Activity Introduction

Quick summary: In this lesson, students will explore the waste at their school by conducting an audit of their school bins. They begin by reviewing their knowledge of waste and making a pre-assessment of the waste at their school. Students participate in a school waste audit to determine the quantities and makeup of the waste generated at their school. They begin by counting the bins at their school before determining the quantity of waste generated by their school. Students will then review the contents of inside and outside bins to determine whether bins at their school are being used correctly. Students can use the results of their audit to develop a plan to reduce waste at their school during the follow-up social action lesson.

Cool Australia’s War On Waste lessons have been developed in partnership with Lune Media and with support from the Australian Environmental Grantmakers Network. These lessons have been designed to lead students through a deeper understanding of some of the big issues relating to waste in Australia and to support them to take action to reduce the impact of waste on our environment. To access the full War On Waste unit for Years 7 to 10, click here.

Learning intention:

  • Students understand what waste is and why we need to dispose of it correctly
  • Students understand why conducting a waste audit is important when wanting to reduce waste generation or to improve the way waste is disposed of
  • Students recognise some of the steps involved in conducting a waste audit.

21st century skills:

CommunicatingCritical ThinkingLeadershipTeam Work

Australian Curriculum Mapping

Content descriptions:

Year 7 Science

  • Some of Earth’s resources are renewable, including water that cycles through the environment, but others are non-renewable (ACSSU116)

Year 7 Mathematics

  • Calculate volumes of rectangular prisms (ACMMG160)
  • Identify and investigate issues involving numerical data collected from primary and secondary sources (ACMSP169)

Year 7 Geography

  • Evaluate sources for their reliability and usefulness and select, collect and record relevant geographical data and information, using ethical protocols, from appropriate primary and secondary sources (ACHGS048)

Year 8 Science

  • Solutions to contemporary issues that are found using science and technology, may impact on other areas of society and may involve ethical considerations (ACSHE135)

Year 8 Mathematics

  • Choose appropriate units of measurement for area and volume and convert from one unit to another (ACMMG195)
  • Develop formulas for volumes of rectangular and triangular prisms and prisms in general. Use formulas to solve problems involving volume (ACMMG198)
  • Investigate techniques for collecting data, including census, sampling and observation (ACMSP284)

Year 8 Geography

  • Evaluate sources for their reliability and usefulness and select, collect and record relevant geographical data and information, using ethical protocols, from appropriate primary and secondary sources (ACHGS056)
  • Represent data in a range of appropriate forms, for example, climate graphs, compound column graphs, population pyramids, tables, field sketches and annotated diagrams, with and without the use of digital and spatial technologies (ACHGS057)

Year 9 Mathematics

  • Identify everyday questions and issues involving at least one numerical and at least one categorical variable, and collect data directly and from secondary sources (ACMSP228)

Year 9 Geography

  • Evaluate sources for their reliability, bias and usefulness and select, collect, record and organise relevant geographical data and information, using ethical protocols, from a range of appropriate primary and secondary sources (ACHGS064)
  • Represent multi-variable data in a range of appropriate forms, for example scatter plots, tables, field sketches and annotated diagrams, with and without the use of digital and spatial technologies (ACHGS065)

Year 10 Geography

  • Evaluate sources for their reliability, bias and usefulness and select, collect, record and organise relevant geographical data and information, using ethical protocols, from a range of appropriate primary and secondary sources (ACHGS073)
  • Represent multi-variable data in a range of appropriate forms, for example scatter plots, tables, field sketches and annotated diagrams, with and without the use of digital and spatial technologies (ACHGS074)

Syllabus outcomes: SC4-12ES, GE4-7, GE5-7.

General capabilities: Critical and Creative Thinking, Numeracy.

Cross-curriculum priority: Sustainability OI.7, OI.9.

Relevant parts of Year 7 Science achievement standards: Students analyse how the sustainable use of resources depends on the way they are formed.

Relevant parts of Year 7 Mathematics achievement standards: Students use formulas for the area and perimeter of rectangles and calculate volumes of rectangular prisms. They identify issues involving the collection of continuous data.

Relevant parts of Year 7 Geography achievement standards: Students evaluate a range of primary and secondary sources to locate useful information and data. They record and represent data and the location and distribution of geographical phenomena in a range of forms.

Relevant parts of Year 8 Science achievement standards: Students explain how evidence has led to an improved understanding of a scientific idea

Relevant parts of Year 8 Mathematics achievement standards: Students convert between units of measurement for area and volume. They explain issues related to the collection of data.

Relevant parts of Year 8 Geography achievement standards: Students evaluate a range of primary and secondary sources to locate useful and reliable information and data. They select, record and represent data and the location and distribution of geographical phenomena in a range of appropriate digital and non-digital forms.

Relevant parts of Year 9 Mathematics achievement standards: Students compare techniques for collecting data from primary and secondary sources.

Relevant parts of Year 9 Geography achievement standards: Students evaluate a range of primary and secondary sources to select and collect relevant and reliable geographical information and data. They record and represent multi-variable data in a range of appropriate digital and non-digital forms.

Relevant parts of Year 10 Geography achievement standards: Students critically evaluate a range of primary and secondary sources to select and collect relevant, reliable and unbiased geographical information and data. Students record and represent multi-variable data in the most appropriate digital and non-digital forms.

Topic: Waste, Sustainability.

Unit of work: War On Waste – Years 7-10

Time required: 200+ mins.

Level of teacher scaffolding: High – oversee class discussion and auditing processes.

Resources required: 

Keywords: War On Waste, school, audit, rubbish, recyclables, food waste, green waste, bins.

Cool Australia’s curriculum team continually reviews and refines our resources to be in line with changes to the Australian Curriculum.

Worksheets

Teacher Worksheet

Teacher preparation

Learning intentions: Students will…

  • ... understand what waste is and why we need to dispose of it correctly
  • ... understand why conducting a waste audit is important when wanting to reduce waste generation or to improve the way waste is disposed of
  • ... recognise some of the steps involved in conducting a waste audit.

Success criteria: Students can…

  • … work collaboratively
  • … participate in class discussions
  • … locate features of their school on a map
  • … use maths to audit bin numbers, volume and composition
  • … analyse data to draw conclusions.

Teacher content information: In Australia, we began addressing the issue of waste in the 1960s and '70s with litter campaigns like Keep Australia Beautiful and Tidy Town Awards. With such a long history of waste reduction campaigns, you would think we had got on top of the waste issue; however, as the recent recycling crisis shows, we're still trying to solve the issue of waste in Australia.

Why is this

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Student Worksheet

Thought Starter: “Let’s talk trash… Only we humans make waste that nature can’t digest.” - Sylvia A. Earle

Reflection

1. Work independently to think about the results of your audit and answer the following question:

Do we have a waste problem at our school? Why or why not?

2. After watching the clip, answer the following questions:

What is most interesting or important about this clip?

What information in this clip could be used to help your school reduce its waste?

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