ALEX Lesson Plan

     

Pacific Problems: Tackling the Great Pacific Garbage Patch 

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  This lesson provided by:  
Author:Amara Alexander
System: Madison City
School: Madison City Board Of Education
  General Lesson Information  
Lesson Plan ID: 34510

Title:

Pacific Problems: Tackling the Great Pacific Garbage Patch 

Overview/Annotation:

In this interdisciplinary lesson, students will apply the Engineer Design Process to design a structure to remove waste from the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. The lesson involves components of STEM and English Language Arts.

This lesson results from collaboration between the Alabama Department of Education and ASTA. 

 Associated Standards and Objectives 
Content Standard(s):
Science
SC2015 (2015)
Grade: 6
Earth and Space Science
16 ) Implement scientific principles to design processes for monitoring and minimizing human impact on the environment (e.g., water usage, including withdrawal of water from streams and aquifers or construction of dams and levees; land usage, including urban development, agriculture, or removal of wetlands; pollution of air, water, and land).*

Insight Unpacked Content
Scientific And Engineering Practices:
Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions
Crosscutting Concepts: Cause and Effect
Disciplinary Core Idea: Earth and Human Activity
Evidence Of Student Attainment:
Students:
  • Design a process for monitoring human impact on the environment using scientific principles.
  • Design a process for minimizing human impact on the environment using scientific principles.
Teacher Vocabulary:
  • Habitat
  • Extinction
  • Species
  • Human Impact
  • Population
  • Per-capita consumption
  • Technology
  • Object
  • System
  • Process
  • Engineer
  • Engineering Design Process (EDP)
  • Monitor
  • Minimize
  • Solution
  • Causal and correlational relationships
  • Criteria
  • Constraints
  • Limitations
Knowledge:
Students know:
  • Human activities have significantly altered the environment, sometimes damaging or destroying natural habitats and causing the extinction of other species.
  • Changes to Earth's environments can have different positive and negative impacts for different living things.
  • Typically as human populations and per-capita consumption of natural resources increase, so do the negative impacts on Earth unless the activities and technologies involved are engineered otherwise.
  • Technology is anything man-made that solves a problem or fulfills a desire.
  • Technology can be an object, system, or process.
  • Engineering is a systematic and often iterative approach to designing objects, processes, and systems to meet human needs and wants.
  • The Engineering Design Process (EDP) is a series of steps engineers use to guide them as they solve problems.
  • The EDP may include the following cyclical steps: ask, imagine, plan, create, and improve.
  • Scientific information and principles regarding human impact on the environment must be used to design a process or solution that addresses the results of a particular human activity.
  • Scientific information and principles regarding human impact on the environment must be used to design a process or solution that incorporates technologies that can be used to monitor negative effects that human activities have on the environment.
  • Scientific information and principles regarding human impact on the environment must be used to design a process or solution that incorporates technologies that can be used to minimize negative effects that human activities have on the environment.
  • Causal and correlational relationships between the human activity and the negative environmental impact must be distinguished to facilitate the design of the process or solution.
  • Criteria and constraints for the solution must be defined and quantified to include individual or societal needs or desires and constraints imposed by economic conditions (e.g., costs of building and maintaining the solution).
  • Criteria are the principles or standards by which the process or solution is judged.
  • Constraints are the limitations or restrictions on the process or solution.
  • The process or solution must meet the criteria and constraints.
  • Limitations of the use of technologies exist.
Skills:
Students are able to:
  • Use scientific information and principles to generate a design solution for a problem related to human impact on the environment.
  • Identify relationships between the human activity and the negative environmental impact based on scientific principles.
  • Distinguish between causal and correlational relationships to facilitate the design of the solution.
  • Define and quantify, when appropriate, criteria and constraints for the solution.
  • Describe how well the solution meets the criteria and constraints, including monitoring or minimizing a human impact based on the causal relationships between relevant scientific principles about the processes that occur in, as well as among, Earth systems and the human impact on the environment.
  • Identify limitations of the use of technologies employed by the solution.
Understanding:
Students understand that:
  • A process or solution must meet criteria and constraints, including monitoring or minimizing a human impact based on the causal relationships between relevant scientific principles about the processes that occur in, as well as among, Earth systems and the human impact on the environment.
AMSTI Resources:
AMSTI Module:
Exploring Planetary Systems

NAEP Framework
NAEP Statement::
E8.15a: Human activities, such as reducing the amount of forest cover, increasing the amount and variety of chemicals released into the atmosphere, and intensive farming, have changed Earth's land, oceans, and atmosphere.

NAEP Statement::
E8.15b: Studies of plant and animal populations have shown that such activities can reduce the number and variety of wild plants and animals and sometimes result in the extinction of species.



Alabama Alternate Achievement Standards
AAS Standard:
SCI.AAS.6.16- Assess how human behaviors impact the environment (e.g., recycling, conservation, pollution); suggest processes to minimize human impact on the environment.


Local/National Standards:

 

Primary Learning Objective(s):

Learning Target: I can design and build a structure to remove waste from the Pacific Ocean. 

Additional Learning Objective(s):

Learning Target: I can apply the steps of the Engineering Design Process to build a structure. 

 Preparation Information 

Total Duration:

61 to 90 Minutes

Materials and Resources:

Teacher Materials 

Engineer Design Process (EDP) Anchor chart

PLTW IQ VEX Kit (if available) 

Newspaper

Cardboard

Straws

Cups

Popsicle Sticks 

Screen wire

Masking Tape

Other recycled materials

STEM Reflection  class set 

Tackling GPGB Rubric group sets 

Technology Resources Needed:

Interactive White Board

Laptop

Projector

Speakers for listening

Tablet or iPad

Internet access 

Background/Preparation:

Teacher Preparation: Teacher will gather the necessary materials and place in a central location for all students to have access. The teacher will need enough materials for each group students to construct a device to remove waste. 

Students are familiar with the steps of the Engineer Design Process (EDP)

*There are variations to the EDP. This is the method chosen for this lesson* 

Ask

Imagine

Plan

Create

Improve

Teacher should access video to ensure that links and audio are working properly: Great Pacific Garbage Patch 

Great Pacific Garbage Patch Testing Rubric 

  Procedures/Activities: 

Step 1  Teacher will have a pile of trash spread across the floor or table. Begin to probe students about the amounts of trash accumulated throughout a day. Where is our trash's final destination? How can we reduce the amount of trash to the environment? 

Then, show the video The Great Pacific Garbage Patch (GPGP) video. After the film, inform students they will become Environmental Engineers and will design and build a structure to remove waste from the Pacific Ocean and solve the problem of the GPGP.

Divide students into groups. In their groups, prompt students to go through the Engineer Design Process (EDP) to design and build a structure to remove waste from the Pacific Ocean.

Allow students to brainstorm and complete the EDP on their own. However, the teacher should walk around to each group and guide student's thinking to design structure to remove or filter garbage from the GPGB. Students will need to complete the Ask, Imagine and Plan steps before they can Create. Their information should be recorded in their science notebook/journal. 

Step 2 Using materials, students will build their design. If the teacher has VEX IQ Kits, students can construct their device using the robotics kits. Allow ample amount of time for students to create.

Step 3 Students will share out and test structures using Tackling GPGB Rubric. 

Step 4 After testing, allow students to improve their structures design and retest. In their science notebook, have students to summarize how their structure minimizes impact to the environment. This can be in the form of a 3-2-1.  This can be modified to the following:

3- ways your design minimizes human impact on the environment

2- methods to improve your design

1- questions you still have 


  Assessment  

Assessment Strategies

Teacher Observation- Teacher will observe students' design and written notes on their structure. Make sure students' structure focuses on minimizes the pollution in the Pacific Ocean. 

Completion of EDP in science notebook/journal 

STEM Reflection placed in science notebook/journal 

Acceleration:

Students can research structures that have been built by engineers to solve environmental problems similar to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Students can then share information through a Prezi or another presentation format. 

Intervention:

Pull students who are having difficulty and assist them in designing their structure. 


View the Special Education resources for instructional guidance in providing modifications and adaptations for students with significant cognitive disabilities who qualify for the Alabama Alternate Assessment.