Quick summary: Students investigate how recyclable material is sorted by applying some of their known properties. They focus on the science behind sorting at a MRF – Materials Recovery Facility. Students explain the entire loop for an aluminium can.
This lesson has been developed as part of the Schools Recycle Right Challenge for Planet Ark’s National Recycling Week. Register your lesson or other activities so they can be counted towards the national achievement and to receive other free support materials.
Learning goals for this activity include: Students build an understanding of the differences amongst elements, compounds and mixtures. They explore how properties of matter can help in separating mixtures. Through the use of the video, students learn about the processes of aluminium recycling.
Australian Curriculum content descriptions:
Year 8 Science:
- Differences between elements, compounds and mixtures can be described at a particle level (ACSSU152)
- Summarise data, from students’ own investigations and secondary sources, and use scientific understanding to identify relationships and draw conclusions (ACSIS145)
- Reflect on the method used to investigate a question or solve a problem, including evaluating the quality of the data collected, and identify improvements to the method (ACSIS146)
Syllabus Outcomes: SC4-7WS, SC4-6WS, SC4-16CW.
Year level: 8
Time needed: 50 minutes
Level of teacher scaffolding: High – The experiments will need to be set up. Most students will need to be constantly asked leading questions if they are able to make the link between the experiments and the scientific principles. Magnetising aluminium is difficult to explain.
Resources needed: Magnets, clean steel and aluminium cans, a variety of plastics cut in squares, a few items of paper and glass cu, water, salt (NaCl), beakers.
Digital technology opportunities: Locate specific information from their local council website.
Assumed prior learning: Familiar with the plastics number code, have used magnets to find out which materials are attracted to them.
Key words: Mixture, magnetic, magnetic field, electricity, solution, salt, buoyancy, density, furnace, contamination.
Cool Australia’s curriculum team continually reviews and refines our resources to be in line with changes to the Australian Curriculum.
These Planet Ark resources were developed by Cool Australia with funding from the Alcoa Foundation.