of the country's 100 most populated areas.

The Medfly

Certain species of fruit flies are considered agricultural pests. To explore this topic or to view a photograph of the stages of fruit fly development (fly, pupa, larva, eggs), visit this site -- the Cooperative Agriculture Pest Survey and NAPIS' homepage on the Mediterranean fruit fly, also called the medfly (Ceratitis capitata).

Center for Earth Observation, Yale University

The Center for Earth Observation at Yale University provides references to projects performed using Landsat images, suggestions for using these images in the secondary school curriculum, and large numbers of archive images in an easy-to-use format. These images are similar to the ones that students use during the course -- of Beijing, Garden City, and the Aral Sea in Kazakhstan -- and can be used to expand their investigations of these topics.


The Greenwire website is updated daily with current issues affecting environmental debates in this country and around the world. It may be helpful to students as they pursue individual research projects, especially during Activity 10.3.

Chinese Auto Industry

This site provides information about the number of cars, trucks, and farm vehicles produced by various manufacturers and sold in China. It also provides links to other information about the automobile industry in China which may be useful to the Car Factory Development Group during Activity 10.3.


Part 2: Feeding the World

Food and Nutrition Information Center

This site provides information on dietary guidelines, food composition, and issues such as healthy school lunches and family economics.

SeaWiFS: NASA's Global Ocean Color Monitoring Mission

This site displays data collected by NASA on global phenomena. Included are coded maps of the globe showing sea temperature, topographic information, cloud cover, and concentration of phytoplankton in ocean waters. This information is similar to the data students use in investigating the possibilities for aquaculture.

The Microbe Zoo

Check out the Microbe Zoo! A site developed through Michigan State University, it contains interesting information and wonderful pictures of all kinds of microbes. To find pictures quickly, choose "to see the clickable, text-based outline" on their home page. You can demonstrate the difference in size between protists and bacteria by choosing "Cow Rumen Protist and Bacilli." You’ll see a scanning electron microscope picture of the protist Diplodinium covered by strands of bacilli bacteria.

The Genetics Education Center

The University of Kansas Medical Center has compiled an excellent list of web-based resources on genetics. Resources include links to the Human Genome Project, information on cloning, and descriptions of genetic disorders.

Detoxifying the Green Revolution

This link provides information about the efforts of the International Rice Research Institute since the Green Revolution to try to develop sustainable agricultural methods.


This site shows a micrograph of the bacteria Salmonella, a prokaryotic single-celled organism. It may be of interest to students to observe prokaryotic cells as they learn about cell structure in Activity 13.

Lactobacillus: picture

This is another picture of a prokaryotic cell, a Lactobacillus bacteria.

Lactobacillus: description

This site provides a description of Lactobacillus bacteria.


Part 3: Using Earth's Resources

Exploring the Table of Isotopes

This website provides information on all known isotopes of any element. Just type in the chemical symbol and mass number; the site will respond with the exact atomic mass, the isotopic abundance in nature, physical properties of the isotope’s atoms, and more. An excellent reference for teachers who use the periodic table in class. Students and teachers will find it helpful during the periodic table activities and in the section on radiation.

Copper Processing Page

The Broken Hill Proprietary Corporation and the Copper Development Association, Inc. publish an on-line magazine called Innovations. In this archived issue, from July 1997, there is an article on the use of copper to make household and automotive components.


This website, maintained by the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, provides information on how Kevlar is used in the space program and in the production of bulletproof clothing, and shows diagrams of the molecular structure of Kevlar.

Has the World Already Passed “Peak Oil”?

This paper, from National Geographic News, summaries recent analysis about world oil production.

The Haber Process

The Haber process is the chemical procedure for using a catalyst to form ammonia from nitrogen and oxygen. This web site provides more technical information to enrich understanding beyond what is in Activity 26 in the Student Book.

Kevlar by DuPont

On this site, DuPont, the manufacturer of Kevlar brand fiber, describes the chemical and physical properties, as well as the engineering applications, of this material. (Kevlar is used in Activity 23.) This site also provides links to other new fibers manufactured by DuPont.

The Polymer Macrogalleria

This site gives abundant information on chemical and physical characteristics of many polymeric substances. 2-D and 3-D models of polymer synthesis reactions are shown, and techniques for studying polymers are described.


Part 4: Moving the World

Nuclear power plants, world-wide

This site, sponsored by the European Nuclear Society, describes the first nuclear energy Experimental Breeder Reactor which went on-line in Dec.1951, in Arco, Idaho, and the first nuclear power plant. It gives an overview of the existing nuclear power plants in the United states as well as those under construction and their energy output.

Radiation Damage in DNA

In Activity 34, students learn about radiation and the dangers of high energy radiation from nuclear fuels to the DNA molecule. This website shows diagrams and presents evidence for the damage that can occur in these situations.

Battery Power

Science and Sustainability students consider how batteries store energy and how this affects our ability to store energy from renewable energy sources. This website provides instructions for students and teachers for how to make a simple battery and use it to light an LED.

Carbon Monoxide Fact Sheet

Science and Sustainability students learn about incomplete combustion as a part of their studies on fossil fuels and energy. This web site, from the Environmental Protection Agency, provides information and statistics about one of the major products of incomplete combustion and how to avoid the dangers of the silent killer.

Specific Heat

Science and Sustainability students study specific heat and its applications for understanding the nature of heat and thermal energy, for storing and transferring thermal energy between materials, and in understanding phase changes. This website provides some more information on the history of the concept of specific heat, as well as its relationship to the gas laws, heat capacity, and temperature.

The Electromagnetic Spectrum

This page, developed at the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, provides a color version of the image in the S&S Student Book illustrating the Electromagnetic Spectrum. If possible, you may want to make a color poster of this chart for your classroom as students discuss electromagnetic radiation and its effects.

Airborne Particulate Research

In this document, scientists from The National Academy of Sciences summarize the important findings from a 2004 $300 million research study. It states that progress has been made in understanding the health risks posed by particle pollution in the air, and identifies areas for further research. Students may find this information helpful during Activity 36, when they are studying particulates that are products of combustion reactions.

The Oxidizable Carbon Ratio (OCR)

This site describes in more detail the use of OCR as a method for dating carbonaceous materials.