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Beyond Dirt: The Ecosystem Beneath our Feet

Exploring soil in our backyards!

Soils support 95 percent of all food production, filter water, and are one of our most cost-effective reservoirs for sequestering carbon. The secret powers of soil are in its chemical, physical, and biological make-up, making the preservation and health of soil incredibly important for what lies below ground, but also above.

Over the past century, we’ve lost nearly half of what makes soil productive. Studying soil is key to ensuring that we not only prevent further degradation, but also rebuild soils to their full potential.

Choose a Level

At a glance


  • Environmental Science,
  • Geology,
  • Life Science,
  • Chemistry of Life,
  • Physical Science,
  • Scientific Process & Ethics,
  • Science & Society,
  • Styles of Scientific Reasoning,
  • Categorization & Classification

Materials Required

  • Everyday Materials

Created by

Bria VarnBuhler Bria VarnBuhler avatar

Bria is a chemical biologist and educator with a curiosity for the microscopic and molecular workings of the world
Graduate Student
Weill Cornell Medicine
Math and Science Teacher
Greenwich Academy

Karl Palmquist Karl Palmquist avatar

Karl is a systems biologist interested in complexity, and an environmental advocate
Graduate Fellow
Rockefeller University

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