Stewardship of our natural resources is founded in actions that are learned early in life. There is a great need to expose our youth to the science of the environment using applications that excite and intrigue. Backyard STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathmatics) is an environmental science program that focuses on getting students outside or bringing the outside into the classroom for experiential learning about our environment. These modules were developed for Tennessee 4-H to support the mission of creating the next generation of well-equiped scientists and engineers. Each module addresses Tennssee Standards of Learning and contains a guided inquiry and leaders guide.  They are grouped below by general topic.

Are you near UT-Knoxville campus and have an opportunity to take a field trip?  Visit our UT Gardens Created Wetlands page to find out how to play "Wetland Bingo" and learn all about the life of a wetland.
(Student guide linked with title followed by teachers guide)
​Soil biology
​Soil formation
​Soil texture
Dig In! (W292-C)
​Soil services Soil Web    Leaders Guide     Pictures
​Soil conservation What's Soil Worth?  Leaders Guide
​Soil color The Color of Soil    Leaders Guide
​Soil water holding capacity Sponge Planet  Leaders Guide
​Rain Gardens Rain Gardening  Leaders Guide
Water and Watersheds
Water Cycle 
Nutrient pollution and eutrophication
Ecosystem in a Bottle  Leaders guide
It isn't​ easy being green (W292-D)
​Stormater mapping Stormwater Happens! (W292-E)
Sediments and Water Quality Muddy Water, Woe is Me  Leader's guide
Benthic Macroinvertebrates
Watershed Mapping

Leaf Litter for Dinner  Leaders guide

​Crossword Puzzles: Traveling Tennessee's Natural Resources  

Winding Through Tennessees Watersheds

​Water Chemistry Where's All the O2  Leaders guide

Wildlife and Ecology

​Observations and Inferences
Footprints in the Forest     Puzzles  Leader's guide
​Biodiversity Nature Kaleidoscope  Leaders Guide

​Food Webs


Life As a Chipmunk   Leader's guide

Wonderful Wetlands  Leaders Guide

Other Environmental Science
​Carbon Cycle
Topographical Mapping Making a Mountain Map      Leaders Guide