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Daily Classroom Special: More Earth Day

About this Daily Classroom Special: 
Science to Go
provides easy yet meaningful science activities for grades k-8. Science to Go was written by Barbara Smith, Magnet Coordinator at Harvard Elementary, Houston (TX) and former Teachers Network web mentor.

More Earth Day

Do you and your students have any activities planned? Here are a few you might want to try:

  1. Packaging Problem: Bring several items from your pantry. Have students examine the packaging, and list the different layers (ex: shrink wrap, cardboard box, plastic bag). Which items had the most packaging? How could these be reduced? How many pieces of trash would be generated for a day's worth of meals? Which items came wrapped in non-recyclables? Look for boxes made of recycled paperboard (they are gray on the inside).

    Challenge: As a focus for this activity, present children with a piece of fruit. Ask them to design packaging for the fruit. What's good about it? What's bad about it? Do fruits and vegetables NEED packaging? Have they seen this in their stores?

  2. Water Down the Drain: Have several students bring their toothbrushes (preferably wrapped in something sanitary). Provide a glass of water and a bucket or another glass for "spitting." Have students time how long it takes to brush teeth. Find averages. Then take students to a faucet or fountain somewhere in school and turn the stream up to the amount they would use during toothbrushing. With a measuring cup or two, measure how much water flows out in the amount of time they determined is needed to brush teeth. Better yet, measure a 15-second sample, and use that number to figure out the flow per minute! How much water would their family use during toothbrushing per day? Per week? How could this amount be reduced (turn off water while brushing).
  3. Bright Idea: Count the number of light bulbs in the school. Post this number, along with reminders about turning off lights when you leave a room.
  4. School Bills: Examine utility bills for the campus. Chart changes from month to month. Devise and carry out a plan to reduce them. Do the numbers change?
  5. Other activities:
    Paper drive
    Campus clean-up
    Ecology book-reading and discussing with younger classes
    Analysis of classroom trash and means of reduction
    Leak patrol - check school for leaky faucets and toilets
    Survey of neighborhood and real or potential ecological problems
    Aluminum drive to buy fans for classrooms (cuts down on cooling and heating needs.)

Earthday.net

World Wildlife Fund

 

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