Science Week 2017 – Future Earth Activities and Resources

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Science Week 2017 - Future Earth Activities

Written by Cassie (Teach Starter)

The Schools Theme for Australian National Science Week 2017 is “Future Earth”.  Time for students to put their metaphorical gumboots on and explore sustainability and the environment!

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At Teach Starter, we LOVE sustainability! And, we are here to support you in making your classroom buzz with a stack of sustainability teacher resources and sustainability activity ideas that are value-packed and will keep your students engaged in learning.

The “Future Earth” theme encompasses many great topics, so you can choose the one that is most suitable for your class. You could explore issues related to the future of the planet Earth through topics such as (but not limited to):

  1. Consumption & Waste
  2. Renewable & Non-Renewable Energy
  3. Sustainable Living Practices
  4. Ecosystems, Habitats & Biodiversity

This post provides you with ideas, activities and resources for each of these topics related to Science Week 2017.


1. CONSUMPTION & WASTE
“Biodegradable or Not?” Experiment

  • What type of waste is harmful to our planet?
  • Where does my rubbish go after I throw it in the bin?
  • What happens when we run out of space for storing all of our waste?
  • Do I really need a new t-shirt and another plastic toy?

Learning about recycling is so important! It is one thing that we can all take action on in our everyday lives. However, you can extend your students’ understanding of why we need to recycle by exploring the impact of excess consumption of things like clothing, toys and electronics.

Equipment needed to Biodegradable science activity - a shovel, gloves, mandarin skin and toy cars

“Biodegradable or Not?” Science Experiment

This simple Science experiment exploring biodegradable and non-biodegradable materials is available across three levels. You can download this resource for Foundation – Year 1, Years 2 and 3, and Years 4 – 7.

Bury six different objects in the ground, or in a container of dirt and leave them for two weeks. Make predictions and form a hypothesis about what might happen to each object. After two weeks, dig them up, observe and record how each object has changed!

More Consumption & Waste Resources and Activities


2. RENEWABLE ENERGY
Renewable and Non-Renewable Energy Sort

  • What is energy?
  • How is energy made?
  • Is renewable energy better or worse than non-renewable energy?

Renewable and Non Renewable Energy Sorting activity for national science week 2017

Energy Free Lesson and Renewable Energy Sort

With the future Earth in mind, exploring how energy is made and consumed is an important lesson. You can try spending a day or a morning energy free, as an engaging introduction to this renewable and non-renewable energy sorting activity. Find out just how much you and your class rely on energy each day!

Other Energy Related Resources


3. SUSTAINABLE LIVING PRACTICES
Composting

  • What are sustainable living practices?
  • How can we make small changes in our lives that will help Future Earth?

Sustainable living involves changing the way we go about our regular lives in order to reduce the impact we have on the environment. Reducing our consumption of non-biodegradable products, composting biodegradable waste, eating food grown locally or at home, using renewable energy like solar power instead of traditional coal-powered electricity are all examples of sustainable living practices.

collecting materials for a compost bin

Setup a Compost Bin

Setting up a compost bin is much easier than you may think! Ask if someone in your school community can build one from reclaimed materials or find a second-hand compost bin through your local buy, sell, swap group on Facebook (a spinning compost bin is great for turning the compost without the need for a pitchfork or shovel). Use another small, covered plastic bin to have out during break times for students to collect their compostable rubbish.

(1) The basic premise is to fill your compost bin with 50% green matter (like most food scraps) and 50% brown matter (like dry leaves, twigs or cardboard). This poster is a great reminder of what can go in a compost bin.
(2) Add a little bit of water to your compost bin each time you add brown matter to keep the compost moist. (3) Turn it once a week with a shovel or garden fork.

Your class may like to ask the tuckshop and other classes to collect their compostable waste too!

More Sustainable Living activities and resources:


4. ECOSYSTEMS, HABITATS & BIODIVERSITY
Create a Local Habitat Poster

These are all great questions to explore in Science Week 2017. Introducing animal habitats is a great way to frame a student’s understanding of the Earth as the human habitat, making connections to how and why we need to protect our planet for the future.

local Australian habitats - research for Science Week 2017

Create a Local Habitat Poster

Students research protected land areas in the local area answering questions such as:

  1. What is the name of this area?
  2. What type of habitat is it?
  3. Why is it protected?
  4. What types of wildlife live here?
  5. What are some of the issues threatening this area?
  6. How can we protect this habitat?

Students can present their research through text and images in a digital or physical poster. You may even consider connecting with a local Bushcare group to find out about what habitat preservation projects are happening in your community.


“Future Earth” is an exciting theme and with sustainability a cross-curricular priority, it is a great opportunity to incorporate one or more of these activities into your class’ experience of National Science Week 2017.

For more activity ideas and resources for teaching sustainability across all key learning areas, check out our blog post  15 Sustainability Activities and Ideas for the Classroom.

teaching sustainability - activities and ideas for the classroom

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