These resources have been reviewed and selected by STEM Learning’s team of education specialists for factual accuracy and relevance to teaching STEM subjects in UK schools.

How Polluted?

This field study resource pack encourages students to act as environmental scientists to assess the ‘health’ of a heathland habitat. The resource contains three separate activities that students can complete, depending on the time available and suitability of the site:
• Measuring nitrogen pollution in the soil using chemistry tests.
• Measuring nitrogen pollution in the air using lichens as bio-indicators.
• Investigating heathland vegetation using quadrats to compare the relative abundance of heather and grass species.

A PowerPoint is provided to introduce students to heathlands, explain why they are important and discuss what nitrogen pollution is, where it comes from and how it threatens heathlands. Students can then follow the instructions in the workbooks and answer the questions.
There is also a plant ID guide to help students identify common heathland plants. The example risk assessment gives ideas for formulating teachers' own, site specific risk assessment.

Curriculum links include:
[b]Science:[/b] ecology, interdependence, pollution, bio indicators, nitrogen cycle, soil chemistry, abiotic/biotic factors, quadrats/sampling, human impact on the environment, how science works.
[b]Geography:[/b] ecosystems, human use of the environment, sustainable use of environment.

These resources were written by Dr Amy Rogers and Dr Lauren Gough (OPAL East Midlands, University of Nottingham).

Show health and safety information

Please be aware that resources have been published on the website in the form that they were originally supplied. This means that procedures reflect general practice and standards applicable at the time resources were produced and cannot be assumed to be acceptable today. Website users are fully responsible for ensuring that any activity, including practical work, which they carry out is in accordance with current regulations related to health and safety and that an appropriate risk assessment has been carried out.

Information on the permitted use of this resource is covered by the Category Three Content section in STEM Learning’s Terms and conditions.