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Database Provider


Hot Mess, PBS


6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th


Science, Chemistry, Biology, Earth and Space Sciences

Resource Type

  • Videos, 12 minutes, 8 seconds, CC, Subtitles

Regional Focus



YouTube Video

Essentials of Environmental Science: The Importance of Soil

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  • This video is about how soil formation, different types of soil, human activity's effect on soil, and soil's role in addressing climate change.
  • Students will come away with an appreciation for soil and an understanding of its composition and importance for Earth's systems.
Teaching Tips


  • It is broken into chapters at the bottom of the video, so teachers can skip around to the sections relevant to their lessons.
  • The images, diagrams, and charts help the viewer better understand potentially unfamiliar topics.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Students should know what abiotic and biotic factors are.
  • There is an ad before the video.


Scientist Notes
This resource is a 12-minute video that presents an overview of soil science. The composition of soils and the processes which produce healthy fertile soil are discussed, as well as what is needed for plant growth and sustainable agriculture. Finally, some examples of the ecosystem services performed by soil, including acting as a carbon sink, are discussed. This resource does not shy away from jargon, but does an excellent job explaining terminology and making the topic approachable. This resource is recommended for teaching.
  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
    • ESS2: Earth's Systems
      • MS-ESS2-2 Construct an explanation based on evidence for how geoscience processes have changed Earth's surface at varying time and spatial scales.
      • HS-ESS2-2 Analyze geoscience data to make the claim that one change to Earth’s surface can create feedbacks that cause changes to other Earth systems.
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • 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.
    • LS2: Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics
      • MS-LS2-3 Develop a model to describe the cycling of matter and flow of energy among living and nonliving parts of an ecosystem.
      • HS-LS2-3 Construct and revise an explanation based on evidence for the cycling of matter and flow of energy in aerobic and anaerobic conditions.
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    • Great video! It is informative and full of details, but still easy for my students to follow along.
      2 years ago