Unit Overview 

Raise awareness about the impact of growth (commercial and residential) on the environment, specifically, how impervious surfaces impact the environment. As towns and suburbs grow, the commercial and residential building “landscape footprint” can be harmful to the environment unless carefully planned. Learners become aware of the environmental impact of impervious surfaces and take action as environmental stewards. The unit also illustrates how knowledge of science can inform our decisions and awareness as citizens.

Service Experience 
Learner teams will investigate a microcosm of their community for the purpose of identifying and recommending changes and alternatives to impervious surfaces. Learners act as advocates for the issue of pervious surfaces in the larger community. They design projects to increase permeable surfaces in the community and demonstrate their responsibility for the environment. They may choose to do one project with the entire class or groups may take on smaller projects.
Lessons in This Unit 
Unit: 
Pondering the Impermeable
Lesson 2 of 3
Grades: 
9
10
11
12

The purpose of this unit is to raise awareness about the impact of growth (commercial and residential) on the environment, specifically, how impervious surfaces impact the environment. Learners explore the impact of some of the following factors on the environment: population density, land development, transportation, and impervious surfaces. Effects on the environment include pollution, increase in temperature (urban heat islands), water and soil degradation, deforestation, flooding, and reduced species diversity.

Unit: 
Pondering the Impermeable
Lesson 3 of 3
Grades: 
9
10
11
12

Learners measure and calculate impervious/pervious areas. They utilize their knowledge of the environmental impact of impervious surfaces to propose alternative solutions in their community. Students propose a service-learning project to raise awareness or take action about reducing impervious surfaces in the community. This lesson includes reflection and a final demonstration.