XenophonPhoto Credit: Susan ChapmanDaVinciPhoto Credit: Tim McCabe, USDA-NRCSFullerPacific Northwest National LaboratoryLeopoldPhoto Credit: David WrightLoganSIMBIOS Centre, Abertay UnivXenophanesPhoto Credit: Donald G. McGahanPhoto Credit: Garey FoxChief SeattlePhoto Credit: SSSA – Soil

Soils Sustain Life

Soil is the reservoir on which most life on earth depends, as the primary source of food, feed, fuel, forage, fiber, and pharmaceuticals.

Soil plays a vital role in sustaining human welfare and assuring future agricultural productivity and environmental stability. The study of soil as a science has provided us with a basic understanding of the physical, chemical, and biological properties and processes essential to such a complex ecosystem.

The Soil Science Society of America (SSSA) is a professional scientific society, made up of soil scientists, educators, and consultants focused on promoting soil science, including enhancing soils topics in schools. For more information about us, contact us. SSSA is pleased to provide teachers with these Soil Essentials:


Webinar for Educators- Soils: Foundation for Life

We recently held a free webinar Soils: Foundation for Life that dug into the basics of soil!  The webinar has been recorded and posted with many valuable resources - including the accompanying powerpoint that can be downloaded and adapted for your classroom.   Learn what soil is, how it forms, and how it affects our lives every day through hands-on activities for the classroom. The webinar was presented by professional members of the Soil Science Society of America, and hosted by NESTA.  Click on the image below to access the resources!



National Science Teachers Association Conference

Click here for more information on something you saw at NSTA's 2018 National Conference.


NEW! State Soil Booklets

View an interactive map that features state soil booklets!


International Year of Soils

IYS logoThe Soil Science Society of America coordinated with the Global Soil Partnership and other organizations around the world to celebrate the 2015 International Year of Soils to raise awareness and promote the sustainability of our limited soil resources. During the International Year of Soils, SSSA had monthly themes that reflect the diverse value of soils to our natural environment and society.

Visit the International Year of Soils page for more information.




As part of our partnership with the National Association of Conservation Districts and the Smithsonian Institution, materials were developed entitled Dig It! The Secrets of Soil. Please visit their education site for additional resources.


Earth Science Week Activity Materials are also available from current and past Earth Science Weeks!


Follow the Lesson Plans and Activities links for more ideas and plans.


Click here for a list of interesting quotes about soil.

Available Resources

Looking for useful tools to assist in the soil education of your class? SSSA has numerous resources to help you talk to students about soils:

Please let us know the grades you teach, how you plan to use the materials, and how many of each item you would like shipped. Requests may be emailed to membership@soils.org. Note that due to limited resources, we may limit quantities.


SSSA Members -

Interested in volunteering for our Ask a Soil Scientist program? Visit our sign-up page (login required) to register and select your areas of interest/expertise, location, and if you are available for classroom visits in your area.

If you have a classroom visit scheduled and need ideas, view our Soils in the Classroom ideas document (designed for grads 9-12 but easilty adapted).

Have questions about K-12 teacher resources? Please Contact Us!