Objectives

  • To increase student's awareness of the individual's responsibility to others.
  • To help students see Earth as a unique environment in space.

Material

  • Books, pamphlets, magazines on Waste Control and Disposal
  • Paint
  • Paper
  • Garbage cans
  • 1 Plastic garbage bag per student
  • Scale

Procedure

  • Activity One
    • To help students understand the amount of garbage individuals dump into the environment and the importance of not polluting space. Give students 1 plastic garbage bag and explain, they are to collect everything they would ordinarily throw away over a 2 or 3 day period. Discuss and predict the amount in volume and weight the students think they will collect. Have them decorate the bags and relate this activity to space. The Earth is a unique space capsule with an environment that needs protection. Just like any capsule in space, it has very specific needs. One is to keep it from contamination or danger from debris.
    • After the students have collected their garbage, have them each weigh and record the weight. Have fun! Who collected the most? How much did the whole class collect? Do some projecting. How much would that mean given the population of the school? Community? State? U.S.? What sort of stuff was in the bags? What might have been unnecessary--excess wrapping, for example? What was the volume? How could volume and weight be reduced? What problems arise with some of the solutions? Noxious gases? Is recycling an alternative? Why is it so important to deal with this problem both on Earth and in Space? What can be done?
  • Activity Two
    • In order to extend the classroom notion of garbage as space debris, have students brainstorm ideas for posters and sayings and turn garbage cans into Space Debris Containers. Have them work out details for a school or community project. Find out how waste is taken care of and what it costs. What restrictions are there in the school or community? What restrictions are there in space?

Extension

  • Have students bring in a special piece of garbage (a can, box, bottle, etc.) and turn it into a space object.