Fire is no stranger to the Valles Caldera National Preserve and although its impacts can have severe consequences, fire is also important to the health of the forest. Due to the practice of 100% suppression of fire over the major part of the last 100 years the forests have developed a deadly fuel load causing fires to grow in intensity. There is work to be done to bring the forest back to health while preserving life and property. The Fire units will develop important scientific concepts, reveal the impacts of fire on the ecosystem, and involve students in the research taking place in the Valles Caldera National Preserve.

Fire Curriculum Implementation

The units are developed to take students through the basics of fire using the first unit, “Ignition: Las Conchas,” to develop an understanding of the physics and chemistry of fire. After watching the video clip from Valles Caldera: The Science, students are presented with a “Burning Question,” labs, activities, demos, links, and simulations.

The first unit “Ignition: Las Conchas” focuses on matter and Its interactions as developed in the Common Core and the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). The next three units develop the crosscutting concepts by presenting patterns, showing cause and effect, and demonstrating the flow of energy in the Earth Systems.

Throughout the website, each unit has the same structure making it easy to locate the resources and labs. Make sure you start with watching the video clip from Valles Caldera: The Science.