Plastic Pollution and You, teaching kids about plastics

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. — New York Sea Grant has created a lesson plan directly dedicated to plastic pollution and the human influence, and it has already been used by some teachers across the state.

“So it’s a 15 activity curriculum and it moves kids, and anyone who works with it, to awareness to action. We’ve launched it in April, right around Earth Day, and it has been out across the state and teachers have been able to interact with it and use it in the classrooms and we are really excited about that,” explains Nate Drag, Great Lakes Literacy Specialist with New York Sea Grant.

The curriculum is catered for all, from elementary school to up and through high school. Nate adds, “At the elementary level a lot of that is the awareness. Understanding that there’s a lot of different types of plastic. Putting it in the recycling bin doesn’t magically turn it into a new item or new material, there’s a lot that goes into it. So, there’s that awareness. Then, you can build up in there for the higher levels. So, like the chemical analysis of different types of plastics or the complexity of the recycling system globally and what recycling markets really look like.”

The lesson plans are of easy access for teachers who would be interested in implementing this into his or her classroom.

“It is a free download for anyone. So, they can always download it. There is also a recording of a webinar we did in April when we launched the curriculum that has an overview with all the activities as well as a presentation from Dr. Sherry Mason who is a researcher out of Penn State who did some of the fundamental issue on some of this in the Great Lakes.”

If you are a teacher who is interested in the lesson plan, click here for more information.