5

100 minutes
0

5 / 6
Civics and Government, Science

In this lesson, students learn that nuclear energy is powerful enough to send a robot on a scientific mission millions of kilometers (miles) away and to supply large amounts of electricity on Earth with minimal impacts on natural resources. They also learn that harnessing the power of the atom has consequences—some very serious and long-term consequences. Rather than telling students what to think about the issue, the lesson encourages students to research the topic and then debate their peers. The lesson concludes with a discussion designed to help students synthesize their thoughts on the topic.

50 minutes
0

5 / 6
Science

This lesson begins with students learning about natural resources that humans either dig (such as coal) or pump (such oil or natural gas) from the Earth’s crust. Students discuss why these resources are so valuable to us and why we tolerate the many adverse side effects of extracting and using them. They then discuss how renewable energy sources are being used as alternatives in many areas around the world. Next, students simulate a mining experience by digging into a chocolate chip cookie. The experience leads to a rich discussion about safety, fines, rewards, and reclamation.

50 minutes
0

5 / 6
Science

In this lesson, students investigate a particularly difficult type of waste to manage: nuclear waste. They explore the complexities and controversies surrounding this topic by first reviewing some basic pros and cons related to nuclear waste. Next, they conduct a kinesthetic simulation to reiterate benefits and challenges and help them viscerally understand the complexities of the issue. Finally, they have an open discussion to share what they learned and their thoughts about the topic.

100 minutes
0

5 / 6
Science

In this lesson, students learn what electronic waste (e-waste) is and why it is a growing problem for human societies and the environment. Then they work together to brainstorm a way to build awareness and change within the school community and beyond.

150 minutes
0

5 / 6
Civics and Government, Science

In this lesson, students learn about innovations in waste management from communities around the world. Then they work in teams to research options that would solve waste management issues specific to your community. They put together a presentation to promote their chosen option while the other teams role-play community leaders who are charged with selecting the most effective waste management solution for the community. This “city council” then evaluates each presentation and chooses the most compelling option for waste management in your area.

What are some common issues related to waste management?
What are ways that we use our water resources?
160 minutes
0

5 / 6
Environmental Education, Science

In this lesson, students form a scientific understanding of a drought and the conditions that cause it. They also explore the consequences of a drought and identify personal and global actions to help prevent and cope with droughts. Knowledge development in this lesson is self- and co-constructed, as students work together in groups to create a news story that describes a significant historical drought or drought conditions in a nearby region. They present their findings to the class, along with details about actions taken to alleviate the drought and steps they can personally take to use water responsibly.

75 minutes
0

5 / 6
Environmental Education, Mathematics, Reading or Language Arts

In this lesson, students learn about the issue of water waste. They search for water leaks in the school building, apply scientific data-gathering procedures to document their observations, and calculate the long-term effects of any leaks they observe. Students learn the value of having scientific data as they pitch to school administrators recommendations for improvements. They also see that small water leaks like the dripping of a tap, multiplied by millions of dripping faucets, can add up to significant waste and that this waste can easily be reduced or prevented.

50 minutes
4

5 / 6
Civics and Government, Environmental Education, Science

The purpose of this lesson is to help students understand the unique characteristics of water on Earth, including the lack of abundant freshwater resources. They will also explore the many ways they use and depend upon water, how humans are conserving water resources, and why their personal habits related to water matter. The presentation serves as a guide and launching point for multiple discussions and activities that are highlighted in the corresponding Teacher’s Notes.