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Environmental Impact Study

Strategy Type

Date Added

Inquiry-Based Projects

April 15, 2024



Josh Korb

Curiosity, Hands-On, Science, Experiment, Environment

Activity Overview

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In a science class, students engage in an inquiry-based project focused on the environmental impact of plastic waste is framed around the question, "How does plastic waste affect our local environment, and what can we do about it?"

Activity Description

Inquiry-based projects are a teaching and learning approach that promotes exploration and discovery. This approach involves students asking questions, investigating, and finding answers to their questions through research, experimentation, and analysis. The goal of inquiry-based projects is to encourage students to become active learners who are engaged in the learning process and who take ownership of their learning.

Inquiry-based projects can be used in any subject area and at any grade level. They can be designed to address specific learning objectives or to allow students to explore topics of interest. The projects can be individual or collaborative, and they can be completed in class or outside of class. 

Students are divided into small groups, each tasked with investigating different aspects of plastic pollution, such as its effects on local wildlife, water sources, and soil quality. This phase of the project involves extensive research using a variety of sources, including online databases, library resources, and interviews with local environmental experts. In addition to their research, students undertake field trips to areas in their community impacted by plastic 121 waste, gathering samples, making observations, and documenting the effects first-hand. After collecting data, students return to the classroom to analyze their findings, where they draw correlations between the presence of plastic waste and environmental degradation. A significant component of the project is for each group to develop practical, actionable solutions to mitigate the impact of plastic waste.

These solutions range from initiating school-wide recycling programs to launching community awareness campaigns. The culmination of the project is a presentation where students share their findings and proposed solutions with the school and local community members, aiming to spark a broader conversation about environmental responsibility and sustainable practices. This project not only increases students' awareness of environmental issues but also empowers them to become active participants in ecological conservation. 

Materials Needed

Ideation Supplies (post-it notes, markers, etc.)

Access to local resources

Design Thinking process (optional, but recommended!)

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