Getting to the Core: Understanding Lakes through Sediment Coring

This curriculum was developed through a collaboration between members of the STEM Education Center and the Limnology Research Center LacCore Facility at the University of Minnesota. The lessons and activities are based on our experiences working with middle school, high school, and college students and teachers to learn how scientists study lakes and what we can learn from these studies.


The curriculum consists of 5 activities that explore features of lakes, lakes as systems, mapping of lakes, engineering tools to study lakes, and examining lake core sediments to learn about the history of a lake.  The activities address national and state science standards related to lakes, water cycles, and natural systems and resources. It


This curriculum has been reviewed and recommended by the NASA Earth & Space Science Education Product Review. If you have questions, comments, or would like to request additional professional development on using these materials, please contact Gillian Roehrig (


Target Audience/Grade Level:

Formal and informal Earth science, environmental science, and biology classes

Grades 7-10 (primary audience); Grades 11-14 (with modifications)


Class Time:

2-3 weeks, depending on class length



Curriculum Guide-Getting to the Core (PDF)

Appendices (Powerpoint, Word, PDF)


Download Files:

Curriculum Guide-Getting to the Core

Appendix A – Lake Information Search Handout

Appendix B – Types of Lakes

Appendix C – State of Flux Lake Images

Appendix D – Bathymetry Maps of Lakes

Appendix E – Lake McCarrons Sediment Core Image

Appendix F – Lake McCarrons Activity Handout

Appendix G – Lake McCarrons Historical Data

Appendix H – Lake Stratification and Chemistry

Appendix I – Lake Coring Devices

Appendix J – PrePost Assessment

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.