What is the tragedy of the commons? – Nicholas Amendolare – TED Ed

Is it possible that overfishing, super germs, and global warming are all caused by the same thing? In 1968, a man named Garrett Hardin sat down to write an essay about overpopulation. Within it, he discovered a pattern of human behavior that explains some of history’s biggest problems. Nicholas Amendolare describes the tragedy of the commons.

Lesson by Nicholas Amendolare, directed by TED-Ed.

Biodiversity is Best

Submitted by Cathy Dykstra

In this inquiry-based unit, the students will learn that conserving and protecting our water supply is crucial after they research the biodiversity of a specific ecosystem and discover that water is necessary for biodiversity and biodiversity is necessary for the health of the planet. Continue reading


Food availability is limited in some regions of the world for many reasons, such as access to natural resources (sunlight, space, water, soil). Due to urbanization, access to fresh fruit and vegetables in urban areas is becoming more limited. How do we feed our communities and ensure food sustainably in an urban landscape?

In this inquiry-based activity, students will design and build a model of a greenhouse using mirrors and/or lenses that can be used to grow food all year. They will use their knowledge of optics to make their greenhouse more efficient (i.e., optimal temperature for plant growth).

*This activity can be used as a Course Culminating Activity as it allows students to demonstrate their proficiency in the following areas:

    Cells and Tissues (plants and plant growth)
    Chemical Reactions (pH of soil and acid-base reactions)
    Light and Optics (reflection and refraction through mirrors and lenses)
    Climate Change (influence of CO2 and temperature upon growth of plants)

How can we use optics to maximize food production?

Reflection, refraction, pH, CO2, temperature, mirrors, lenses, plant growth


This activity is part of STAO’s Connex Inquiry Resource Series

Click here to go to the complete resource

Set an Example – An Ecology Centre in Your Schoolyard

School_yard,_Gymnasium_No._1By>>> Canadian Wildlife Federation. Guess what? Your schoolyard is an ecosystem, too. It’s a great place for play at recess, but it can be much more than that. It’s a perfect spot to practise sustainable development. Why not use it to create an ecology study centre for wildlife?

With careful planning and management, your schoolyard can provide food and shelter for many small mammals and birds, attract helpful insects or grow plants that prevent erosion and keep the earth moist.* Continue reading