Erosion Activity and Project STEM Conservation NGSS Middle School MS-ESS3-1

Rated 4.71 out of 5, based on 51 reviews
51 Ratings
Grade Levels
4th - 10th, Homeschool
Resource Type
Formats Included
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23 pages
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Excellent in-class project based learning assignment. I had to go out and buy clay to help student then create the idea they came up with. :)
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Newly updated as digital PDFs for home or distance learning, this resource is a SUPER FUN, CREATIVE and ENGAGING NGSS middle school research and engineering project incorporating STEM that challenges students in 6 different erosion scenarios to save their house/land! In this PBL (problem-based learning) resource with worksheets, students research the type of erosion and brainstorm, design, build, and present a product to prevent or stop it. It teaches students about the effects of erosion on various places and how the uneven distributions of Earth’s mineral, energy, and groundwater resources are the result of past and current geoscience processes (NGSS MS-ESS3-1). It is a complete and thorough project (23 pages!!) with absolutely NO PREP WORK for the teacher for seven days!!! Just print and go! Download the preview and check it out! Student samples included!

If using for distance learning, simply print and assign or attach scenarios individually to Google Classroom (or whatever platform you use!) Students can take pictures of their work and either email it to you or attach them to a Google Form! Check out the other home/distance learning products in my store! Home and Distance Learning Resources

This project includes:

  • Directions pages
  • Student worksheets and scenarios for each group
  • Timeline for completion
  • Group outline
  • Expectations and tips
  • Grading rubric
  • Reflection related to costs/benefits and future improvements

This project requires students to work/research in groups where each group is assigned a different scenario related to erosion, but students can also work independently (Ex: sinkholes, wind, running water, landslides, etc.) Students have to brainstorm, research and design a solution to their problem. Once students research and build a prototype, they will pitch it to the class similar to the show SHARK TANK! You can use videos from YouTube to model for them! Information about the Engineering and Design Process according to the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) is also provided.

This project covers the following NGSS Performance Expectations and Standards:

MS-ESS3-1. Construct a scientific explanation based on evidence for how the uneven distributions of Earth’s mineral, energy, and groundwater resources are the result of past and current geoscience processes.

*MS-ESS3-2 and MS-ESS3-4 (If you decide to have students build and test their models!)

MS-ETS1-1. Define the criteria and constraints of a design problem with sufficient precision to ensure a successful solution, taking into account relevant scientific principles and potential impacts on people and the natural environment that may limit possible solutions.

Looking for ways to assess student understanding of the NGSS on tests, pre-assessments, exit tickets, etc.? Then, check out my newest line of NGSS Assessment Questions here: NGSS Assessments and Task Questions

Interested in other Earth Science/Geology products?

Plate Tectonics Stations Labs

Rock Cycle Projects

Wind Erosion CER Lab

Weathering Mini Unit/Investigation

Introduction to Rocks CER Lab

Scale Model of the Solar System Lab (FREE)

NGSS Unit Template for Lesson Planning (Example Included)

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Total Pages
23 pages
Answer Key
Rubric only
Teaching Duration
1 Week
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to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Prepare for and participate effectively in a range of conversations and collaborations with diverse partners, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.
Integrate and evaluate information presented in diverse media and formats, including visually, quantitatively, and orally.
Present information, findings, and supporting evidence such that listeners can follow the line of reasoning and the organization, development, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
Make strategic use of digital media and visual displays of data to express information and enhance understanding of presentations.
Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of science and technical texts.


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