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100% Recyclable

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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 combine:

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 Recycling.
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 fills
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 natural resources.
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 system overall.
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 paint).
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 project progresses.

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 schools.

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 Page

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).


Author(s): Mary A. Warren
School:  Lemont-Bromberek S.D. 113, Lemont, IL  60439
Created: May 14, 1998- Updated: May 15, 1998
URL: /lincon/w98/projects/mwarren/present.htm