In this lesson, students expand their understanding of solid waste management to include the idea of 3RC (reduce, reuse, recycle and compost). They will look at the effects of packaging decisions (reducing) and learn about engineering advancements in packaging materials and solid waste management. Also, they will observe biodegradation in a model landfill (composting).
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Students conduct a simple experiment to model and explore the harmful effects of acid rain (vinegar) on living (green leaf and eggshell) and non-living (paper clip) objects.
Students are introduced to the differences between acids and bases and how to use indicators, such as pH paper and red cabbage juice, to distinguish between them.
By watching and performing several simple experiments, students develop an understanding of the properties of air: it has mass, it takes up space, it can move, it exerts pressure, it can do work.
Using gumdrops and toothpicks, students conduct a large-group, interactive ozone depletion model. Students explore the dynamic and competing upper atmospheric roles of the protective ozone layer, the sun's UV radiation and harmful human-made CFCs (chlorofluorocarbons).
Students observe and discuss a simple balloon model of an electrostatic precipitator to better understand how this pollutant recovery method functions in cleaning industrial air pollution.
Students explore the concept of biodegradability by building and observing model landfills to test the decomposition of samples of everyday garbage items. They collect and record experiment observations over five days, seeing for themselves what happens to trash when it is thrown "away" in a landfill environment. This shows them the difference between biodegradable and non-biodegradable and serves to introduce them to the idea of composting. Students also learn about the role of engineering in solid waste management.
Students learn the meaning of preservation and conservation and identify themselves and others as preservationists or conservationists in relation to specific environmental issues. They use Venn diagrams to clarify the similarities and differences in viewpoints. They see how an environmental point-of-view affects the approach to an engineering problem.
By tracing the movement of radiation released during an accident at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, students see how air pollution, like particulate matter, can become a global issue.
In this activity, students investigate different methods (aeration and filtering) for removing pollutants from water. They will design and build their own water filters.
Students use a sponge and water model to explore the concept of relative humidity and create a percent scale.
In this activity, students create a "web" to identify and demonstrate the interactions among the living and non-living parts of an environment. This information allows students to better understand what an environment is and to also consider how engineers use teamwork to solve problems.
Air is one of Earth's most precious resources, and we need to take care of it in order to preserve the environment and protect human health. To this end, students develop their understanding of visible air pollutants with an incomplete combustion demonstration, a "smog in a jar" demonstration, and by building simple particulate matter collectors.
Students build and observe a simple aneroid barometer to learn about changes in barometric pressure and weather forecasting.
This lesson introduces students to the concepts of air pollution and technologies that have been developed by engineers to reduce air pollution. Students develop an understanding of visible air pollutants with an incomplete combustion demonstration, a "smog in a jar" demonstration, construction of simple particulate matter collectors and by exploring engineering roles related to air pollution. Next, students develop awareness and understanding of the daily air quality and trends in air quality using the Air Quality Index (AQI) listed in the newspaper. Finally, students build and observe a variety of simple models in order to develop an understanding of how engineers use these technologies to clean up and prevent air pollution.
Students observe demonstrations, and build and evaluate simple models to understand the greenhouse effect and the role of increased greenhouse gas concentration in global warming.
In this lesson, students will learn about types of land use by humans and evaluate the ways land is used in their local community. They will also consider the environmental effects of the different types of land use. Students will assume the role of community planning engineers and will create a future plan for their community. (Note: Teachers will need to check out the following book from the local or school library: Durell, Ann, Craighead George, Jean, and Paterson, Katherine. The Big Book For Our Planet, New York: Dutton Children's Books, 1993).
Students develop an understanding of air pressure by using candy or cookie wafers to model how it changes with altitude, by comparing its magnitude to gravitational force per unit area, and by observing its magnitude with an aluminum can crushing experiment.
Students develop their understanding of the effects of invisible air pollutants with a rubber band air test, a bean plant experiment and by exploring engineering roles related to air pollution. In an associated literacy activity, students develop visual literacy and write photograph captions. They learn how images are manipulated for a powerful effect and how a photograph can make the invisible (such as pollutants) visible. Note: You may want to set up the activities for Air Pollution unit, Lessons 2 and 3, simultaneously as they require extended data collection time and can share collection sites.
In this activity, students will simulate the equal and unequal distribution of our renewable resources. Also, they will consider the impact of our increasing population upon these resources and how engineers develop technologies to create resources.
Students are introduced to the concept of an environment and the interactions within it through written and hands-on webbing activities. They also learn about environmental engineering careers and the roles of these engineers in our society.
Students will brainstorm ways that they use and waste natural resources. Also, they will respond to some facts about population growth and how people use petroleum. Lastly, students will consider the different ways that engineers interact with and use our natural resources.
In this activity, students will conduct a survey to identify the environmental issues (in their community, their country and the world) for which people are concerned. They will tally and graph the results. Also, students will discuss how surveys are important when engineers make decisions about environmental issues.
In this activity, students will learn to identify different opinions related to an issue as well as the things (information, values and beliefs) that influence those opinions. They will use an opinion spectrum to analyze the range of opinions in their classroom on environmental issues and understand how these spectrums can be valuable to engineering design.
Student teams model the Earth's greenhouse effect using modeling clay, ice chunks, water, aluminum pie tins and plastic wrap. They observe and record what happens in this closed environment and discuss the implications of global warming theory for engineers, themselves and the Earth.
Students explore the concept of "reducing" solid waste and how it relates to product packaging and engineering advancements in packaging materials. They read about and evaluate the highly publicized packaging decisions of two major U.S. corporations. Then they evaluate different ways to package items in order to minimize the environmental impact, while considering issues such as cost, availability, product attractiveness, etc. In addition, students explore "hydropulping" and consider its use as a recycling process.
This lesson will introduce students to environmental issues. Students will recognize environmental opinions and perspective, which will help them define themselves and others as either preservationists or conservationists. Students also learn about the importance of teamwork in engineering.
Students identify types and sources of indoor air pollutants in their school and home environments. They evaluate actions that can be taken to reduce and prevent poor indoor air quality. In an associated literacy activity, students develop a persuasive peer-to-peer case against smoking with the goal to understand how language usage can influence perception, attitudes and behavior.
In this lesson, students develop an understanding of the critical role communication plays in an engineer's life. Students create products to communicate their learning about the engineering role in the environment.
Students observe and discuss a vacuum cleaner model of a baghouse to better understand how this pollutant recovery method functions in cleaning industrial air pollution.
Students observe demonstrations, and build and evaluate simple models to understand the greenhouse effect, the role of increased greenhouse gas concentration in global warming, and the implications of global warming theory for engineers, themselves and the Earth. In an associated literacy activity, students learn how a bill becomes law and research global warming legislation.
Students observe and discuss a cup and pencil model of a cyclone to better understand the science behind how this pollutant recovery method functions in cleaning industrial air pollution.
Students make Moebius strips and use them to demonstrate the interconnectedness of an environment. They explore the natural cycles water, oxygen/carbon dioxide, carbon, nitrogen that exist within the environment.
In a class demonstration, students observe a simple water cycle model to better understand its role in pollutant transport. This activity shows one way in which pollution is affected by the water cycle; it simulates a point source of pollution in a lake and the resulting environmental consequences.
In this lesson, students will identify the Earth's natural resources and classify them as renewable or non-renewable. They will simulate the distribution of resources and discuss the fairness and effectiveness of the distribution. Students will identify ways that they use and waste natural resources, and they will explore ways that engineers interact with natural resources.
Students explore the causes and effects of the Earth's ozone holes through discussion and an interactive simulation. In an associated literacy activity, students learn how to tell a story in order to make a complex topic (such as global warming or ozone holes) easier for a reader to grasp.
Students are introduced to acids and bases, and the environmental problem of acid rain. They explore ways to use indicators to distinguish between acids and bases. Students also conduct a simple experiment to model and discuss the harmful effects of acid rain on our living and non-living environment, as well as how engineers address acid rain. In an associated literacy activity, students learn how persuasive techniques are used to develop an argument, and create an environmental case study.
Looking at models and maps, students explore different pathways and consequences of pollutant transport via the weather and water cycles. In an associated literacy activity, students develop skills of observation, recording and reporting as they follow the weather forecast and produce their own weather report for the class.
To develop an understanding of modern industrial technologies that clean up and prevent air pollution, students build and observe a variety of simple models of engineering pollutant recovery methods: scrubber, electrostatic precipitator, cyclone and baghouse. In an associated literacy activity, students become more aware of global environmental problems and play a part in their solution by writing environmental action campaign letters.