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Collection of Reviewed Teaching Resources

A plastic world: The Plastisphere: Plastic Migration and Its Impacts

Subject taught
- Biology
- Chemistry
- Technology

Link
https://www.teachengineering.org/lessons/view/uok-2116-plastisphere-microplastics-pollution-wastewater-treatment

Type of Product
- Articles
- Exercises
- Lesson Plans
- Online lab
- Videos
- Web Site/Portal

Language Skills Developed
- Interaction
- Listening
- Reading
- Speaking
- Writing

Transferable/Scientific Skills Developed
Students will develop observing skills, measuring skills, analytical skills, critical thinking skills, problem-solving skills.

Description
Students will develop an understanding of the effects of technology on the environment.

The general aims are to develop an understanding of the effects of technology on the environment, an understanding of the role of troubleshooting, research and development, invention and innovation, and experimentation in problem solving.

Subject specific aims:

• Describe ways their lives might be different without the benefits of plastic.
• Explain some ways that microplastics get into our bodies.
• Explain how microplastic pollution can result from both ordinary plastic use and plastic disposal.
• Think of ways that daily disposed-of plastic items could be produced or packaged to eliminate or reduce their likelihood of becoming microplastic pollution.
• (optional; extension activity) Interpret and draw conclusions from scientific journal articles

Linguistic aims:
- to listen English with ease
-to read English with ease
- to understand content
- to learn from written texts
- to express opinion
- to enable students to understand topic correctly
- to translate English words into the mother tongue using their own words.

This task is aimed at students of 14-18 years old.
Level of competence in English (CEFR): B1 +/B2
Time required to use the resource with the students: 1 Hour


How to use it:
Resource provide the steps for teacher to guide the lesson:
• Introduction/Motivation
• Lesson Background and Concepts for Teachers
• Associated Activities
• Lesson Closure
• Vocabulary/Definitions
• Assessment
• Lesson Extension Activities
• Additional Multimedia Support

Students are introduced to the growing worldwide environmental problems that stem from plastic waste. What they learn about microplastics and the typical components of the U.S. water treatment process prepares them to conduct three engaging associated activities. During the lesson, students become more aware of the pervasiveness and value of plastic as well as the downstream pollution and health dangers. They learn how plastic materials don’t go away, but become microplastic pollution that accumulates in water resources as well as human and other animal bodies. They examine their own plastic use, focusing on what they discard daily, and think about better ways to produce or package those items to eliminate or reduce their likelihood of ending up as microplastic pollution. A concluding writing assignment reveals their depth of comprehension. The lesson is enhanced by arranging for a local water treatment plant representative to visit the class for Qs and As. In three associated activities, students design/test microplastic particle filtering methods for commercial products, create mini wastewater treatment plant working models that remove waste and reclaim resources from simulated wastewater, and design experiments to identify the impact of microplastics on micro-invertebrates.

Possible difficulties for the students: students who have poor knowledge of English may have difficulties to understand the content.

Comments
Strengths: students not only learn more topic related words but also expand their knowledge on the surrounding environment. The resource can be used for self-directed, peer assisted and collaborative learning. The topic reveals the scale of the plastic pollution and encourages reflection on the consequences of one’s consumption and thinking of possible solutions. Weakness: Practical part of the lesson are provided as associated activities (partial or full design process) that requires more time and corresponding materials for implementation. Scientific reliability: the source is scientifically reliable as correspond to Educational Standards • NGSS: Next Generation Science Standards - Science • International Technology and Engineering Educators Association – Technology Pedagogical values: peer assisted and collaborative learning, language development across the curriculum, teaching complex thinking, teaching through conversation, contextualization.

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