“Tell me and I’ll forget, show me and I may remember, involve me and I learn”– Benjamin Franklin
First Class are getting big into Reduce, Reuse, Recycle – Three great ways WE can eliminate waste and protect our environment! Why don’t you ask them for tips as they have some great ideas and also some fab new inventions for eliminating waste in the near future.
Following on from an interesting debate about pollution in the sea and how we might choose to handle it, the children were keen to design their own sea bins and help rid the rubbish caused by humans, especially plastics.
In keeping with our theme, they brought in lots of recycled materials from home for this and busied themselves designing and making an appropriate bin bot prototype.
Some designs acted like a vacuum cleaner and quite literally hoovered it all up. Other designs sported spikes where litter might catch on to the sides. Many had grabbers or mouths to gobble up the bad stuff. Some even had quite complex systems of filtration to ensure only rubbish could be collected and no harm could come to any sea creatures. Some also featured add-ons, such as windows to make it possible to see when the bin was full and would need emptying.
Unfortunately the photos taken cannot capture the essence of the lesson learned, but they do give a snippet into how enjoyable it was to discover ways to recycle waste, whilst also reusing their own waste in a creative and fun way.
As a quick aside to this lesson the children had a go at putting some of their filtration designs into action. We filled basins of water to represent the sea and dropped rubbish into it, including some packaging from their lunch boxes. They tried sieving out the rubbish using a variety of instruments: mainly a recycled plastic cup with small holes in it, a simple flour sieve and both a small and large kitchen colander.
Most agreed that the large colander was most effective at removing rubbish…until we added coffee and the water turned a brown mucky colour. They were fairly disappointed not to find a solution for turning the water colour back again, even though one child thought perhaps with persistence they had changed it back just a little bit.
From this the children concluded it was very important to try to prevent water getting polluted in the first place but if it did end up getting polluted that it would be a tricky process to get it back to normal, but not impossible.
As you can imagine they were flabbergasted and enthralled to learn that in some parts of the world, the wastewater that flows down the drain – yes, including toilet flushes – can now be filtered and treated until it is as pure as drinking water!
But would you like to try it? Or have you already done so?