Funded by the National Science Foundation, TeachEngineering is a robust digital library of standards-aligned K-12 STEM curriculum materials. This particular lesson was designed for students in grades 3-5 and meets Next Generation Science Standards. In this lesson, students become familiar with the concept of the 3RC (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, and Compost) and learn about the steps of integrated waste management and the role that engineering plays in this process. This lesson also links to three hands-on associated activities where students "look at the effects of packaging decisions (reducing) [and] observe biodegradation in a model landfill (composting)," and use recycled materials to build towers in teams of three. The lesson plan and activities all include learning objectives, downloadable handouts, detailed instructions, and breakdowns of the time required, and interested educators could likely complete all four portions over a one-week span. Contributed by the Integrated Teaching and Learning Program in the University of Colorado-Boulder's College of Engineering, this lesson is one of ten in TeachEngineering's environment curricular unit.
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