Plastic production & UN’s 17 Global Goals

We are large-scale consumers of plastic. There is plastic in our phones, our computers, our cars, our bikes, our kitchen utensils etc. Even the majority of our food is wrapped in plastic.

Since plastic was invented in the 1950’s, the production has exploded. Today the consumption of plastic so big, that on a global scale it’s equivalent to using 31.000 plastic bags per second!

In total the plastic production has grown from 15 million tons in 1964 to 311 million. tons in 2014, it is expected that the production of plastic is doubled over the next 20 years.

The distribution of plastic is of course connected to the price of production, seeing as plastic is a by-product from the oil refineries, which are being operated day and night, and thereby generate a lot of residual products, among these ethylene and propene gasses. Therefore the raw material is by and large free, which makes plastic like polyethylene and polypropylene cheap to produce in large quantities.

It is estimated that every year 8 million tons of garbage is dumped into the oceans, and that this number will double within the next 10 years. If this continue, soon there will be more plastic in the oceans than fish.1

Planning:

The starting point of this project is the resources that the UN has produced to introduce the 17 Global Goals to children and young people, and more exact the ones relating to goal no. 14.

When planning this project, besides Fable (which in this lesson plan, is mostly used as a part of showing competency in modelling, bu can be included in other ways, dependent on the pupils’ ideas), you should get a hold of samples of the six most common/important types of plastic, so the students can perform lab tests. These types of plastic should be in the form of pellets and different colors. See attached file: Plastic analysis lab lessons.

  • 1 Fable joint
  • 2 Fable Spin
  • PC (with Fable Blockly installed)
  • The different components for Fable
  • Smartphone
  • Tools for drawing and measuring
  • “A box of scraps” with a lot of little things, pipes/tubes etc. that the pupils can use for building
  • Possibly access to a Makerspace, laser cutter, and 3D printers (Refer to: Guidance: Libraries and makerspaces)
  • Different types of plastic, that the pupils can use for experiments.
  • Paper, glue and scissors.

Subject & grade: 8th – 9th grade

Biology, Physics/Chemistry and Geography

Length: Min 10 lessons (2×45 min.). And also time to allow the pupils to work independently with examinations and experiments.

Documents

Learning goals regarding programming
The pupil can create sequential programs, that can accomplish simple objectives.

The pupil understands that programs are executed by following simple, exact, and precise instructions.

Evaluation

Throughout the lesson plan there will be ongoing evaluation. The teachers provide feedback during the lessons. The pupils give feedback at the presentations, and following that, the teachers give the individual groups feedback.

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