ONE PERSON'S GARBAGE, ANOTHER PERSON'S . . .?
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GRADE LEVEL/SUBJECT: History, Social Studies
It's no secret that a wealth of discarded products will outlast most people alive today. . . a disturbing legacy. Heightening the collective consciousness of citizenry has yielded some improved practices. The problem may be slowing slightly, but it is not going away. In geographically remote localities, where landfill operations lack technological advances, or may perhaps be nonexistent, the problem holds special significance.
This lesson will ask students to consider the issue of waste recycling alternatives for isolated settings. They will be asked to transform discarded solid waste into a usable item.
Ask the students: "What happens to discarded solid waste in our community? How do disposal practices impact our lives? What kind of things are discarded?" As a class, visit the landfill site, or an appropriate alternative. Following the field experience, have students list and discuss what they saw. Next have them compare/contrast the same set of questions relative to a remote environment.
The students will list many, different and unusual items that could be constructed out of refuse and found objects. Construction resources are to include only hand tools and person power.
Waste management. Design and measurement. Model building.
ACTIVITIES AND PROCEDURES:
1. Students will be asked to reflect on the questions listed under "student motivation". They will make notes or drawings of their ideas for 5 minutes. Students will participate in a discussion of the issues using their notations as a resource.
2. Students will visit a landfill. Following the visitation, as a group, they will synthesize what they saw and their reactions.
3. Students will break into groups of two. Each group will be provided with a profile of a rural/remote community, including waste disposal issues. Each group will read and discuss the profile.
4. Given ten minutes, each group will list many, different and unusual items that could be developed from their communities solid waste. Each group will share their ideas with the class.
5. Each group will create a usable object from scavenged refuse, using hand tools and person power. Refuse selected needs to reflect that which would be found in their assigned community. Upon completion the object will be described, photographed and displayed. (At the onset of the project students will be asked to keep a journal of the evolution of their project.)
OPTIONAL FOLLOW UP:
Each group will be afforded the opportunity to forward a description and photograph of their creation to members of their assigned community.
MANY - Total number of usable objects that can be made out of solid waste using hand tools and person power.
DIFFERENT - Number of categories that waste product objects can be grouped into.
UNUSUAL - One-of-a-kind objects that can be made from solid waste.
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