Title of Project/Unit: 100% Recyclable
Subject: Social Studies, Science, Healthy, & Communications
Grade Level: Middle School (7th Grade)
Abstract: The unit
begins in the fall and will last about six weeks.
- Students will rely on working in collaborative groups
in order to share information and problem solve.
- Students will us the Internet and e-mail to communicate
with as many other schools as possible across the country.
This unit will be part of an interdisciplinary unit to
- Science: the study of waste, recycling & ecology
- Social Studies: how communities and groups of people
historically handled waste and waste products, how native
- Americans re-cycled, how we became a 'disposable' society.
- Health: what are the benefits of recycling, what are
the hazards of waste to one's health
- Communications: the use of the Internet and e-mail to
collaborate with other schools & communities in the U.S.
Students will be challenged to develop a school-wide recycling
program. The challenge will be for everyone; students, teachers, administrators
and especially the cafeteria and lunch program to re-cycle waste products.
Students will form teams to investigate waste, and waste management. They
will also contact other schools throughout the country (via e-mail) and
collect data on school recycling programs. Do they exist? How are they managed?
What percentage of waste has to be hauled away? What are the costs for running
such a program? The teams will be encouraged to develop a Total School Recycle
Program to either internally handle waste, or to find resources that will
productively utilize waste products. This will involve investigating the
means of disposing or recycling all the waste generated from their school
building. Can it be done?
A list of questions will be used to assess other schools
in the country. A data base to keep track of responses will be kept. Community
and local resources will be explored for possible solutions to the problem.
Learner Description/Environment: Learners
will be heterogeneously grouped students working collaboratively in groups
of 3 or 4. To complete the communications part of this project, students
will use the computer lab with internet and e-mail access.
Time Frame: Students
will work on the project 40 minutes a day, every day for 6 weeks.
- We must educate students on the continuing need for ecological awareness,
the problems associated with waste products of all types and the need for
a community to come together to solve it's problems.
- This project will be incorporated into an interdisciplinary unit on
- This project will engage students by presenting them with a real-life
authentic problem from which solutions will benefit not only their school
environment, but the larger community and possibly extending globally.
- Students will be engaged in solving a real-life problem that continues
to plague many communities. Students will be responsible for the development
of a plan that will effect the greater community.
- The technology is necessary for a number of reasons. Connections to
other schools nationally will be necessary to gain information and possible
solutions. The WWW is our resource to modern day businesses that work with
waste and waste management. This type of information is more readily available
via the internet.
- Learner Outcomes:
After completing this unit, the student will be able to:
- 1. discuss options to recycling
- 2. recognize recyclable and non-recyclable products
- 3. gain an appreciation for the dynamics of waste management and recycling
- 4. discuss the impact of waste on the environment
- 5. be able to give at least 3 alternatives to trashing and using land
- 6. be proficient in collecting data, and using that data to generate
ideas and possible solution to a problem
- 7. to have a viable recycling plan for their school building
- 8. to articulate their plan to the community
Alignment with Illinois Learning Standards:
- 10.B.3 Formulate questions, devise and conduct experiments or simulations,
gather data, draw conclusions and communicate results to an audience using
traditional method and contemporary technologies.
- 10.C.3b Analyze problem situations and make predictions about results
- 11: Understand the processes of scientific inquiry and technological
design to investigate questions, conduct experiments and solve problems.
- 11.A.3a Formulate hypotheses that can be tested by collecting data
- 11.A.3c Collect and record data accurately using consistent measuring
and recording techniques and media
- 11.B.3a Identify an actual design problem and establish criteria for
determining the success of a solution
- 11.B.3b Sketch, propose and compare design solutions to the problem
considering available materials, tools, cost effectiveness and safety.
- 12: Understand the fundamental concepts, principals and interconnections
of the life, physical and earth/space sciences.
- 12.E.3c Evaluate the biodegradability of renewable and nonrenewable
- 13: Understand the relationships among science, technology and society
in historical and contemporary contexts.
- 13.B.3f Apply classroom-developed criteria to determine the effects
of policies on local science and technology issues (e.g. energy consumption,
landfills, water quality).
- Social Science
- 17: Understand world geography and the effects of geography on society,
with an emphasis on the u.s.
- 17.B.3b Explain how changes in components of an ecosystem affect the
- Physical Development and Health
- 22.C.3a Identify potential environmental conditions that may affect
the health of the local community (e.g. pollution, landfill, lead-based
- 22.C.3b Develop potential solutions to address environmental problems
that affect the local community's health.
Structure of the Learning:
Content: Students will build a knowledge base regarding waste
products, recycling and the environment. Students will go through a process.
The process will involve these steps: assessment of a problem situation,
collaboration with other students across the nation, compilation of data
and brainstorming of a possible solution, and presentation of that solution.
Process: The problem of waste management and recycling will be
introduced to students. In a scenario that entails them becoming investigators,
they must come to a solution to a real-world problem concerning their immediate
school environment. Each stage of the process will be evaluated as the
Product: The end product will be the whole school recycling plan.
This plan will be shared with the community at large. It will incorporate
both self generated ideas and ideas gained from collaboration with other
Alignment with Standards and Assessments:
Learning Standards: Math 10.C.3b, Science 11.A.3c
Assessment: Data Collection Data Base - The students will Design
a Data Base to Collect Data from other schools. As students contact other
schools, a data base with fields for name address, and information concerning
school recycling programs will be kept.
Assessment: Daily Journals - Students will keep daily journals
regarding the process of investigation, research, data collection and overall
progress of this problem-solving project.
Learning Standards: Science 12 and 12.E.3c
Assessment: Production Posters - Throughout the project the students
will keep track of recycle products on large posters hung around the room.
The students will keep data on types of products generated in the school
environment, list possible solutions to disposal and the relationship of
the disposal to the environment.
Learning Standards: Science 13 and 13.B.3f, Math 10.B.3, Physical
Development and Health 22.C.3b
Assessment: Multimedia Presentation of Whole School Recycling Plan
- Students will use a presentation program (Hyper Studio or Power Point)
to present their overall project and a Plan for recycling for the entire
school community. This presentation will be shared with administrators,
school board members and the community at large.
Project/Unit Evaluation: See Rubric
Created for the Fermilab
LInC program sponsored by Fermi National
Accelerator Laboratory Education Office,
Friends of Fermilab, United States Department of Energy, Illinois State Board of Education, and
North Central Regional Technology in Education
Consortium (NCRTEC) which is operated by North
Central Regional Educational Laboratory (NCREL).