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As a result of climate change there is more rain in Bangladesh than ever before. Land where farmers used to grow their crops is now flooded on a regular basis. The result is families go hungry. This STEM lesson plan challenges students to design and build a model structure that will enable farmers to grow crops even in an area that may become flooded.
Students have an opportunity to test those skills associated with creative thinking, developing and testing hypothesis, working with others, making presentations.
The activity introduces students to a real world issue through a hands on activity; encourages creative and critical thinking; and reflects the strength of STEM resources.
The resource is self contained, providing teachers and students with all the necessary support materials.
The resource may be used as part of a larger study of the effects of climate change and more specifically as an illustration of what might be done to mitigate the effects of climate change.
The following tool will allow you to explore the relevant curriculum matches for this resource. To start, select a province listed below.
|Consideration of Alternative Perspectives
Within the parameters of the lesson, each group of students develops their response to the challenge presented - how to grow crops in an environment that experiences frequent flooding. Once completed, the students are introduced to solutions that have been adopted by the organization, Practical Action.
|Consideration of Alternative Perspectives:
|Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions
In responding to the challenge proposed by the lesson, students are made aware of the environmental component of the issue (climate change and more frequent flooding), the economic consequences (loss of food production), and the social implications (hunger, poverty, health)
|Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions:
Effectively addresses the environmental, economic and social dimensions of the issue(s) being explored.
The lesson has students investigate a particular solution to a real life problem - flooding and food production. Teachers may have students drill down deeper by investigating the larger issue of climate change, the vulnerability of the developing world to the consequences of climate change, and the various steps that may be take to mitigate the impact of climate change.
The complexity of the problems/issues being discussed is respected.
|Acting on Learning
Student action is central to the lesson. They are required to build a model of a floating garden and asked to consider developing a floating garden for a school pond. Other practical actions are suggested at the accompanying website.
|Acting on Learning:
Learning moves from understanding issues to working towards positive change — in personal lifestyle, in school, in the community, or for the planet
The lesson helps students realize how the actions of the developed world have consequences for the people in the developing world and the obligations that follows from that realization.
Students are explicitly provided with opportunities to identify, clarify and express their own beliefs/values.
|Empathy & Respect for Humans
The lesson draws student's attention to those who are the "victims" of climate change - the farmers of Bangladesh- but not the authors. In doing so, it may be expected to create a sense of empathy for those farmers and the students are further invited to act on that empathy with practical action - creation of and support for floating gardens.
|Empathy & Respect for Humans: Empathy and respect are fostered for diverse groups of humans (including different genders, ethnic groups, sexual preferences, etc.).
|Personal Affinity with Earth
Students are made aware of the effect of our actions on the natural world - climate change and flooding of agricultural land - and how we might respond to those changes in the natural environment with technology that is both imaginative and non-intrusive.
|Personal Affinity with Earth:
Encourages a personal affinity with -the natural world.
Climate change is both a global and a local issue. This particular lesson has students focus on the effects of climate change on farmers in Bangladesh. Teachers may choose, however, to have students move from this case study to an examination of the effects of climate change on local agriculture.
Includes learning experiences that take advantage of issues/elements within the local community.
|Past, Present & Future
Students learn how traditional agricultural practices are threatened by the effects of today's climate change and how we might adopt future practices to mitigate the consequences of climate change.
|Past, Present & Future: Promotes an understanding of the past, a sense of the present, and a positive vision for the future.
Students are presented with a challenge - How might crops be grown in an area that is subject to increased flooding because of climate change? Students are then introduced to the concept of floating gardens and asked to incorporate the idea in a design of their creation. Students exercise their ingenuity and imagination within the limits set out.
Lessons are structured so that multiple/complex answers are possible; students are not steered toward one 'right' answer.
The lesson reflects the strength of STEM projects in that consideration is given to science, technology, engineering and mathematics in meeting the challenge.
Learning brings together content and skills from more than one subject area
The students are presented with a problem - how to grow crops in a flood prone setting - and, with some direction, are asked to create "floating gardens" as a possible solution. Working in teams, the students experiment with designs that will be judged by the amount of weight each is able to sustain.
Learning is directed by questions, problems, or challenges that students work to address.
Students are introduced to the issue by examining a set of picture cards and by responding to a Power Point presentation. Students experiment with different models to test their effectiveness as floating gardens, present their best efforts to others and discuss and evaluate the efforts of their classmates.
Activities address a range of student learning styles, abilities and readiness.
The floating gardens models that students design (simulation) are intended to mimic those built by Practical Action to support farmers in flooded zones (real world context)
Authentic learning experiences are provided
Students work in teams throughout the activity to identify the issues in terms of cause and effect, design a possible solution that will mitigate the effects, evaluate the efforts of their classmates, and promote a wider awareness of the issue.
Group and cooperative learning strategies are a priority.
|Assessment & Evaluation
Students are provided with group design sheets that may be used to evaluate their efforts in responding to the problem presented. Their designs are then "tested" , providing a concrete evaluation of their designs, and other students use an Evaluating sheet to record their assessment of each groups efforts.
|Assessment & Evaluation: Tools are provided that help students and teachers to capture formative and summative information about students' learning and performance. These tools may include reflection questions, checklists, rubrics, etc.
Each student group must prepare and present their model floating garden to their classmates. The discussion and evaluation that follows will be instructive for all students.
Provides opportunities for students to actively present their knowledge and skills to peers and/or act as teachers and mentors.
The floating gardens designed by students are intended to make students aware of the difficulties faced by farmers in flood prone regions of the world. Following the activity, students are made aware of representative case studies of floating gardens that Practical Action has designed and built to assist farmers.
Relevant case studies are included. Case studies are thorough descriptions of real events from real situations that students use to explore concepts in an authentic context.
|Locus of Control
The issue is introduced by the teacher and some preliminary direction is given to the students as how they might respond. Once the stage is set, the students proceed to design their unique "solution".
|Locus of Control: Meaningful opportunities are provided for students to choose elements of program content, the medium in which they wish to work, and/or to go deeper into a chosen issue.