Waste Lessons

How often do your students think about what happens to items they throw in the trash can or landfill? After conducting a school waste audit, they’ll never forget how much trash gets generated in your school, especially things that could have found another use other than taking up space in the landfill.

If your class is interested in starting or improving a composting or recycling system at your school, work through the lessons in this unit.

7th Grade Ohio Science Indicators Addressed by the Lessons in this Unit

  • Explain the biogeochemical cycles which move materials between the lithosphere (land), hydrosphere (water) and atmosphere (air).
  • Investigate how matter can change forms but the total amount of matter remains constant.
  • Explain that Earth’s capacity to absorb and recycle materials naturally can change the environmental quality depending on the length of time involved.
  • Analyze alternative scientific explanations and predictions and recognize that there may be more than one good way to interpret a given set of data.
  • Identify faulty reasoning and statements that go beyond the evidence or misinterpret the evidence.
  • Use graphs, tables and charts to study physical phenomena and infer mathematical relationships between variables
  • Design and build a product or create a solution to a problem given two constraints
  • Explain how needs, attitudes and values influence the direction of technological development in various cultures.
  • Describe how decisions to develop and use technologies often put environmental and economic concerns in direct competition with each other.
  • Explain that variables and controls can affect the results of an investigation and that ideally one variable should be tested at a time; however it is not always possible to control all variables.
  • Identify simple independent and dependent variables.
  • Formulate and identify questions to guide scientific investigations that connect to science concepts and can be answered through scientific investigations.
  • Choose the appropriate tools and instruments and use relevant safety procedures to complete scientific investigations.