Earth Day, 2018 – 12 activities

Sunday, April 22nd is Earth Day - There is so much to bring to your classroom to support recycling, conserving resources, studying climate change and protecting our planet.

Have you seen more Monarch butterflies lately? - Students read charts, do a little research, and make observations about the decline and resurgence of Monarchs. MP4, 3.MD, 6.RP.A, 7.RP.A, 7.EE, 8.EE, HSN

Measuring sea levels -  We've given students a diagram of what the interior of this mechanism contains and asked them to try to decide what its purpose must be. Then we've given them the data that was collected from this place and others globally and asked what they can conclude. 6.RP.3, 7.RP.1, 8.EE.B.5, 8.F.B.4, HSS.ID.C.7, HSF.IF.B.6, MP8

Should I replace my toilets? - I have really old fashioned toilets and I'm trying to figure out if I should invest in saving water.  Can you help me? 8.F.3, 8.F.4, 8.F.5, HSF.IF.B.4, HSF.IF.B.6, HSF.IF.C.7, HSF.IF.C.9, HSF.LE.A.2, HSF.LE.B.5

Methane Math - Carbon dioxide and methane are our two most prevalent human-contributed greenhouse gases.  This holstein cow is one of many huge contributors to our methane production.  Let students calculate percentages of greenhouse gas production from cars, cows, and people. Warning! Flatulence humor.  6.RP, 7.RP, 7.SP

Alarming ice cracks in Antarctica - A new, fast-growing ice crack is forcing the Halley VI British research station in Antarctica (shown above) to be moved.  Fear of a huge break-off from the ice sheet is alarming not just to the scientists on the station but to all of us.  At what rate is this crack growing and how large will this iceberg be when it breaks off? 6.G.A, 7.G.A, 7.G.B, HSG/GPE.B.7, HSA/CED.A.2, HSG/SRT.A.1 HSN/Q.A.1

BlueMarbleThe Blue Marble - Students compare maps with this famous photo and check to see which characteristics are maintained in each sort of mapping (Mercator, Goode homolosine, Gall–Peters, Winkel tripel) and which characteristics are distorted.  Start your class with a wonderful movie (produced by the Overview Institute) that shows the Earth as it was seen for the first time from space and the impact of that view. 6.G, 7.G, HSG.GMD.B, HSG.MG.A

Giant Iceberg drifts past Newfoundland - Use some of the data that was supplied and your estimation skills to gauge the volume of this iceberg.  5.MD.5, 6.G.2, 6.RP.3, 7.G.1, 7.G.5, HSG.MG.A.1, MP5

McDonald's moves toward Antibiotic-free chicken - What will the effects be on costs at the restaurant, costs in the supermarket and the cost and changes required of farm production?  Does this seem like a good move?  Why? 4.MD.3, 5.NBT.5, 5.NBT.7, 6.RP.1, 6.RP.2, 6.RP.3, HSG.MG.A.2, HSG.MG.A.3, MP6

bulbsCost of light bulbs - Students learn more about LED and CFL light bulbs as they analyze and graph their energy use and costs of lights and appliances.  Students use decimals operations, order of operations, graphing, systems and piecewise functions in this activity to help them think about ways to conserve the energy that they use. 5.NBT.3, 5.NBT.7, 6.NS.3, 6.RP.3, 6.EE.1, 6.EE.9, 8.EE.8, HSF.IF.C.7.B, HSA.REI.C.6, HSA.CED.A.2

Recycling Mardi Gras beads - Mardi Gras is a last hoorah and is celebrated throughout the world with feasting, partying, and general indulgence.  In New Orleans revelers throw and collect purple, green, and gold beads.  Students get a chance to examine the monetary and environmental cost of this bead exuberance with our unit pricing and recycling activity.  5.NF, 6.RP, 6.EE, 7.RP

Giant Iceberg breaks off of sheet in Antarctica - The crack in Antarctica's Larson C ice shelf has been growing for years.  Has the speed of the rift's growth stayed about the same? increased? decreased?  Do the math and discuss the implications. MP1, MP2, 6.RP.A, 7.RP.A, 8.F, HSF

What's my angle?Noon@MyHouse - We've used a little Solar geometry to analyze and estimate the proper angle for the tilt of my Solar panels.  Should I tilt the panels on my roof to more accurately aim towards the Sun? If so, at what angle should I use? Should I be able to adjust the panels to better receive low winter Sun and high summer Sun? How do I figure all of this out? 7.G.B, 8.EE.B, HSG.CO, HSG.SRT, HS.TF, HS.C, MP2

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