Are you ready to get dirty? Put on your work gloves as we dive deep into the world of RECYCLING!
Take a look at the graph below. This was in 2017 and shows the Recycling rate for major countries around the world. Look where the United States is compared to other countries.
What are countries like Germany, Singapore, Wales, South Korea, and others doing to make them the top recycling countries?
Let’s ask ourselves the following questions:
- Why is recycling even important?
- Why should we recycle?
- What are the benefits of recycling?
In order to answer these question we need to understand more about recycling and the problems we face.
What are you doing for this planet in regards to recycling? Use the three R’s and reflect on how you are reusing, reducing and recycling? Maybe you are involved in a school recycling program, a club that recycles, or just in your home.
Try this little experiment at home; all about landfills.
Materials you will need:
- 4 Garbage Samples (one must be a piece from a plastic bottle)
- 2-Liter Bottle
- Plastic Spoon
- Use the resources provided and do a little research about landfills.
- Cut a 2-Liter bottle in half. Place the top portion of the 2-liter bottle upside down in the cut off bottom half of the bottle. (The bottom serves as a stand that will help keep the model upright.
- Place 2 cups of soil inside the bottle.
- Draw a large “X” on top of the soil so that you have 4 equal areas outlined in your landfill. Place the “garbage” samples in each section on top of the soil.
- Sprinkle the remaining soil on top of the “garbage”.
- Sprinkle ¾ cup water over the landfill (this simulates rainfall).
- Write down your predictions about which items in the landfill will break down first and which will break down last. Give your reasoning.
- Place the landfills in direct sunlight.
- On day 3 or 4, sprinkle ¾ cup water over the landfill.
- After another 4 days, use a spoon to gently scrape back the top layer of dirt to expose the samples and make observations.
Which items started to biodegrade, and which items did not?
Research and Connection:
Look back at the graph earlier in this lesson and find what these top recycling countries are doing.
Try to make a connection with week one and week two and see if there is recycling being done with our natural resources, or recycling being done to enhance or convert recycling to energy, or what role does water play in the role of recycling.
Divide into groups of four or five. Decide on a topic of recycling that you want to write about. You are going to write a fictional story; each student will write one paragraph and then put the story together. Share your stories with other groups and see which is the most creative.
Your BEST kit is divided into two parts; the return kit and the consumable kit. How does BEST robotics incorporate the 3 R’s of recycling into its program? You might have to ask your school robotics sponsor to help you on this one, or if you have been in the BEST program for a long time you might know how this works.
Get in touch with your city waste department. You can probably find the information you need by visiting your city’s website. Most cities have an environmental waste department. Find out what your city does to recycle and what recycling plans they have in place? What resources do the residents in your city have in order to recycle?
Bloom’s Taxonomy: add, create, explore, evaluate, generate, include, identify, list, observe, reflect, review, subdivide, use, and write
Workforce Skills: critical thinking, materials evaluation, reading comprehension, science, writing, practical application