K-12 Curricula and Resources
Available for Download
Title: “What is Your Environmental Impact?”
Focus: Environmental Science & the Scientific Method
Age: 6th, 7th, and 8th (Can be modified for a
get students interested in examining their impacts on the environment
and introduce a scientific approach to analyzing this.
Ruzicka, 2009 IISME Fellow
and 7th and 8th Grade Science Teacher, Fremont Unified School District
will evaluate their individual impact on the environment (Ecological
- Students will
develop a basic understanding
of sustainability research and life cycle assessment tools to improve
environment (PowerPoint lecture).
- Students will
actively participate in
scenarios that show how product choices can affect the environment (Matching
- Students will
purpose an action plan
for their school or community focusing on environmental awareness (Group
materials needed include: LCD projector and computer, 4 x 6 inch index
cards, Internet access in a computer lab setting or for students at
materials for designing presentation posters (paper, markers, rulers,
pencils, or crayons).
Introductory Activity - Determination of an Individual Ecological
Document: ecological.footprint.doc (53KB)
PowerPoint Lecture & Guided Notes - Present information
and life cycle assessment (fifty minutes)
- For this activity,
if it is going to
be done in the classroom, it would be best to go to a computer
All students would need to access this site:
It could also entirely be assigned as homework.
- The ecological
footprint worksheet (see
attachment) can be used as a whole assignment for students to go
as they navigate the website or the teacher can pick and chose topics
have the students complete as they work through their individual
calculation. If photocopying is a concern, a class set could be made
students to record their work on binder paper or in a notebook.
- Topic 6 (think
about it) and topic 7
(family extension) can be assigned as homework.
- Once students
complete their individual
ecological footprint compare the data the students got in a class
The following day, discuss as a class the topic 6 questions.
Document: lca.presentation.ppt (4.5MB)
3 and 4:
Life Cycle Assessment Matching Game (thirty
minutes each day)
- Pass out to
students guided notes handout
- In a lecture
format, show the students
the PowerPoint notes.
- Take time for
class discussion during
examples and open ended topics.
5, 6, and
7: (Group Project 2 - 3 students)
- Refer to
attachment (Matching Game)
for teacher set up directions and also student directions.
- Students should
each complete a data
sheet (see attachment) during play. The data sheet could be shown
as an overhead for students to copy down or they could each have their
- Collect data
sheets at end of play on
the second day.
Document: lca.group.project.doc (83KB)
Document: lca.group.project.grading.sheet (64KB)
evaluate data gathered
using a life cycle assessment approach to product choices.
teams will pick an issue either at school or in the community to focus
on. They may, for example, choose to focus on water bottle
and purchase during gym class. The group will pick two product
around that topic (plastic water bottles or a large container with
cups). They will then research what the products are made of, the
manufacturing processes involved, transportation used, and how it is
of. Based on this information, they will determine which choice
less impactful to the environment and purpose an action plan.
minutes each day).
Wrap Up & Group Presentaions of Proposals (fifty
spread out over several days)
- Students will
divide into groups and
pick a topic to focus on.
- Students wil set
aside time for web
based research. Day 5 and 6 could be spent in the computer lab or
giving students an opportunity to investigate their topics.
students more time to continue research outside of class would allow
more indepth findings. Students may need to contact companies to
determine specifics about the products they are looking at.
- Give students work
time in class to
put together their projects.
- See attachment for
and handouts (LCA Group Project)
Cycle Assessment Student Study
Habits with Your Gadgets!"
is vampire energy? How long do you watch TVor use your desktop
Do you leave your cell phone or MP3 player plugged in when you are not
What does this mean
to the enviornment?
Check out a survey that was taken by 100 students like you and find out
what you can do!
Download: vampire.plug.loads.pdf (328KB)
- Industry Initiatives for Science and Math Education
Curriculum Author Stephanie Ruzicka at Horner Junior High School
other Lesson Plans Developed by