School Age & Youth Lectures


The District’s Education Specialist can visit your classroom to teach about the environment.

Classroom presentations are designed to meet science indicators and may also integrate social studies, mathematics and language arts. Presentations are designed for a specific a grade and may be hands-on or include a worksheet, story, craft or game. A list of classroom presentations is below in order of topic and age group.

SCHEDULING A VISIT


Classes are scheduled on a first come, first served basis. Please plan on scheduling your classroom visit at least 2-4 weeks in advance. We prefer to reach every class in your grade level, and usually one classroom at a time. When creating a schedule for the Education Specialist, please schedule presentations back-to-back and include a lunch break. A school representative must be in charge of the group of students, and their behavior, during the presentation. We reserve the right to not begin or complete a presentation for any reason, including inappropriate student behavior or an unscheduled change in schedule. 

Contact the District's Education Specialist at 216.443.3731 or by e-mail.

Climate Change

Putting on Pollutant Pounds
Grades 5-8
Human activity has impacted the environment including changing the climate. Students will calculate the amount of pollutants emitted for their energy needs, and they will discuss how actions and activities impact the environment. Students will brainstorm solutions. 
60 minutes
 
Focus on Carbon
Grades 5-8
Carbon is the number one greenhouse gas that is causing the earth to warm and the climate to change. Students will learn about the carbon cycle, be able to distinguish between carbon sinks and carbon sources, compare carbon emission rates of several countries and learn how simple actions can combat climate change. 
70 minutes
 
The Big Three Greenhouse Gases
Grades 5-8
The top three greenhouse gases are forms of carbon, methane and nitrogen that are naturally occurring. Through human activity these gases are present in higher concentrations compared to pre human history. Students will learn about cycles and properties of each of the gases through a series of several active games.  Students will learn different choices they can make to lower or raise their emissions of greenhouse gases. 
70 minutes

Compost

Compost Stew
Grades pre-K-1
Introduce the idea of composting once living things through reading the Compost Stew Book. Students will participate in the story by adding their faux item to the stew pot. Items represent composting from A-Z. In the end, they magically make compost and learn how it is used.
30 minutes
 
Compost/Decomposition
Grades K-2
Composting slowly changes once living materials into healthy soil, which help plants grow. Students will learn about non-living and living materials, how living materials decompose, what can be composted and the organisms that help with the composting process.
40 minutes
 
Edible Compost
Grades 1-4
The proper amount of greens and browns are needed in a compost pile to have organic matter decompose properly. Students will learn the ingredients needed to build a compost pile by creating an edible model of a compost pie.
40 minutes
 
Compost and Soils
Grades 3-4
Students will learn the composition and properties of compost, sand, soil and mulch through testing these materials. Students will construct a compost pile to observe organic waste decomposing over time.
60 minutes
 
Worms
Grades 3-4
Worms help break down organic matter and can be used to reduce garbage going to landfills. Students will study a red wiggler worm and record in a worm book about how they move, what they eat, etc.  Students will be able to share facts about worms, their attitude towards them and benefits of a worm farm.
40 minutes
 
Composting Organics
Grade 5-7
Composting fruits, leaves, grasses and other organic wastes create humus, which is high in nutrients. Students will learn about how organic matter decomposes and how nutrients are cycled to be reused by other plants. 
 
Climate Compost Project
Grades 1-9
PowerPoint presentation how composting food waste helps solve the climate crisis. 100% of warming to the earth since the 1950's has been caused by human actions.
60 minutes

Cycles

Nature & Human Cycles
Grades K-3
Follow the example of natural cycles to live more in harmony with the earth. Students will discuss several natural cycles and how they can mimic nature by reusing natural resources through recycling.
30 minutes
 
Econo-Puzzle*
Grades 2-3
Natural resources are used to make products, but most people throw them away after one use. Students will examine cycles of goods by creating a diagram of how goods are produced and finding out what happens to them. 
30 minutes

Energy

Energy Bills
Grades 1-2
Sun, food, gas and coal create electric energy and heat. Students will learn how energy is used, and they will add up the cost of their energy habits and brainstorm ideas on how simple actions can conserve energy.
40 minutes
 
Energy Wheel
Grades 5-6
Energy comes from renewable sources like the sun and nonrenewable sources like coal. Students will create an energy resource wheel, and they will discuss ways to extend energy use through conservation and efficiency.
60 minutes
 
Far Out Fossil Fuels
Grades 5-6
Gasoline is a fossil fuels made from crude oil. Students will learn how fossil fuels are formed and processed into other energy sources. They will also discover how to conserve nonrenewable energy resources.
60 minutes
 

Forestry Resources

Town Meeting
Grades 5-7
A town meeting has been called to decide what “land-use” plan will be the best for the town’s forest. Students as a team will design a “land-use” plan for local forest resources based on environmental and economic needs, then they will present their plan for a vote.
90 minutes
 

Household Hazardous Waste

Harmful Home
Grades K-3
Many products found in the home can be dangerous to children, adults and pets. Students will recognize symbols and words that indicate hazardous substances and create a recipe book for safe household substitutes.
40 minutes
 
Home, Safe Home*
Grades 4-6
Cleaning will keep the house neat and tidy, but some products used in cleaning may be hazardous to people and the environment. Students will learn the difference between toxic and nontoxic home products and create a green cleaning wheel for environmentally safe cleaning products.
40 minutes
 
What Home Haz Envirochallenge
Grades 7-9
Harmful products are used in just about every room of a house. Students will learn about household hazardous wastes and how they effect humans and the environment through a game.
60-90 minutes
 

Landfills

What’s In the School’s Trash
Grades 4-12 
We’re going to be sorting and weighing school garbage and we’ll learn about what students are throwing away in the classroom and the cafeteria. This will demonstrate the school’s recycling opportunity and help you build a case for recycling. 
90 minutes
 
Building An Edible Landfill
Grades 2-6
Trash is hauled to a landfill and forgotten. Students learn about how a landfill is constructed and the environmental problems of their trash when constructing a landfill, which when completed they can eat.
60 minutes
 
Finer Liner*
Grades 5-6
When trash is put in a landfill, it creates environmental and human health problems. Students learn the environmental problems their trash creates and how landfills are constructed. They will build a landfill model in a cup and test if it will leak.
50 minutes

Litter Prevention

Wartville Wizard
Grades Pre-K-6
Litter can make the neighborhood look messy. Students will learn about litter through listening to the wonderful story of the Wartville Wizard, and they will make a bracelet out of pop bottles to remind them to not litter. 
40 minutes
 
Fishing for Litter
Grades K-1
Litter is caused by careless actions of people who do not take care of their trash properly. Students will learn the difference between good and bad environmental habits and learn the seven sources of litter. 
30 minutes
 
Map Out Litter
Grades 1-2
Litter can be found almost everywhere. Students will learn about basic map parts, place litter on a map of a park based on directions, and discuss what litter can do to the environment.  Great way to introduce or review using map skills.
40 minutes
 
What is the "P" in Litter?
Grades 1st-6th
Unfortunately, people litter and some of it ends up in our waterways and oceans. The "P" in litter is plastic. Students will listening to a taped slideshow on how plastics harm our water and marine life and learn how to reduce use of plastic. Students will participate in an activity to show how litter accumulates and if the teacher chooses do a plastic reuse craft.
60 minutes
 
Lasting Litter Timeline
Grades 4-5
Litter has a negative impact on the environment, especially since some litter will not decompose. Students will learn how long litter takes to degrade, and they will brainstorm action steps for a school litter prevention program. 
60 minutes

Pollution

The Costly Thing*
Grades 5-6
Pollution results when factories use energy, water and natural resources to manufacture products. Students will assess pollution values for manufacturing processes, and they will determine the environmental impact of using recycled materials in manufacturing.
50 minutes
 
Pollution on the Move*
Grades 5-6
Pollution negatively impacts the environment and can create human health problems. Student will identify sources of man-made pollutants and how pollution enters the environment.
40 minutes

Natural Resources

Resource Tree
Grades K-1
Whatever humans use come from nature and it is called a natural resource. Students will differentiate between resources that are natural and man-made, and they will discuss how reduce, reuse and recycle can conserve resources. 
40 minutes
 
Puzzling Plastics
Grades 1-3
Plastics are found more and more in the trash, partly because only two types of plastic can be recycled. Students will learn about characteristics of plastics, how they are made and which types can be recycled. An optional extension is to create shrinking plastic crafts out of plastic carry out containers.
50 minutes
 
Follow That Bottle
Grade 2
Recycled plastic soda bottles can be made into several products such as clothing and carpeting. Students will discuss how plastic bottles are recycled into new products. They will learn its recycling process and color cartoon pictures to create a book on recycling plastic bottles.
30 minutes
 
Resource Bingo
Grades 3-4
Natural resources can be categorized by more than just animal, vegetable and mineral. Students will brainstorm what products are made from sand, metal, fossil fuels, animals and plants and apply the list during a bingo game.
40 minutes 
 
Mining Expedition*
Grades 4-6
The origin of all materials is natural resources that come from the earth. Students will learn about mining natural resources by extracting chocolate out of a cookie, and they will calculate the financial and environmental cost of obtaining natural resources from the earth.
60 minutes
 
The Paper Factory*
Grades 4-6
Paper makes up 80-90% of what schools send as trash to the landfill, although most of the paper is recyclable. Groups of students will make paper while learning the amount of energy and monetary value of the materials they used during the manufacturing process. 
60 minutes
 
Dwindling Resources
Grade 8-10
Americans use 120 pounds of resources everyday from food, clothing to transportation. Students will decide how to develop a town by using its natural resources and finding a solution for their trash. Students will discuss how people can affect the environment and the quality of life. 
60 minutes

Recycling

Michael Recycles, A Green Superhero
Grades pre-k-2 
Very cute story about a green superhero changes a town to be more sustainable.  Students will sort recycling items by material such as plastics, metals, glass containers and paper products.  In addition, students can make superhero hats and/or pins (requires longer than 30 minutes for the craft). 
30 minutes
 
The Day the Trash Went Out to Play
Grades Pre-K-K
Read a great story of trash coming to life and how the town’s people cleaned it up.  Students will sort items that are either recycled or trash.
30 minutes

Where From?, Where Go?
Grades K-1
When people recycle, natural resources are used again and again. Students will learn that products come from natural resources and they will determine which materials can be recycled. 
30 minutes
 
The 3 Rs
Grades K-1
Reduce, reuse, recycle are ways to decrease the amount of trash going to landfills and it is one way students can be involved with taking care of the earth. Students learn what can be recycled in their community by sorting a trash bucket and demonstrating ideas on how to reduce, reuse and recycle. 
30 minutes
 
Sir Johnny Recycling Adventure
Grades K-2
Students will listen to a story on why people should recycle and how paper is made. Students then can make one piece of recycled paper. 
60 minutes
 
Mini-MRF
Grade 5-7
A MRF, or material recovery facility, sorts recyclables into categories through the use of machines and human labor. Students will test materials for properties that can be used to demonstrate how to sort recyclables. 
90 minutes
 
Recycling Basics
Grades 3-9
Recycling is really easy. Students will sort trash to learn what can be recycled and the benefits of recycling.
30 minutes
 
Recycle the World
Grades 6-12
Besides being good for the environment, recycling is good for the economy. Students learn about the manufacturing process and will have the world in their hands as they learn what effects the economics of manufacturing. 
30 minutes

Sustainability
See also recycling, natural resources, energy and waste reduction.

Fishing for the Future
Grades 4-9
Do you want to intruduce the concept of saving enough the generations to follow? Students will learn what sustainability means by going fishing year after year. Students will demonstrate and discuss how their fishing practices effect fish populations.
40 minutes
 
Farming for the Future
Grades 5-9
Food does not really just come from the store.  And, people's lives depend on farming, especially in developing countries.  Students will make decisions on farming and experience impacts the effect crop yields and local and global solutions. 
50 minutes
 
Shop Till You Drop
Grades 6-12
We want and need things for our quality of life.  Students will get a set amount of money and make decisions on what they can afford and discuss what happens and the impacts of earnings and spending decisions.
50 minutes
 
Toil for Oil
Grades 6-9
Non-renewables take thousands or millions of years to generate.  Student will figure out how difficult it is to extract limited resources.  They will discuss renewable energy and natural resources as alternatives.
40 minutes
 

Trash

Making A Garbage Pie
Grades 1-2
The garbage that is thrown away can be categorized into groups for research purposes. Students will learn about paper, plastic, metal, glass, yard waste and food waste by creating a garbage pie. The students will learn what can be recycled.
50 minutes
 
Secrets in a Garbage Can*
Grades 4-5
Unearth trash like an archaeologist. Students will be able to explain what discarded materials might reveal about a family or society and their relationship to the environment when they unearth artifacts from “the back forty.”
40 minutes
 
Trash for Around the World*
Grades 4-6
The United States is one of the most wasteful countries in the world. Students will examine trash and interpret data about global solid waste practices.
50 minutes
 
Garbage Games
Grades 6-9: 
Learning about garbage can be as fun as talking trash. Students will learn about garbage and related environmental problems when they take turns answering questions for a point for their team. 
40 minutes

Waste Reduction

Packing Zero
Grades K-6
School lunch time is waste time. Students learn how to pack lunches to minimize the amount of trash that they throw away.
30 minutes
 
A Pig’s Tale
Grades K-2 
This is a pig story with a twist. Students will listen to the story and will create a craft from trash students saved such as creating a collage from old magazine pictures.
50 minutes
 
Pass, on the Plastic Bag
Grades 1-8 
Cities around the country and the world are banning plastic bags. Learn why plastic bags are bad for the environment. Students will design their own bag and promote the use of reusable shopping bags. 
70 minutes
 
Environmental Shopping
Grades 4-6
Peoples’ choices about what to buy affect the environment. Students will brainstorm ways to reduce waste and help the environment.
60 minutes

Note:
If you are looking to integrate topics above or include other environmental issues, our Education Specialist can design a class to meet your needs and encourage students’ retention of information in a fun and dynamic way. Activities with an asterisk are based on Windows on Waste unit.

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