Grade Range
4th-12th
Active Time
90 minutes
Total Time
105 minutes
Credits

Overview

Trash piled up after a beach clean-up.

By conducting their own survey of an outdoor environment, students will examine a method for assessing litter, identify how humans impact the environment, and design solutions for preventing marine debris.

NGSS Alignment

This lesson helps students prepare for these Next Generation Science Standards Performance Expectations:
  • 4-ESS2-2. Analyze and interpret data from maps to describe patterns of Earth's features.
  • 5-ESS3-1. Obtain and combine information about ways individual communities use science ideas to protect the Earth's resources and environment.
  • MS-ESS3-3. Apply scientific principles to design a method for monitoring and minimizing a human impact on the environment.
  • HS-LS2-7. Design, evaluate, and refine a solution for reducing the impacts of human activities on the environment and biodiversity.
This lesson focuses on these aspects of NGSS Three Dimensional Learning:

Science & Engineering Practices Disciplinary Core Ideas Crosscutting Concepts
Developing and Using Models. Develop a model using an example to describe a scientific principle.

Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions.
3-5: Use evidence to construct or support an explanation or design a solution to a problem.

3-5: Generate and compare multiple solutions to a problem based on how well they meet the criteria and constraints of the design solution.

MS: Construct explanations and design solutions that are supported by multiple sources of evidence consistent with scientific ideas, principles, and theories.

HS: Design, evaluate, and refine a solution to a complex real world problem, based on scientific knowledge, student-generated sources of evidence, prioritized criteria, and trade-off considerations.
5-ESS3.C Human Impacts on Earth Systems: Human activities in agriculture, industry, and everyday life have had major effects on the land, vegetation, streams, ocean, air, and even outer space. But individuals and communities are doing things to help protect Earth's resources and environments.

MS-ESS3.C Human Impacts on Earth Systems: Human activities have significantly altered the biosphere, sometimes damaging or destroying natural habitats and causing the extinction of other species. But changes to Earth's environments can have different impacts (negative and positive) for different living things.

HS-LS4.D Biodiversity and Humans: Human Activity is having adverse impacts on biodiversity through overpopulation, over exploitation, habitat destruction, pollution, introduction of invasive species, and climate change.
Cause and Effect.
3-5: Cause and effect relationships are routinely identified, tested, and used to explain change.

Influence of Science, Engineering, and Technology on Society and the Natural World.
MS: The uses of technologies and any limitations on their use are driven by individual or societal needs, desires, and values; by the findings of scientific research; and by differences in such factors as climate, natural resources, and economic conditions. Thus technology use varies from region to region and over time.

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Grade Range
4th-12th
Active Time
90 minutes
Total Time
105 minutes
Credits
Free science fair projects.