Digging Deeper Soils resource

The Nova Scotia Department of Agriculture has a resource for Grade 7 and 8 Science teachers exploring the properties of soil and the effects of agricultural practices on the environment and climate. Classrooms will receive a lesson plan with curriculum connections, student-facing inquiry guides, inquiry materials and soil defenders video series.

Learners will engage in a series of guided inquiries to analyze several properties of soil and how these soil properties impact and are impacted by agricultural practices. Soil is the foundation of food production around the world but can negatively impact the environment through erosion. Under different management practices, soil can be a source of greenhouse gas emissions, or it can capture carbon, removing it from the atmosphere. Learners will consider the concept of Netukulimk as they examine the ecological role of soil and how human activities impact soil’s ecological functions.

Background information on soil and the impact of farming practices is provided as well as detailed instructions for leading learners in the guided inquiries. Soil samples will be provided by Agriculture in the Classroom, and students will take measurements using PASCO CO2, conductivity, and temperature probes.

Digging Deeper Program provides:

  • lesson plan with curriculum connections to grade 7 and 8 science, background information, guiding questions and a list of online resources
  • student-facing inquiry guides
  • inquiry materials: soil samples, an online map of sample locations, pH litmus paper, and cover crop seeds
  • Soil Defenders video series developed by Agriculture in the Classroom – Nova Scotia, featuring interviews with soil conservation experts in the province, highlighting potential careers
  • staff support to answer questions

Teachers should take into consideration:

  • The inquiries will require the use of PASCO CO2, conductivity and temperature probes
  • Some of the experiment materials are not provided (however they are low cost)
  • Agriculture in the Classroom- Nova Scotia will provide participating teachers with 8 soil samples (approximately 250 mL sample). Soil should be field moist at the time the inquiries take place. They will be shipped to classrooms before September 30 and can be stored in a refrigerator to preserve field moisture and used at any time of the school year.

This program is also available in French.


Grade 7 and 8 Science teachers in Nova Scotia public schools are eligible to apply. Private schools will be accepted based on resource availability.

How to apply

  1. Determine if the Digging Deeper Program is a good fit for your classroom.
  2. Complete the application form by 15 September.
  3. The Department of Agriculture will review all applications.
  4. Teachers will be contacted after 15 September with approximately delivery dates.

How long it takes

Teachers will be notified within 5 business days that their application has been received and will be provided with the resources prior to 30 September.


There is no cost to participate in this program.

Before you start/apply

Make sure your school principal is aware of your intention to apply to the program and supports your participation.

Apply online

Start now

Other ways to apply

If you are unable to apply online, contact the Agricultural Education office at 902-893-6575 or

Contact Information

Agricultural Education Office
74 Research Dr.
Bible Hill, NS B6L 2R2

Phone: 902-893-6575