Educational Resources

The SBAR Education Team works with educators and SBAR Graduate Fellows in New Mexico and Arizona. Educators are selected to participate in a year-long partnership with a science or education graduate student who works in their classroom and supports the development and implementation of lessons related to SBAR, focusing on arid lands, agriculture, bioeconomies and sustainability.  The resources below were adapted and/or developed by graduate students and SBAR Educators with support from the SBAR Education Team.  Complete lessons and other resources are provided that can supplement existing classroom lessons. We hope you find these resources useful.

Lesson Plans

SBAR Lesson Plans were collaboratively created by educators, graduate fellows and SBAR staff. Where noted, some of the following are adaptations of previously published lessons. We look forward to educators using these lessons in their own communities and contexts.

Agriculture in Arid Regions PowerPoint

Agriculture in Arid Regions: An Introduction

Author: Arisbeth Ibarra Nieblas, Melissa Wilburn, and Corey Knox

Subject/Class: Science

Grade Level: 6-8th grade

Summary: In this lesson, students are introduced to the importance of agriculture in Arizona and the factors that influence what crops are grown and the resources involved (water). Students participate in activities and discussions related to choices and factors that must be considered from both an economic and environmental perspective related to land use and agriculture.

Lesson Components

Guayule in a Bottle PowerPoint

Guayule in a Bottle

Adapted from Teaching Engineering: Biodomes Engineering Design Project

Author: Holly Barton, M.S., and Priscilla Fischback

Subject: Science, engineering

Grades: 6-8th grade

Summary: In this one to two week lesson, students conduct an experiment comparing a high water use seed/seedling and a low water/drought-resistant plant (Guayule).  Other low water use plants can be used in place of Guayule if it isn’t available.  Through this experiment, students make connections to water use and sustainable agriculture in arid lands.

Lesson Components

What and Why of Deserts lesson plan

What and Why of Deserts

Author: Traci Klein and Matthew Katterman

Subject: Science

Grade Level: 6-8th grade

Summary:  This lesson explains what a desert is and describes contributors to the creation of deserts, such as Hadley Cells and the rain shadow effect. It includes an experiment to demonstrate how temperature affects density and the flow of the atmosphere.

Lesson Components

Plant Adaptations for Arid Lands

Plant Adaptations for Arid Lands

Author: Traci Klein and Matthew Katterman

Subject: Science

Grades: 6th-8th

Summary: This lesson introduces students to the idea of biological adaptation and explains how plants adapt to a desert environment. Students will get to create their own imaginary plant that is adapted to the desert.

Lesson Components:



Expand education video categories below or access all SBAR Videos on the Energy Solutions for the University of Arizona YouTube Channel 

SBAR Interview with Ms. Valentina “Tina” Andrews

SBAR Interview with Dr. Diaa El-Shikha

SBAR Interview with Dr. Dennis Ray

SBAR Interview with Dr. Dave Dierig

SBAR Interview with Mr. Blase Evancho

SBAR Interview with Dr. Catherine Brewer


Sustainable Bioeconomy for Arid Regions in the Classroom, Jaime Camero

SBAR Ecological Sampling Activity, Melissa Wilburn & Arisbeth Ibarra Nieblas


SBAR Teacher + Fellow Partnerships: Educating for the Future

SBAR Guardians of the Biosphere

Presentation at the Sky Bar, Ashton Leo