11-14 cross-curricular projects in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM)

Pod 2 Waste

In this sample video from Pod 2, Speck the alien challenges the idea of throwing things ‘away’.

Pupils explore the wastefulness of current manufacturing processes.

They categorise waste into two main categories: natural materials which can be recycled through natural systems, and processed technical materials which cannot and so build up in the environment.

Pupils realise that, in order to stop resource depletion and polllution, technical materials used in products need to be designed so that they can easily be dismantled and re-used through closed loop systems . These are cradle to cradle products.

Download the resources for pod 2 Waste starting with the Presentation which structures the lesson




All pod 2 docs         

Lesson 1: Natural systems

Pupils classify materials found on a beach into manufactured or processed (technical) materials on one hand and natural materials on the other. Pupils develop their listening skills by transferring information on natural processes to graphic notes.

Waste lesson 1 image

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Lesson 2: Sustainable use of resources

Pupils consider the number of aluminium cans used in the UK and the extent to which they are recycled. They use spreadsheets to model how much aluminium is retrieved. Pupils compare the UK recycling rates with rates of other countries and suggest strategies to help close the aluminium loop.

Waste lesson 2

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Lesson 3: Cradle to cradle design

Pupils take a torch to pieces and draw an exploded diagram. They extract information from a fact file about finite materials in the torch, and consider how its design could be made more sustainable.

Waste Lesson 3 image

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Lessons 4 & 5: Dragons’ Den: making a pitch for funding

Pupils assume the role of designers presenting their idea to a Dragons’ Den panel. Their brief is to take an everyday product and redesign it to conform to closed loop principles. This summative task draws on the knowledge, skills and understanding developed earlier in the pod, helping pupils develop presentation skills.

Waste lesson 4 & 5 image

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