How can we reduce our negative impact on the environment? What methods help us sustain and even improve the environment? What factors harm our environment and what can we do about them?  The design process throughout this unit examines human environmental impacts, assessing the kinds of solutions that are feasible, and designing and evaluating solutions that could reduce that impact. Student teams will investigate minimizing the impact of humans on water usage, land usage, and/or pollution in the environment.  They will explore school impact on energy use, self-monitor and report use of electricity, water, and recycling, calculate the Carbon footprint of every student at their school and create a school plan to minimize that impact. In the final Design Challenge students will choose a problem to monitor/study, present the problem with data, and then design a solution and monitor the results. This unit gives students insights into how they can make positive environmental improvements for their future.

Educational Outcomes:  

  • Given a problem related to human impact on the environment, students use scientific information and principles to generate a design solution that:
    • Addresses the results of the particular human activity.
    • Incorporates technologies that can be used to monitor and minimize negative effects that human activities have on the environment.
    • Identify relationships between the human activity and the negative environmental impact based on scientific principles, and distinguish between causal and correlational relationships to facilitate the design of the solution.
  • Students define and quantify, when appropriate, criteria and constraints for the solution, including:
    • Individual or societal needs and desires.
    • Constraints imposed by economic conditions (e.g., costs of building and maintaining the solution).
  • Students evaluate potential solutions:
    • Students 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.
    • Students identify limitations of the use of technologies employed by the solution.

 


STEAM INTEGRATION

In the Empathy phase of Lesson 1 students develop their understanding of their own energy usage by collecting and analysing data by creating a graph to display their energy usage at school at at home.  In Lesson 2  students self-report and calculate their use of natural resources in service of electricity, water, and waste production. Students will practice using single digit and double digit multiplication with decimals.  In the Define phase of Lesson 3 students use a carbon footprint calculator to find their own carbon footprint, and use an algorithm to multiply across the carbon footprint of all students at their school, and result in creating a school plan to minimize impact.  The final Design Challenge (Ideate, Prototype, and Test phases) of Lesson 4 asks students to design a solution to help reduce their negative impact on the environment. Students will then monitor, collect data, and iterate on their design.

Click on the “+” icon to open each section

Unit Materials

  • RAFT Makerspace-in-a-box
    • Various adhesives, connectors, and fasteners (e.g., paperclips, binder clips, thread, yarn, adhesive foam pads, wooden stir sticks, straws, spoons, pipettes, labels & stickers, rubber bands, etc.)
    • Materials (e.g., laminate samples, dust covers, foam pieces, deli containers, fishboard, cardboard tubes, plascore scraps, posters, shower caps, scrap materials, cards, etc.)
  • Tape, glue, scissors, timer
  • Recording materials:  RAFT Makerspace Journal Pages (for each lesson)
  • Optional:  a binder for each student to keep their Makerspace Journal pages in.
  • Tech:  Classroom computer or TV to show videos.

Calculations on human carbon footprint —  http://shrinkthatfootprint.com/calculate-your-carbon-footprint

Design Thinking Overview

Our design thinking units have five phases based on the d.school’s model. Each phase can be repeated to allow students to re-work and iterate while developing deeper understanding of the core concepts. These are the five phases of the design thinking model:

EMPATHIZE: Work to fully understand the experience of the user for whom you are designing.  Do this through observation, interaction, and immersing yourself in their experiences.

DEFINE: Process and synthesize the findings from your empathy work in order to form a user point of view that you will address with your design.

IDEATE: Explore a wide variety of possible solutions through generating a large quantity of diverse possible solutions, allowing you to step beyond the obvious and explore a range of ideas.

PROTOTYPE: Transform your ideas into a physical form so that you can experience and interact with them and, in the process, learn and develop more empathy.

TEST: Try out high-resolution products and use observations and feedback to refine prototypes, learn more about the user, and refine your original point of view.

The Design Thinking Process | ReDesigning Theater. (n.d.). Retrieved April 2, 2016, from http://dschool.stanford.edu/redesigningtheater/the-design-thinking-process/

STEAM Integrated Standards

  • NGSS MS-ESS3-3:  Apply scientific principles to design a method for monitoring and minimizing a human impact on the environment.
  • CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.6.RP.A.3: Use ratio and rate reasoning to solve real-world and mathematical problems, e.g., by reasoning about tables of equivalent ratios, tape diagrams, double number line diagrams, or equations.
  • CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.6.SP.B.4: Display numerical data in plots on a number line, including dot plots, histograms, and box plots.
  • CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.6.SP.B.5: Summarize numerical data sets in relation to their context.
  • CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.6.NS.B.3: Fluently add, subtract, multiply, and divide multi-digit decimals using the standard algorithm for each operation.

Suggestions for pacing and differentiation
If school data reports are unavailable, omitting lesson 1 and proceeding directly to lesson 2 or 3 may allow students create an acceptable understanding of the criteria and constraints needed for the design challenge. If time is short teachers may want to start with lesson 3, allowing students to simply calculate their carbon footprint, find areas of higher consumption of natural resources and then move on to the design challenge (Lesson 4). This modification may also be useful for extended learning programs or other situations that may require that the lesson be taught in a single instance.

Lesson Overview

In this lesson students will analyze historical data on their school’s energy usage, create a display of their data, and draw conclusions about the impact of their energy usage. If your school’s energy or utility reports are available, they will be very useful in this lesson in helping students to develop empathy and understanding for their own energy needs and usage. If these reports are unavailable, we suggest using tools from NEED (National Energy Education Development) to help students develop a basic understanding of their own energy use.

Essential Questions:

  • How much energy do we use every day at school?
    What is the impact of the energy we use daily?

LESSON PROCEDURE:

  • Student teams are presented with data numbers from their school’s energy use report spanning the last 5 years.
  • Student teams decide on a method for displaying the data, and for comparing energy usage between the years.
  • Students record their observations in their Maker Journal pages
  • Student teams prepare a statement based on their findings on the school’s energy impact and share this with the class

Sample Student Directions (Click + to open)

Begin the lesson by reviewing the Student Energy Survey page and if possible, an energy report or utility bill from the school. If a utility bill or report for the school is unavailable, the Student Energy Survey Page contains a few tips for calculating the school/ classroom energy use. The goal is to establish an estimated baseline from which to develop solutions for reduction in school energy use.

T: “Today we are going to begin investigating the amount of energy we use every day at school. Our school uses energy that comes from natural resources. Because many of these resources are not renewable and will no longer exist for future generations once we have used them, we will discuss ways to use energy responsibly. Who can name ways that we use energy every day at school?”

S: “Electric lights, water faucets, toilets, water fountains, air conditioning, food prep in the cafeteria, computers and electric appliances, transportation to and from school, etc.”

T: “In order to determine how MUCH energy we use, we’re going to look at our schools utility bill and/ or calculate our own usage by making some observations and recording our findings. You will be using your student Maker Journal page to investigate our energy usage at school.”

When students have completed their journals help them to cr use up-cycled materials as counters to create a graph of their personal energy usage data. If school data is available, create a class graph to show differences in energy usage over time. These graphs will be used later in the unit to develop solutions for the design challenge.


Concept Quick Reference (Click + to open)

Forms of Energy

POTENTIAL
Stored energy and the energy of position (gravitational). Examples of POTENTIAL energy:
Chemical Energy  is the energy stored in the bonds between atoms in molecules. Gasoline and a slice of pizza are examples.
Nuclear Energy is the energy stored in the nucleus or center of an atom – the energy that holds the
nucleus together. The energy in the nucleus of a plutonium atom is an example.
Elastic Energy is energy stored in objects by the application of force. Compressed springs and stretched rubber bands are examples.
Gravitational Energy is the energy of place or position. A child at the top of a slide is an example.

KINETIC
The motion of waves, electrons, atoms, molecules, and substances. Examples of KINETIC energy:
Radiant Energy is electromagnetic energy that travels in transverse waves. Light and x-rays are examples.
Thermal Energy or heat is the internal energy in substances – the vibration or movement of atoms and molecules in substances. The heat from a fire is an example.
Motion is the movement of a substance from one place to another. Wind and moving water are examples.
Sound is the movement of energy through substances in longitudinal waves. Echoes and music are examples.
Electrical Energy is the movement of electrons. Lightning and electricity are examples.

United States Energy Consumption by Source:

Non-Renewable:

PETROLEUM – Fossil fuel for cars, trucks, and jets. Uses: transportation, manufacturing. About 34.9% of U.S. Energy Consumption comes from petroleum.

COAL – Black rock burned to make electricity. Uses: heating, electricity, manufacturing. 18.0% of U.S. Energy Consumption comes from coal.

PROPANE – Portable fossil fuel used in grills. Uses: heating, manufacturing. 1.6% of U.S. Energy Consumption comes from propane.

URANIUM – Energy from splitting atoms. Uses: electricity. About 8.3% of U.S. Energy Consumption comes from uranium.

NATURAL GAS – Fossil fuel gas moved by pipeline. Uses: heating, manufacturing, electricity. About 27.5% of U.S. Energy Consumption comes from natural gas.

Renewable:

BIOMASS – Energy from wood, waste, and garbage. Uses: heating, electricity, transportation. About 4.8% of U.S. Energy Consumption comes from biomass energy.

SOLAR – Energy in waves from the sun.Uses: heating, electricity. About 0.4% of U.S. Energy Consumption comes from solar energy.

WIND – Energy from moving air. Uses: electricity. About 1.7% of U.S. Energy Consumption comes from wind energy.

GEOTHERMAL – Energy from heat inside the Earth. Uses: heating, electricity. About 0.2% of U.S. Energy Consumption comes from geothermal energy.

HYDROPOWER – Energy from flowing water. Uses: electricity. About 2.5% of U.S. Energy Consumption comes from hydropower energy.

Source: US Energy Information Administration

 

Lesson Materials

  • Chart paper, poster board or similar material for displaying data tables
  • Markers, pens pencils
  • beans, buttons, corks or other small tokens (optional) for creating data displays

External Resources

PDF: Energy Star Data Trends – Energy Use in K-12 Schools

PDF:  NEED School Energy Survey – Student Guide

PDF: NEED School Energy Survey – Teacher Guide

Maker Journal Pages

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Teacher Notes

Instruction will vary depending on availability of  data sources for determining the school or classroom energy usage. You will determine the best sources for your class and help them to create graphs that will help them to understand and communicate about their own energy use.

Learning Targets

  • Students will be able to calculate and understand their energy usage at school
  • Students will be able to create a visual display of the information and communicate about their energy usage at school.

Assessment

Student Self Assessment

Student groups review their makerspace journal and summarize their learning in a group discussion

Peer Assessment

Student groups discuss and compare their findings and share different critical uses for water and methods of freshwater transportation that they discover in their research. Students should also share the difficulties that they discovered in transporting freshwater.

Teacher Assessment

Review student makerspace journal pages for formative assessment and discuss with individual groups as they work.

Conduct a whole group discussion to allow all students to share, discuss and compare their findings around different critical uses for water and methods of freshwater transportation that they discovered in their research. Students should also share about the difficulties in transporting freshwater.

Lesson Overview

In Lesson 2  students self-report and calculate their use of natural resources in service of electricity, water, and waste production. Students will practice using single digit and double digit multiplication with decimals.

Essential Questions:

  • How do I use natural resources?
  • How much fossil fuel do I use in a day? in a year?
  • How much water do I use in a day? in a year?

LESSON PROCEDURE:

Any teacher directions not given in the sidebar go here before Student Directions

Sample Student Directions (Click + to open)

Sample teacher and student dialog. Include reference to Maker Journal page and button to link to student maker journal page.

T: “Now that we have looked at our use of energy and natural resources in “points,” or non-standard units, we will investigate our own use in standard units to get a better understanding of the amount of energy we use every day. What are examples of standard units of measurement?”

S: “Ounces, pounds, grams/ Weight; Inches, feet miles, meters, centimeters, kilometers/ Distance; ounces, quarts, liters/ Volume; volts, watts/ Electrical energy; etc.”

T: “Use your Student Maker Journal page to estimate the amount of natural resources you used today in your daily activities. The values on the maker journal page are broad estimates to allow you to get a general sense of scale of the amount of natural resources like water and fossil fuels you used today. We will use this information in thinking of ways to reduce your impact on the environment, our upcoming design challenge.”


Concept Quick Reference (Click + to open)

Fossil Fuel: A hydrocarbon deposit, such as petroleum, coal, or natural gas, derived from the accumulated remains of ancient plants and animals and used as fuel. Carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases generated by burning fossil fuels are considered to be one of the principal causes of global warming.

Fossil fuel power plants burn carbon fuels such coal, oil or gas to generate steam that drives large turbines that produce electricity. These plants can generate electricity reliably over long periods of time. However, by burning carbon fuels they produce large amounts carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas.

Water is a renewable resource, but it is not unlimited. Humans are limited to less than one percent of the water on Earth.

Fresh water is a limited resource because there is such a little amount of fresh water found on Earth.

Maker Journal Pages

dl-student

Learning Targets

  • Students will develop their understanding of their own consumption of natural resources in service of developing ideas for the design challenge at the conclusion of this unit.
  • Students will be able to fluently add, subtract, multiply, and divide multi-digit decimals using the standard algorithm for each operation.

Assessment

Student Self Assessment

Student groups review their makerspace journal and summarize their learning in a group discussion

Peer Assessment

Student groups discuss and compare their findings and review for objectivity. As well, peer assessment of calculations will help students deepen their understanding of using math in real world situations.

Teacher Assessment

Review student makerspace journal pages for formative assessment and discuss with individual students as they work. Review peer to peer assessment of calculations.

Lesson Overview
Students use a Carbon footprint calculator to determine impact on electricity usage, water consumption, or pollution.

Essential Questions:

  • What is meant by your “carbon footprint”?
  • What did you discover about the school’s carbon footprint for electrical usage? For water consumption?  For pollution?
  • What suggestions did you think of to minimize carbon footprint?
  • How did you determine and what is your school plan?

LESSON PROCEDURE:

  • Students choose one impact area to study (electricity usage, water consumption, or pollution) and are given an algorithm to multiply across the carbon footprint of all students at their school.
  • Students use ratio and rate reasoning to solve the problem of impact at their school.
  • Students create a school plan to minimize impact.

Sample Student Directions (Click + to open)

T: “Now that we understand how we use natural resources, we should start to learn more about how our use of these natural resources impacts our environment. Think of a few ways to use natural resources more carefully and responsibly, and then turn to a table partner and share what you came up with.”

[pause for think- pair discussions]

“Please share the ideas that you discussed with your table partner.”

S: (Answers vary) ex: “We could re-use water bottles.”

T:Resources like the petroleum used to make plastic water bottles are limited on Earth, meaning that once we use them all up, they’re gone forever. As well, if we simply use the limited resources once and then throw them away, we’re wasting our planet’s natural resources. Human activity can have positive and negative impacts on our environment, including the production of greenhouse gasses, like carbon. Greenhouse gasses, once released into the atmosphere, allow the sun’s heat energy to heat the Earth, but these gasses trap heat, just like the glass panels of a greenhouse. By reducing the amount of electricity and natural resources that we use by reusing water bottles, we can reduce our negative impact on the planet.

Today we will use a carbon footprint calculator to explore more ways that we use natural resources. Use your Student Maker-Journalournal Page to record your findings.”

 


Concept Quick Reference (Click + to open)

Carbon Footprint: the amount of carbon dioxide and other carbon compounds emitted due to the consumption of fossil fuels by a particular person, group, etc.
source: Google

Greenhouse Gas:  A gas in an atmosphere that absorbs and emits radiation within the thermal infrared range. This process is the fundamental cause of the greenhouse effect. The primary greenhouse gases in Earth’s atmosphere are water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and ozone. Without greenhouse gases, the average temperature of Earth’s surface would be about −18 °C (0 °F), rather than the present average of 15 °C (59 °F). In the Solar System, the atmospheres of Venus, Mars and Titan also contain gases that cause a greenhouse effect.
source: Wikipedia

Human Impact on Greenhouse Gases: Human activities since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution (taken as the year 1750) have produced a 40% increase in the atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide, from 280 ppm in 1750 to 406 ppm in early 2017.  Anthropogenic carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions (i.e., emissions produced by human activities) come from combustion of fossil fuels, principally coal, oil, and natural gas, along with deforestation, soil erosion and animal agriculture.

Lesson Materials

Tech

  • Carbon Footprint Calculator – see “External Resources”

Other

  • Paper, pencil and student maker journal pages.

External Resources

Global Footprint Network’s Carbon Footprint Calculator

Maker Journal Pages

dl-student

Teacher Notes

The thinkpairshare strategy suggested in the student direction sections is a collaborative learning strategy in which students work together to solve a problem or answer a question. This technique requires students to (1) think individually about a topic or answer to a question, (2) pair with another student to begin thinking critically about their ideas as well as discovering another student’s perspective and reasoning on the same question; and then (3) share ideas via  a whole class discussion usually moderated by the teacher.

Learning Targets

  • Students will further develop their understanding of the use of natural resources and the impact humans have on their environment.
  • Students will investigate their own impact on the environment and begin thinking of solutions to reduce their impact.

Assessment

Student Self Assessment

Students use the carbon footprint calculator to discover aspects of their own impact on the environment. Students should be encouraged to submit accurate answers without concern for the impact results. At this stage students are discovering the questions that they will attempt to answer in the design challenge phase of this unit. Students should also review their makerspace journal independently to prepare for a peer to peer discussion.

Peer Assessment

Student groups discuss their maker journal pages and compare their findings. Students should not be giving each other feedback on their original usage statistics, but rather help to suggest items to adjust and additional topics for investigation..

Teacher Assessment

Review student makerspace journal pages for formative assessment and discuss with individual groups as they work.

Conduct a whole group discussion to allow all students to share, discuss and compare their findings around different critical aspects of carbon production. Ensure that students understand how to isolate one variable and adjust it (down to the most minimal impact) to find areas of their own resource usage that could be improved. This critical understanding will best prepare students for ideation in the upcoming design challenge phase.

Design Challenge Overview

In this design challenge, students should choose a solution to minimize their impact on the environment based on their personal data collected in previous lessons. Each design must be tested over time and results recorded and improved upon. This activity should be focused on brevity and conducted at a brisk pace. Students should be going through ideas, building prototypes and evaluating their designs for at least three or four cycles. Build time should be quick and designs should be kept simple.
During the first ideation phase students should have time to discuss and research their ideas and potential impact. All ideas are welcome during the ideation phase, and students should be encouraged to think big.
Students will then move on to the prototyping phase and will select one of the designs from the ideation stage to create using up-cycled materials.
Then, students will test their designs and self evaluate in order to refine or redesign their solution. Peer evaluations are also helpful in the testing phase, but may not be needed at each iteration if pacing is a concern.

Essential Questions:  

  • How can we reduce our impact on the environment?
  • How can we test our success against criteria and constraints and improve our designs?

LESSON PROCEDURE

Introduce the Design Challenge (Click + to open)

Sample student & Teacher Dialog. Should generate excitement and connect with Empathy phase discoveries. Teacher needs to provide criteria and constraints or develop them with students here.

T: “Now that we have examined our own use of Earth’s natural resource, we have arrived at the big question: How can we design solutions to minimize the impact of humans on one of these environmental factors (electricity usage, water consumption, or pollution)? First we will take some time to research and create a list of ideas that we think might help to reduce our impact on the environment. Then we will choose which ones we want to build, and begin creating our designs. Once we have created these solutions, we will test them against our design criteria and constraints in order to determine if we are really making a difference and reducing our impact.”

Criteria are the things we want the solution to do. In this case, we want to make something that will reduce our impact as much as possible. And constraints are the limits that we put on the design so that it will be useful.”

Criteria & Constraints

(Review the criteria and constraints with students.  Engineers design things using some rules about how the designs must behave or work.  These rules are called criteria.  Engineers can run out of materials, money, time to build, or space in which to build something.  In other words there are limits on how something can be built.  These limits are called constraints.  Suggested criteria and constraints for this challenge are below, but these elements can become very powerful if they are co-created with students.)

Criteria (design requirements) Constraints (design limitations)
  • Design must reduce the impact of humans on the environment.
  • Design must be tested over time to track reduction of impact on the environment.
  • Designs must be built with materials provided.
  • Designs must be implemented without excessive hardship on the user.

 


Ideate
During the ideation phase students should have ample time to discuss and research their ideas and potential impact. All ideas are welcome during the ideation phase, and students should be encouraged to think big. (Keep in mind students may choose to or need to return to this phase as they iterate)

Ideate: Sample Student Directions (Click + to open)

T: “Now we will make a list of all of our ideas, and then we’ll pick which ones we want to build and test. When we make our list we should include every idea, even ideas that may seem silly or impractical because even those ideas can sometimes lead to big discoveries.”

S: “We could carpool instead of riding in individual cars, use natural light inside the classroom, eat less beef and animal products, use solar energy to heat the classroom, etc.”

T: “Before we can decide which ideas to build, we should explore as many ideas as possible. Use your maker journal pages to research and record your ideas for reducing your impact on the environment.”


Prototype

Students will select one of the designs from the ideation stage to create using up-cycled materials. Students may also want to experiment with solutions that focus on changes in behavior. In this case encourage them to create a detailed plan as well as a device that will help to remind them or encourage this change in behavior. (Keep in mind students may choose to or need to return to this phase as they iterate)

Prototype: Sample Student Directions (Click + to open)

T: “Now it is time to select one of your ideas to build or prototype. A prototype is a first draft that can be tested. When we use the design thinking process, we always come back to each step, over and over until we have the best solution. Let’s start brainstorming and prototyping our ideas, and if we need to learn more, we can always come back to this once we know what else we need to understand. You should choose the design or idea that you think will help reduce your impact by the greatest amount. Use your maker journal pages to help you choose an idea and begin sketching out your design.”

 


Test your Design

Students will self evaluate their designs and record their self assessment in their Maker Journals. This activity should be focused on brevity and conducted at a brisk pace. Students should be going through ideas, building prototypes and evaluating their designs for at least three or four cycles. Build time should be quick and designs should be kept simple. (Keep in mind students may choose to or need to return to this phase as the iterate

Test: Sample Student Directions (Click + to open)

T: “Now that you have developed your first prototypes or designs to help reduce your impact on the environment, it is time to test your design and determine if it meets the criteria and constraints. Let’s begin sharing about our prototypes. Please describe your design, tell how well you met the criteria and constraints and describe how you would improve your design in the next iteration.”

S: (answers vary) “I have designed a hydroponic grow station to reduce my consumption of animal products. It meets the criteria of helping to reduce my carbon footprint by providing me with more vegetables to eat and meets the criteria of using only materials provided by using cardboard tubes and foam to carry water to all of the plants. For my next iteration, I would like to create a larger device so my whole family can grow vegetables.”

T: “Use your maker journal to record your test results and determine how you will continue to iterate on your design.”

 

 

Concept Quick Reference (Click + to open)

Iteration/ Iterate: Iteration is the act of repeating a process, either to generate an unbounded sequence of outcomes, or with the aim of approaching a desired goal, target or result. Each repetition of the process is also called an “iteration”, and the results of one iteration are used as the starting point for the next iteration.

Prototype: noun – a first, typical or preliminary model of something, especially a machine, from which other forms are developed or copied. Ex: “the firm is testing a prototype of the weapon”

verb – make a prototype of (a product).

Design Challenge Materials

Building Materials

  • RAFT Makerspace-in-a-box
    • Various adhesives, connectors, and fasteners (e.g., paperclips, binder clips, thread, yarn, adhesive foam pads, wooden stir sticks, straws, spoons, pipettes, labels & stickers, rubber bands, etc.)
    • Materials (e.g., laminate samples, dust covers, foam pieces, deli containers, fishboard, cardboard tubes, plascore scraps, posters, shower caps, scrap materials, cards, etc.)
  • Tape, glue, scissors, timer
  • Recording materials:  RAFT Makerspace Journal Pages (for each lesson)
  • Optional:  a binder for each student to keep their Makerspace Journal pages in.

Teacher Notes

The process of ideation, prototyping and testing is crucial to creating applied learning and synthesis of skills learned in this unit. Allowing students to iterate will deepen that learning and lead to better retention, proficiency and ultimately mastery. Student directions in this section are intended as a guide to your shared classroom discussions and inquiry. Add and remove criteria or constraints as needed for time and customization to the needs of your students.

Active Classroom

Tips for success in an active classroom environment:

Communication is critical in the design process. Students need to be allowed to talk, stand, and move around to acquire materials. Help students become successful and care for the success of others by asking them to predict problems that might arise in the active environment and ask them to suggest strategies for their own behavior that will ensure a positive working environment for all students and teachers.

Practice and predict clean-up strategies before beginning the activity. Ask students to offer suggestions for ensuring that they will leave a clean and useable space for the next activity. Students may enjoy creating very specific clean-up roles. Once these are established, the same student-owned strategies can be used every time hands-on learning occurs.

Learning Targets

  • Given a problem related to human impact on the environment, students use scientific information and principles to generate a design solution that:
    • Addresses the results of the particular human activity.
    • Incorporates technologies that can be used to monitor and minimize negative effects that human activities have on the environment.
    • Identify relationships between the human activity and the negative environmental impact based on scientific principles, and distinguish between causal and correlational relationships to facilitate the design of the solution.
  • Students define and quantify, when appropriate, criteria and constraints for the solution, including:
    • Individual or societal needs and desires.
    • Constraints imposed by economic conditions (e.g., costs of building and maintaining the solution).
  • Students evaluate potential solutions:
    • Students 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.
    • Students identify limitations of the use of technologies employed by the solution.

Assessment

Student Self Assessment

Student groups review their makerspace journal and summarize their learning in a group discussion

Peer Assessment

Student groups discuss and compare their solutions and give each other feedback on the estimated reduction of impact on the environment as well as the reduction of one’s carbon footprint. Students should also give suggestions for improvements to the design for future iterations.

Teacher Assessment

Review student makerspace journal pages for formative assessment and discuss with individual groups as they work.

Conduct a whole group discussion to allow all students to share, discuss and compare their solutions. Help students to focus their thinking on data collected and interpreting their calculations to better define the driving questions. Discussions should also help students to discover the scale of human impact and begin to inquire about long term solutions.