College Environmental Science Instructor Guide - PS-3809A



PASCO's College Environmental Science Instructor Guide is designed by environmental science educators to help teach students through guided inquiry and covers major environmental science topics through 26 challenging experiments.

Topics covered include:

  • Earth Systems and Resources
  • The Living World
  • Population
  • Energy Resources and Consumption
  • Pollution


Supports effective student learning:

  • Make predictions before data sets are collected
  • Use critical thinking skills to answer embedded questions in each activity
  • Multiple choice questions bridge the gap between lecture and lab, and help students gain confidence for exams
  • Extended inquiry suggestions allow for further investigations


  • Flash Drive containing editable MS Word version of student handouts
  • PDF of full teacher edition
  • Convenient spiral-bound binder of full teacher edition
  • Experiments

    Earth Systems and Resources

    Determine Soil Quality

    Use a carbon dioxide gas sensor, a pH sensor, and a conductivity sensor to analyze the capacity of soil to support plant growth by examining the physical, chemical, and biological characteristics of different types of soil.

    Insolation & the Seasons

    Use a stainless steel temperature sensor to measure the temperature of a solar panel positioned at different angles relative to the sun in order to determine how the earth's tilt and rotation around the sun is related to climate and the seasons.

    Investigating Specific Heat

    Use fast-response temperature probes and stainless steel temperature sensors to determine and compare the specific heat of water to that of sand, as a model of land, and consider the effects of these differences on global weather and climate.

    Monitoring Microclimates

    Use a weather/anemometer sensor to identify factors that affect measurements for reporting weather and climate information.

    Plate Tectonics

    Use My World GIS to analyze evidence supporting the theory of plate tectonics by studying data of fossil and glacier deposits, elevation and bathymetry, seafloor age, and earthquake and volcano locations. **Requires My World GIS License.

    Sunlight Intensity and Reflectivity

    Use a light sensor, a fast-response temperature probe, and a stainless steel temperature probe to explore the concept that air temperatures near the earth's surface result largely from the interplay of the sun's incoming energy and the absorption, reflection, and radiation of that energy by materials on the earth's surface.

    Urbanization and Land Use

    Use a weather sensor to examine physical and environmental factors that influence an area's weather. **Requires My World GIS License.

    Water Treatment

    Use pH, conductivity, and turbidity sensors to demonstrate how water treatment processes such as filtration, flocculation, and sedimentation improve water quality.

    The Living World

    Biodiversity and Invasive Species

    Use the light sensor, temperature sensor, GPS position sensor, and My World GIS to collect and analyze field data in order to monitor local invasive species of plants and animals. **Requires My World GIS License.

    Biodiversity and Native Species

    Use the light sensor, temperature sensor, GPS position sensor, and My World GIS to collect and analyze field data in order to monitor local native species of plants and animals. **Requires My World GIS License.

    Cellular Respiration and Carbon Cycle

    Use a carbon dioxide sensor to compare the respiration of dormant bean sees with germinating bean seeds, and to observe the contribution of cellular respiration to the global carbon cycle.

    Ecological Niche: Coral Reefs

    Use My World GIS to predict which regions of the world satisfy the basic requirements of temperature, salinity, and water depth for coral reef growth. **Requires My World GIS License.

    Modeling an Ecosystem

    Use a variety of sensors to explore the use of terrariums as a closed system for environmental studies, designing ways to explore the interrelationships of biotic and abiotic structures in ecosystems.

    Photosynthesis and Cell Respiration in a Terrarium

    Use an oxygen sensor, a carbon dioxide sensor, and a temperature sensor to demonstrate that a terrarium, as a closed system, is an excellent tool for conducting environmental studies and to design additional investigations on photosynthesis and cellular respiration.

    Photosynthesis and Primary Productivity

    Use a dissolved oxygen sensor to determine the primary productivity of an aquatic plant.

    Pollution and Harmful Algal Blooms

    Use My World GIS software to investigate the life cycle, causes, and effects of an algal bloom. **Requires My World GIS License.

    Weather in a Terrarium

    Use a weather sensor and light sensor in a terrarium to conduct and design an investigation of weather, using this closed system to help identify independent variables, dependent variables, and controlled variables.

    Yeast Respiration

    Use a dissolved oxygen sensor, a carbon dioxide sensor, and the EcoChamber™ to analyze aerobic and anaerobic respiration by yeast cells.


    Human Populations Dynamics

    Use My World GIS to examine the relationships between life expectancy, infant mortality rate, fertility rate, illiteracy rate, per capita income, and population growth. **Requires My World GIS License.

    Survivorship and Mortality Curves: Cemetery Dynamics

    Use a GPS position sensor to analyze data, obtained from a cemetery, for historical survivorship trends, including determining the life spans of people in the area and how these have changed over time. **Requires My World GIS License.

    Energy Resources and Consumption

    Energy Content of Food

    Use a fast response temperature sensor to investigate and compare the energy content of four different food items: marshmallow, popcorn, peanut, and cashew.

    Global Resources and Energy Consumption

    Use My World GIS to investigate the global energy resource economy by analyzing data to determine the global distribution and use of energy resources including fossil fuels, hydroelectricity, and renewable energy sources. **Requires My World GIS License.

    Wind Power - Where Do We Build?

    Use My World GIS to study the feasibility of developing wind power in various cities in the United States. **Requires My World GIS License.


    Acid Deposition and Natural Water Bodies

    Use My World GIS and student-collected data from the GLOBE project to discern patterns of acidic pH measurements, particularly in cities in the United States. **Requires My World GIS License.

    Air Pollution & Acid Rain

    Use a pH sensor to investigate chemical reactions important in the formation of acid rain to understand the relationship between man-made emissions, acid rain, and problems arising from acid rain.

    Monitoring Water Quality

    Use a water quality sensor, turbidity sensor, and weather/anemometer sensor to monitor the pH, dissolved oxygen content, conductivity, and turbidity of a natural body of water, determining how water quality changes in response to changes in environmental factors.

    Toxicology Using Yeast

    Use a carbon dioxide gas sensor and a pH sensor to evaluate the role of pH in toxicity and the role of cell culture in toxicology studies.

    Buying Guide

    Add a Probeware Bundle

    Provides all of the sensors necessary to complete the activities in the College Environmental Science Instructor Guide. We recommend one probeware bundle for each lab group.

    Interface Required

    To use this product you need a PASCO interface. 

    New to probeware or have questions about  sensors or interfaces? Contact Teacher and Technical Support.  We're here to help!

    Software Required

    This product requires or recommends PASCO software for data collection and analysis. Either SPARKvue software or PASCO Capstone software may be used.