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Plastic. It's super useful but it's also a big problem for the environment. Enough plastic is thrown away every year to circle the earth four times! The main issue is that plastic doesn't break down, meaning it sticks around for a very long time. This video gives a quick overview of the scope of the plastic problem and what some people are doing to try to solve it.
This video and the accompanying activities were produced by KQED as part of the Engineering for Good unit. This unit was designed to help teachers integrate engineering into their science classroom with a fun meaningful hands-on project. The unit provides support for teachers to guide students through the engineering design process to develop solutions to a real-world problem. Engineering for Good is focused on developing solutions for impacts of plastics on the environment, though the specific problem the students tackle is defined by them.
There is increasing awareness of the role of plastics in our lives and the consequences of our dependence on this most convenient of products. The video serves to alert students to this reality and provides them with some basic information about the amount of plastic produced and the benefits and the negative impacts of our use. An accompanying unit provides students with a framework in which they may begin to consider solutions to mitigate what has become a serious threat to the planet and its inhabitants.
The video has a certain shock value while the unit of study offers some hope that solutions are possible.
The video and the accompanying unit of study may be used in support of those units of study dealing with
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