Between progress and pollution
Lidia Minza, one of the Xplora teachers, teaches Chemistry in Romania at the “Vasile Alecsandri” High School, Galatzi. She tells us about an activity, carried out in her chemistry class with pupils aged 16-17 years.
Within this lesson plan students will:
-describe ways in which humans impact the environment.
-understand that pollution is harmful to all living things.
-give examples about how we can reduce, reuse, and recycle waste.
How to carry out the activity
1. Discuss about pollution and about the ways humans negatively impact the environment.
What is pollution?
Which human activities create pollution in our town?
2. Students are going to take actively part in a pollution activity. They are going to visit Sidex (Mittal Steel), an iron aggregate close to Galatzi, which brings the biggest pollution to the city they live in. The students will also visit the Sendreni village, very close to the steel plant, in order to see the effects of the environment’s pollution.
3. Create five groups of students:
-group one: Galatzi – general description;
-group two: furnaces;
-group three: steel;
-group four: Sendreni – pollute village;
-group five: video operators.
Each group will write a report about its activity and its own objectives.
4. Return to the classroom and discuss what happened during the activity.
Who is affected by pollution? Talk about which kind of things pollute our environment, why it is important to protect our planet from pollution and how we can avoid polluting our world.
5. The reports, pictures, postcards and movies will be put together and a final report of the visit will be written. This report will be published in the school’s newspaper, at the school scientific session, at symposia and student’s conferences.
6. Ask students to design a poster featuring proposals to reduce, reuse, and recycle waste. Each poster should be creative, colorful, and present at least two facts about pollution and two proposals to reduce, recycle, or reuse waste.
7. Display the finished posters in visible areas around the school to show other students how we can conserve our natural resources and protect our environment.
• Poster board;
• Pencils, erasers, and rulers
• Crayons or markers
• Video camera
Use the following three-point rubric to evaluate students' work during this lesson.
• 10 points (maximum vote): students were highly engaged in class and group discussions; the have fully participated in the pollution activity and have designed a creative and informative conservation poster with their group, meeting all proposed criteria.
• 7 points (medium vote): students have participated in class and group discussions; they have partially participated in the pollution activity and have designed an adequate and sufficiently informative conservation poster with their group, meeting most of the proposed criteria.
• 5 point (minimum vote): students have participated minimally in class and group discussions; they have not participated in the pollution activity and have not helped their group in designing the conservation poster, which is incomplete and not sufficiently informative, meeting only one or few aspects of the proposed criteria.
Definition: The study of how organisms relate to each other and their environments
Context: Ecology shows us why it’s important to protect the Earth from pollution.
Definition:The physical world
Context: All living things are part of nature.
Definition: Harmful or poisonous substances that dirty the air, water, or land
Context: Pollution can be dangerous to people, plants, and animals.
A report (pdf), describing the specific context of the Sidex iron aggregate and featuring the related several chemical processes, is provided. The report has been provided by Lidia Minza.
Photos: Lidia Minza and her students