Recently updated to support the Properties of Matter middle school science standards, this lesson focuses on the history, chemical composition and structure of plastics; origin, transport and destination of ocean plastics; impacts on the environment; solutions and stewardship. Hands-on labs include a Sink/Float Plastic Density Investigation and Albatross Bolus Dissection. Students enrich their learning by participating in a debris cleanup at a school campus or nearby park. Debris collected is recorded on International Coastal Cleanup data forms and submitted to Puget Soundkeeper Alliance. Teachers may also request Beach Sweeper Field Notebooks which allow students to map their site, ask investigative questions, collect data, reflect on findings and create an action plan.
50-60 minutes in the classroom, 50-60 minutes in the field
Designed for grades 6-9, but adaptable to all ages.
Pacific Shellfish Institute