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Outreach Activities

STEPS has developed instructional materials focused on phosphorus sustainability. These activities can help educators integrate phosphorus concepts into their science curriculum.

The Phosphorus Cycle

Students explore how phosphorus moves through aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems by considering the ways that it is transferred and stored.

Phosphorus Cycle Challenge

This secondary challenge activity allows students to test their knowledge of the Phosphorus Cycle. The simulation has two different scenarios where students test their knowledge about the phosphorus cycle in soybean fields or a lettuce garden.

This challenge was developed by the Nutrients for Life Foundation.

Fact or Fiction

Students test their knowledge about phosphorus, the phosphorus cycle, and the issues surrounding global sustainability

Calculating Your Phosphorus Footprint

Students analyze their every day of activities for the overuse and overapplication of phosphorus and reflect on how to reduce the effects on the environment.

Investigating Pollutants in the Ecosystem

Portside vs. Fairway Harbor

Students role-play as citizens of a community facing a large influx of phosphorus from a neighboring town.

The Pond

Students test hypothetical samples of soil/water to identify sources of pollution and infer the potential effects of pollution on an ecosystem.

Too Much of a Good Thing? 

Students analyze well water data to determine the cause of a phosphorus plume in an area that caused a devastating fish kill.

Office of Phosphorus

This collaborative research activity introduces students to the governance challenges associated with phosphorus management at the local, state, and federal levels in the United States, through open-ended, exploratory research that allows them to practice identifying, using, and evaluating publicly available resources related to governance.

Gail Jones headshot

Gail Jones

Led by Prof. Gail Jones, STEPS has created a number of instructional materials focused on phosphorus sustainability with the aim of helping educators integrate phosphorus concepts into their science curriculum. Gail Jones is Alumni Distinguished Professor of STEM Education at NC State and a Senior Fellow at the Friday Institute for Educational Innovation. Gail currently teaches preservice and in service teachers and conducts research on virtual reality, nanotechnology and nanoscale science education, and equity in STEM education.

Learn more about Gail Jones.