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CLEAN, Science Education Resource Center at Carleton College


11th, 12th, AP® / College


Science, Social Studies, Earth and Space Sciences, Economics, Mathematics

Resource Types

  • Lesson Plans, 180 minutes
  • Presentation Slides
  • Activity - Classroom
  • Worksheets
  • Interactive Media
  • Videos, 2 minutes, 19 seconds
  • Charts, Graphs, and Tables

Regional Focus



Microsoft Word, Microsoft Powerpoint

Sustainability Metrics

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  • This lesson explores multiple socioeconomic factors that can influence a country's sustainability, different ways to measure a nation's sustainability, and the level of sustainability in various countries around the world.
  • Students will engage with an interactive tool, interpret and build graphs, and compare the sustainability metrics of various countries.
Teaching Tips


  • This lesson motivates students to think critically about sustainability.
  • There is an instructional video for using the interactive tool.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Students need to have an intermediate level of understanding of the term sustainability, so defining the term and discussing interpretations prior to the lesson may be beneficial.
  • If you click links in this lesson plan you won't be taken to a new tab, so right-click to open them in a new tab.
  • Students will need access to devices and the Internet to complete this lesson.


  • This lesson could fit within a larger unit on how various societies and cultures interact with each other and with their environment.
  • This lesson could accompany a brainstorming session where students consider different ways to promote sustainability in their own community.
  • This lesson could support a classroom discussion on the cultural and political factors that can impact a country's sustainability.
  • This lesson could enhance a classroom discussion on how the American government could improve sustainability within the country.
Scientist Notes
This tool and module will help students explore environmental impacts across the globe. Everything in this module is well sourced and all of the links within it direct you to accurate and reputable information. This resource is recommended for teaching.

This resource addresses the listed standards. To fully meet standards, search for more related resources.

  • Mathematics
    • Functions: Interpreting Functions (9-12)
      • HSF.IF.B.6 Calculate and interpret the average rate of change of a function (presented symbolically or as a table) over a specified interval. Estimate the rate of change from a graph.
  • Science
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • HS-ESS3-3. Create a computational simulation to illustrate the relationships among the management of natural resources, the sustainability of human populations, and biodiversity.
      • HS-ESS3-4. Evaluate or refine a technological solution that reduces impacts of human activities on natural systems.
  • Related Resources


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