8.4 On What Issues of Sustainability Will You Take Action?
This module synthesizes learning of DCIs, SEPs, and CCCs addressed throughout middle school. In 6th and 7th grades, students investigated Earth and human systems as they continuously, and over time, impact one another. In 8th grade, students have learned about how the Earth and biosystems began, and the processes that enable these systems to continue to operate, and how they may be considered a basis for predicting future events. In this module, students reflect on the role of humans in maintaining the balance and sustainability of Earth’s systems, considering closely: “All human activity draws on natural resources and has both short- and long-term consequences, positive as well as negative, for the health of people and the natural environment.” Students choose a topic that has interested them at any time during middle school, and in which they have passionate interest, and they examine related issues that threaten sustainability, ultimately developing an action plan for change that begins with their own actions. The goal for this end-of-middle-school module is for students to develop an evidence-based argument to explain how direct and indirect changes to natural systems, due to issues related to human interaction (including population growth and increased consumption), influences those natural systems, and how they can be an agent for change.