Go Green for Recycling – Chemistry

Student(s): Kate Douglas
Date: 4/8/13           Grade Level(s): 10th grade Chemistry
Instructor: Carla Stone           Email: stoneshores@comcast.net
Teaching Assistant: Bella Tirtowalujo           Email: tirtowal@msu.edu

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Name of Project: “Go Green For Recycling!”


Project Overview

Give a brief overview of the project you are planning.

Students in 10th grade are typically taking chemistry for their science class. One major issue that occurs all over is the problem of overwhelming landfills and the lack of recycling that is taking place. There have been many attempts to make this problem better known, and now the students here will get that opportunity to truly experience this problem and get the chance to come up with solutions on their own. Students will learn about soil and the chemical content within it. They will then learn about how plastic and other goods that should be recycled have a negative effect on the soil and what that means for our world. They will take a field trip to a recycling plant to learn more about the inner workings of recycling and the benefits of it. They will get some hands on experience when we go there by getting to recycle things from around their house that normally they might have thrown out. They will then have to go out and collect samples of soil to analyze the content. This will give them first hand experience of how the soil can be altered from the state it should be in. During this whole process, I will welcome youth voice and have the students come up with even more ways that they can do things to bring this issue to light and help in their own way.


Effective Practice: MEANINGFUL SERVICE

Service learning actively engages participants in meaningful and personally relevant service activities.

What community need will you address and how did you determine the need?

We are addressing the community need of oversized landfills harming our earth’s soils. This need ties into the issue, or rather the need, to recycle more. I determined this need based on my knowledge about recycling, and how even though there is much more attention to it now, there is still too much being thrown away rather than being recycled.

What service will you provide to address the need?

I will have students bring in their own recyclables to be recycled and they visit a recycling plant to learn what they can do to improve how they treat our land. From this, the class will come up with ways to help this issue and learn about incorporating it into their daily routines.


Effective Practice: LINK TO CURRICULUM

Service learning is intentionally used as an instructional strategy to meet learning goals and/or content standards.

How is this project related to your curriculum?

In chemistry, students learn about the chemicals in soils and, in general, our Earth. This ties directly to this curriculum by teaching the students how soil can be altered by our choices to recycle or not.

What are the educational goals?

The educational goal of this project is that students get a better understanding of the chemicals that make up our earth and how our actions alter this.


Curriculum Connections

List standards and benchmarks met by this project.

Standards:  Science: Biology, Chemistry, Physics
TLW:  The learners will identify science principles, use science principles, conduct scientific inquiry, and reflect on social implications surrounding science.


Additional State Standards and Benchmarks

List standards and benchmarks met by this project

STANDARD C1 Inquiry, Reflection, and Social Implications
C1.1 Scientific Inquiry
C1.2 Scientific Reflection and Social Implications

STANDARD C2 Forms of Energy
P2.p1 Potential Energy (prerequisite)
C2.1x Chemical Potential Energy
C2.2 Molecules in Motion
C2.2x Molecular Entropy
C2.3x Breaking Chemical Bonds
C2.4x Electron Movement
C2.5x Nuclear Stability

STANDARD C3 Energy Transfer and Conservation
P3.p1 Conservation of Energy (prerequisite)
C3.1x Hess’s Law
P3.p2 Energy Transfer (prerequisite)
C3.2x Enthalpy
C3.3 Heating Impacts
C3.3x Bond Energy
C3.4 Endothermic and Exothermic Reactions
C3.4x Enthalpy and Entropy
C3.5x Mass Defect

STANDARD C4 Properties of Matter
P4.p1 Kinetic Molecular Theory (prerequisite)
P4.p2 Elements, Compounds, and Mixtures
C4.1x Molecular and Empirical Formulae
C4.2 Nomenclature
C4.3 Properties of Substances
C4.3x Solids
C4.4x Molecular Polarity
C4.5x Ideal Gas Law
C4.6x Moles
C4.7x Solutions
C4.8 Atomic Structure
C4.8x Electron Configuration
C4.9 Periodic Table
C4.9x Electron Energy Levels
C4.10 Neutral Atoms, Ions, and Isotopes
C4.10x Average Atomic Mass

STANDARD C5 Changes in Matter
P5.p1 Conservation of Matter (prerequisite)
C5.r1x Rates of Reactions (recommended)
C5.2 Chemical Changes
C5.2x Balancing Equations
C5.3x Equilibrium
C5.4 Phase Change/Diagrams
C5.4x Changes of State
C5.5 Chemical Bonds – Trends
C5.5x Chemical Bonds
C5.6x Reduction/Oxidation Reactions
C5.7 Acids and Bases
C5.7x Brønsted-Lowry
C5.8 Carbon Chemistry


Effective Practice: REFLECTION

Service learning incorporates multiple challenging reflection activities that are ongoing and that prompt deep thinking and analysis about oneself and one’s relationship to society.

What form(s) of reflection will you use with the students to help them identify what they have learned and accomplished?

I will have the students tested on the unit test on all of this information and I will include questions based directly off of this service learning experience. I will also have the students check back in later in the semester as to how much they have increased their recycling and provide proof to me. I anticipate that scores on this test will be higher since they will have had hands on experience with the information.


Effective Practice: DIVERSITY

Service learning promotes understanding of diversity and mutual respect among all participants.

What types of diverse perspectives and experiences will be explored as part of your project?

(i.e.: cultural, generational, abilities/disabilities, learning styles, etc)

During the lesson in the classroom, I will discuss how over the years the soil has gotten much worse and tell them about other areas of the world and other times in history. We will be incorporating classroom learning with hands-on learning to accomplish this service learning. Students will also get to be taught about it by experts in the field when they visit the recycling plant.


Effective Practice: YOUTH VOICE

Service learning provides youth with a strong voice in planning, implementing, and evaluating service learning experiences with guidance from adults.

How will students gain ownership of the project?

I will have the students come up with more ways that they can help out and have them develop an experiment based around this concept. At every step in this process I will open the discussion for suggestions about what else they want to do and then will explore which ones are possibilities that we can then do.



Service learning partnerships are collaborative, mutually beneficial, and address community needs.

Who will you partner with for this project?

I will be partnering with the local recycling plant and with other teachers in the school that are doing service learning centered on recycling.

How will students benefit from this partnership?

Students will greatly benefit from both partnerships. Students will get to hear from experts in recycling the benefits of it on our land. They will get to see what happens when they recycle things in their homes too, which most never get to. By partnering with other teachers in the school, this broadens the students’ experience with this topic. If students have multiple teachers getting involved with this topic of recycling then they will get such a range of knowledge about it and really be able to help in many different ways. This will also help them if I am informed about what other teachers are doing I can make sure that nothing is duplicated.

How will the partner benefit from this collaboration?

The recycling plant will be pleased to help broaden the minds of today’s youth and be able to spread the information about the benefits of recycling. The other teachers will be informed of what I am doing in my classroom so that nothing is duplicated. We can then work together to create lessons that are different, but that work together.



Service learning engages participants in an ongoing process to assess the quality of implementation and progress toward meeting specified goals, and uses results for improvement and sustainability.

How will you assess the student learning goals?

I will be monitoring how much the students seem to be paying attention at every stage. I will also have them tested on all of the information that they should have learned through this experience, not just the curriculum necessities. After the tests are graded and handed back I will go over them thoroughly tying the information together with their experiences and ensuring that they understand the material and have learned.

How will you assess your service goals?

I will have the students all bring in recycling when they go to the plant and make sure that each student brings in some. Later in the semester I will then have them report back to me about how they have changed their habits at home regarding recycling. I will make them provide proof of this



Service learning has sufficient duration and intensity to address community needs and meet specified outcomes.

How will you prepare students for this experience?

I will have a lesson on soil content and recycling leading up to the field trip and then make sure they have all of the information needed to do their own analysis of the soil on their own. I will make sure they know exactly what to expect at every stage of this learning experience.

What are some sample possible activities students might do as part of this project?

Students can recycle a lot more, they can analyze actual soil for content, they can contribute to can and bottle drives, and they can do research into what organization locally are contributing to this issue and even what organizations globally contribute.



The three arms of sustainability are environmental stewardship, economic growth, and social progress. Think planet, profit, and people.

Describe how your project addresses the issue of sustainability?

The goal of this project is to contribute to the sustainability of our land here on Earth. The emphasis will be to preserve our land and do whatever we can to make sure it is healthy and will last for a long time. I will be emphasizing what irregular chemical content in soil can do to the land in the long-term. Students will be helping the long-term health of our planet by recycling more. The goal also is that after this learning is over the students will continue to recycle, which helps greatly.