Author:
Carrie Robledo, APRIL SUMMEY
Subject:
English Language Arts, Science
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Level:
Upper Primary, Middle School
Tags:
  • 35-cs-02
  • 35-da-03
  • 35-da-04
  • 35.CS.02
  • 35.DA.03
  • 35.DA.04
  • 4th Grade
  • 8th Grade
  • K2.CS.03
  • NCEngineers
  • Science
  • Sphero
  • Stem
  • k2-cs-03
    License:
    Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike
    Language:
    English

    Education Standards

    The Great Pacific Garbage Patch Cleanup with Spheros

    The Great Pacific Garbage Patch Cleanup with Spheros

    Overview

    During this unit, students will learn about the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. They will read about the GPGP and then prepare a presentation with their findings and solutions.  Lastly, they will create a prototype to help with the ocean cleanup and use Spheros to maneuver the prototype to pick up trash in water.

    Instructor Directions

     

     

    The Great Pacific Garbage Patch Cleanup Project with Spheros

    Submitted by April Summey

    Henderson County Public Schools

     

    Driving Question / ScenarioYou have been hired by Boyan Slat to help create a prototype that will clean trash from the ocean. Boyan Slat founded The Ocean Cleanup at age 18 and developed a device to help clean up the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. What can we learn about the Great Pacific Garbage Patch?How can we help clean up trash from the ocean?How can we use less plastic?
    Project SummaryDuring this unit, students will learn about the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. They will read about the GPGP and then prepare a presentation with their findings and solutions.  Lastly, they will create a prototype to help with the ocean cleanup and use Spheros to maneuver the prototype to pick up trash in water.
    Estimated Time3 weeks
    Materials / Resources-Articles about the GPGP-GPGP note documents-Adobe Spark (it is allowed in our district for elementary students, but it might need to be set up by instructional technology in your district for younger students), Google Slides, Jamboard or StoryboardThat for presentations on GPGP-Sphero Spark or Bolt robots if possible or students can figure out a way to create self propelled clean up systemsPrototype: Duct tape, 4 different sizes of cups, bubble wrap, pipe cleaners, popsicle sticks, foam, plastic egg cartons, and straws.  If possible, it would also be great to offer screen scrapes.  You can also brainstorm with groups any other materials that they would like. -Kiddie pool to test the designs
    Grade4-8
    Subject(s)ELA, Science
    Educational StandardsELARI.1Read closely to determine what the text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it; cite specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions drawn from the text.RI.2Determine central ideas or themes of a text and analyze their development; summarize the key supporting details and ideas.RI.4Interpret words and phrases as they are used in a text, including determining technical, connotative, and figurative meanings, and analyze how specific word choices shape meaning or tone.Science  4th grade4.L.1 Understand the effects of environmental changes, adaptations and behaviors that enable animals (includinghumans) to survive in changing habitats.4.L.1.1 Give examples of changes in an organism’s environment that are beneficial to it and some that are harmful.Science 8th grade8.P.2.1 Explain the environmental consequences of the various methods of obtaining, transforming and distributing energy.8.P.2.2 Explain the implications of the depletion of renewable and nonrenewable energy resources and the importance of conservation.8.E.1 Understand the hydrosphere and the impact of humans on local systems and the effects of the hydrosphere on humans.8.E.1.4 Conclude that the good health of humans requires:• Monitoring of the hydrosphere• Water quality standards• Methods of water treatment• Maintaining safe water quality• Stewardship
    Classifying Objective
    1. Students will be able to explain what the GPGP is and key details about it.  They will be able to write the main ideas of four different articles and details that support the main ideas.
    2. Students will be able to prepare a presentation synthesizing their findings.
    3. Students will be able to share solutions for making the oceans plastic free by 2050.
    4. Students will work in teams to create a prototype with supplied materials to help clean up plastic from the ocean.
    Project Outline
    AskBegin by projecting the Google Slides presentation, and asking students what they think they are looking at.  Have students guess what it could be. Next show slide 3, which gives them another clue that it is more than twice the size of Texas. Let them speculate again about what it could be.  Next show students, slide 4 and explain what they were looking at:  The Great Pacific Garbage Patch.  In groups, ask students to discuss what questions they have about the patch. Students can post them on a Padlet for everyone to see.  After looking at the questions, explain to groups that we will be doing research on the GPGP and coming up with solutions.
    ImagineYou have been hired by Boyan Slat to help create a prototype that will clean trash from the ocean. Boyan Slat founded The Ocean Cleanup at age 18 and developed a device to help clean up the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.  In order to do this task, you must become an expert on the GPGP. At this point, share the project rubric.  Students can also help you create the rubric. This helps create buy in and knowledge of what is expected. During this stage of the process, share the article links with students.  Use the GPGP notes organizer and show students how to jot down the main ideas from the articles and supporting details. Complete article #1 together.  Next they read articles #2-4 and finish their research. Then they will share their findings with the class.  They can present using Google Slides, Adobe Spark, JamBoard, or StoryboardThat.  This step could be taken out depending on how much time you have allotted for the unit. It is important for them to complete the research, but you might want them to spend more time on their prototypes for the cleanup instead. Here is a student sample from Adobe Spark if you complete this step. Show students the video of Boyan Slat’s clean up device (found on slide 7). It seems to help them visualize the clean up process.
    PlanNext groups will use the information they learned about the GPGP to create a prototype to clean up the trash.  They will have to remember what kind of substances are in the patch. For example, my students found that almost half of the GPGP is composed of fishing nets. We actually used hairnets from the cafeteria as part of our trash to clean up.Share with groups the materials that you have available for their prototype. Also, show them a Sphero and how it moves. The Sphero Sparks and Bolts are waterproof and they can help propel the creations. Give groups a sheet of paper and have them create a draft of their prototype. They will also need to write down or label the materials that they will need on the prototype draft sheet.  
    CreateDuring this process, students will create their prototypes. Guide students to create a timeline of the process so they stay on task. Also guide groups to divide up the task evenly so everyone gets a chance to be a part of the design process.
    ImproveIt is helpful to have a sink of water nearby so students can test out their designs and improve upon them. Fill a kiddie pool with water and floating trash:  hairnets, cut up plastic bits, styrofoam, cut up cups etc. You can brainstorm with students what kinds of materials should be in the water.  Before they share the designs as a group, allow students to test them in the kiddie pool with the Spheros and then revise their designs.
     Closure / Student ReflectionsStudents will maneuver the Spheros with their prototypes and attempt to collect trash pieces. Have groups reflect on their designs and what they would have changed.  Ask groups to share what other materials they wish were available.
    Possible Modifications / ExtensionsDepending on how much time you have allotted, you might not want students to create an Adobe Spark presentation with their main ideas and details. They could just complete the main idea/details note sheet instead. Depending on the grade level, you could modify the number of articles that students are required to read. If Spheros are not available, students could research other ways to maneuver the device. For example, they could use a yardstick to steer it. Here is a video link showing a completed prototype in action with fourth grade students.