- Review Process
- Take Action
- A project of
In this STEM activity the students are issued a challenge of creating a useful item out of an assortment of "trash" and recycled items provided by the teacher. The activity is rendered more complex by the limited availability of bonding materials such as tape, hot glue and string. The students are encouraged to look at items that are thrown away in a new light and finding a new purpose for them. Students are further prompted to consider the problems with growing landfills, and efforts by engineers and others to reduce pollution, emissions, and trash production.
The resource teaches the students to calculate their ecological footprint.
This resource has the following strengths:
The resource has the following weaknesses:
This lesson would be a great wrap up activity for a unit of global warming and recycling. It is best suited for students in upper elementary and middle school who can use their experiences to invent an idea for the recycled materials.
The following tool will allow you to explore the relevant curriculum matches for this resource. To start, select a province listed below.
|Consideration of Alternative Perspectives||Good|
|Consideration of Alternative Perspectives: |
|Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions||Good|
The main focus of the resource in on the environmental aspect of the issue of trash and recycling. Teachers using this resource will need to supplement the discussions with the aspects of economic and social issues that interplay with the amount of trash used by society and found in the landfills.
|Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions: |
Effectively addresses the environmental, economic and social dimensions of the issue(s) being explored.
In the material provided, there is a information that provides a good overview of the issue.
|Respects Complexity: |
The complexity of the problems/issues being discussed is respected.
|Acting on Learning||Satisfactory|
This activity could be used as a springboard to initiate a club that looks for ways to use discarded school items in innovative ways around the school.
|Acting on Learning: |
Learning moves from understanding issues to working towards positive change — in personal lifestyle, in school, in the community, or for the planet
Opportunities are provided for the students to share their ideas for design with the emphasis being on that there are no "silly ideas".
|Values Education: |
Students are explicitly provided with opportunities to identify, clarify and express their own beliefs/values.
|Empathy & Respect for Humans||Poor/Not considered|
This is not a focus of this particular resource.
|Empathy & Respect for Humans: Empathy and respect are fostered for diverse groups of humans (including different genders, ethnic groups, sexual preferences, etc.).|
|Personal Affinity with Earth||Satisfactory|
The resource suggests to lead the class in a discussion of the importance of reducing pollution due to global climate changes and how recycling efforts can help.
|Personal Affinity with Earth: |
Encourages a personal affinity with -the natural world.
As every community has a waste disposal system, this learning experience is easily made relevant to the lives of the learners with an effort on the teacher's part.
|Locally-Focused Learning: |
Includes learning experiences that take advantage of issues/elements within the local community.
|Past, Present & Future||Good|
In the materials provided, clear descriptions of the problems are discussed and a positive vision as to what engineers are doing to help lessen the problem of waste is shared.
|Past, Present & Future: Promotes an understanding of the past, a sense of the present, and a positive vision for the future.|
|Open-Ended Instruction||Very Good|
The students are given the materials and encouraged to build something of their own design.
Lessons are structured so that multiple/complex answers are possible; students are not steered toward one 'right' answer.
|Integrated Learning: |
Learning brings together content and skills from more than one subject area
|Inquiry Learning: |
Learning is directed by questions, problems, or challenges that students work to address.
|Differentiated Instruction: |
Activities address a range of student learning styles, abilities and readiness.
|Experiential Learning: |
Authentic learning experiences are provided
|Cooperative Learning: |
Group and cooperative learning strategies are a priority.
|Assessment & Evaluation||Good|
There are pre-activity and post-activity assessment suggestions for the teacher.
|Assessment & Evaluation: Tools are provided that help students and teachers to capture formative and summative information about students' learning and performance. These tools may include reflection questions, checklists, rubrics, etc.|
The students present their recycled item to their classmates. It is emphasized that everyone share equally in the presentation.
|Peer Teaching: |
Provides opportunities for students to actively present their knowledge and skills to peers and/or act as teachers and mentors.
There is a link provided to the "PBS Trash to Treasure" competition where the students can learn about the project of one student who designed a "Home Dome" from recycled materials. This dome could be used as a temporary housing shelter for the homeless.
|Case Studies: |
Relevant case studies are included. Case studies are thorough descriptions of real events from real situations that students use to explore concepts in an authentic context.
|Locus of Control||Good|
|Locus of Control: Meaningful opportunities are provided for students to choose elements of program content, the medium in which they wish to work, and/or to go deeper into a chosen issue.|