DIRT: Digging into Restoration Technology

About DIRT

Save The Bay's DIRT program engages high school students in the science of tidal marsh restoration in the San Francisco Bay. This program combines service learning and science technology by teaching students to collect soil data including pH, salinity, and soil moisture using handheld SPARK dataloggers. Back in the classroom students can analyze soil data and login to Save The Bay's Virtual Marsh to upload their findings on this innovative citizen science platform.

The DIRT program requirements: minimum 15 and maximum 35 students, grade levels: 9-12, one teacher

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Two-Three Field Trips 
Seasonal field trips allow students to collect data on salinity, pH, soil moisture and other attributes across different seasons while contributing directly to Save the Bay’s Community-Based Restoration efforts. Check out our map of local restoration sites and help recruit more DIRT schools by posting our flyer.

Optional Class Visit 
(one pre-trip)
This classroom lesson is designed to give students background on Bay history and ecology, soil science and the SPARK Data Tool.

Classroom Data Analysis
Teachers will have the option to receive data that can be used during in-class instruction, providing students with a meaningful link between the field and classroom lessons. Students will also be able to see their data’s geographic location in Save the Bay’s Virtual Marsh and on open source programs like Google Earth.

Field testing

Bring Some DIRT Into Your Class

Please select two or more of these lessons to integrate into your classroom to support your students understanding of soil dynamics and data collection.

The following lessons are from Earth Partnership for School's Curriculum and have been adapted for California by Save The Bay educators:

Topography: Measuring Slope
Soil Texture Feel Test
Infiltration Tests: Exploring the Flow of Water Through Soils
Soil Profile Investigations
Soil Studies: Living vs.
Nonliving Examination

View more teacher resources

What Schools Are Saying About DIRT

“This is real engagement. One of the most valuable lessons I see my students taking away from this experience is that we can use science to save the Bay.”
-- Milt Friedman, High School Science teacher, Alameda Community Learning Center

Contact Us

The Restoration Education Staff at Save The Bay looks forward to hearing from you. We are very proud of our DIRT program, eager to answer your questions, and excited to work with you to ensure that students throughout the Bay Area have the opportunity to protect and restore the San Francisco Bay! Please give us a call anytime at 510-463-6805 or email our Restoration Education Specialist at rcardona@savesfbay.org.