Presentation on theme: "Early Childhood Learning Center Kirksville R-III Schools"— Presentation transcript:
1 Early Childhood Learning Center Kirksville R-III Schools Northeast Missouri Solid Waste Management District – Region “C” Department of Natural Resources Grant Project: Earth Friendly Outdoor ClassroomRecycling GrantEarly Childhood Learning CenterKirksville R-III SchoolsWaste Management District - Region C
2 Missouri Goals on Waste Management Missouri’s goal is to maximize waste reduction and reduce the amount of waste, consider the types of waste we are producing and if the waste materials are hazardous and what impact they have on the environment. You as a consumer can help by recycling, reducing, and reusing. This will protect our water, air, land, energy, and cultural resources.REASONS:1. Protect the health and the environment of people2. Create local jobs3. Support Your Community4. Conserve our Natural ResourcesPrinted on Recycled Paper
3 Printed on Recycled Paper Why Recycle?Solid Waste Management ProgramThe Three R's: Reduce, Reuse and RecycleTips on reducing waste and conserving resources. The three R's - reduce, reuse and recycle - all help to cut down on the amount of waste we throw away. They conserve natural resources, landfill space and energy.Plus, the three R's save land and money communities must use to dispose of waste in landfills. Starting a new landfill has become difficult and more expensive due to environmental regulations and public opposition.Missouri has a goal of reducing the amount of waste going into landfills by 40 percent. Everyone can help meet this goal and save natural resources, energy, and money by following the three R's.Printed on Recycled PaperREDUCEThe best way to manage waste is to not produce it. This can be done by shopping carefully and being aware of a few guidelines:Buy products in bulk. Larger, economy-size products or ones in concentrated form use less packaging and usually cost less per ounce.Avoid over-packaged goods, especially ones packed with several materials such as foil, paper, and plastic. They are difficult to recycle, plus you pay more for the package.Avoid disposable goods, such as paper plates, cups, napkins, razors, and lighters. Throwaways contribute to the problem, and cost more because they must be replaced again and again.Buy durable goods - ones that are well-built or that carry good warranties. They will last longer, save money in the long run and save landfill space.At work, make two-sided copies when ever possible.Maintain central files rather than using several files for individuals.Use electronic mail or main bulletin board.Remove your name from the mailing lists of materials you no longer want to receive: write to Mail Preference Service, c/o Direct Marketing Assoc., P.O. Box 90008, Farmingdale, NYUse cloth napkins instead of paper napkins.Use a dish cloth instead of paper towels.REUSE It makes economic and environmental sense to reuse products. Sometimes it takes creativity:Reuse products for the same purpose. Save paper and plastic bags, and repair broken appliances, furniture and toys.Reuse products in different ways. Use a coffee can to pack a lunch; use plastic microwave dinner trays as picnic dishes.Sell old clothes, appliances, toys, and furniture in garage sales or ads, or donate them to charities.Use resalable containers rather than plastic wrap.Use a ceramic coffee mug instead of paper cups.Reuse grocery bags or bring your own cloth bags to the store. Do not take a bag from the store unless you need one.RECYCLE Recycling is a series of steps that takes a used material and processes, remanufactures, and sells it as a new product. Begin recycling at home and at work:Buy products made from recycled material. Look for the recycling symbol or ask store managers or salesmen. The recycling symbol means one of two things - either the product is made of recycled material, or the item can be recycled. For instance, many plastic containers have a recycling symbol with a numbered code the identifies what type of plastic resin it is made from. However, just because the container has this code does not mean it can be easily recycled locally.Check collection centers and curbside pickup services to see what they accept, and begin collecting those materials. These can include metal cans, newspapers, paper products, glass, plastics and oil.Consider purchasing recycled materials at work when purchasing material for office supply, office equipment or manufacturing.Speak to store managers and ask for products and packaging that help cut down on waste, such as recycled products and products that are not over packaged.Buy products made from material that is collected for recycling in your community.Use recycled paper for letterhead, copier paper and newsletters.For more information on reducing, reusing, or recycling, contact the Missouri Department of Natural Resources' Solid Waste Management Program. Call toll-free number and ask for the solid waste management program at or
4 Printed on Recycled Paper REDUCEREDUCEThe best way to manage waste is to not produce it. This can be done by shopping carefully and being aware of a few guidelines:Buy products in bulk. Larger, economy-size products or ones in concentrated form use less packaging and usually cost less per ounce.Avoid over-packaged goods, especially ones packed with several materials such as foil, paper, and plastic. They are difficult to recycle, plus you pay more for the package.Avoid disposable goods, such as paper plates, cups, napkins, razors, and lighters. Throwaways contribute to the problem, and cost more because they must be replaced again and again.Buy durable goods - ones that are well-built or that carry good warranties. They will last longer, save money in the long run and save landfill space.At work, make two-sided copies when ever possible.Maintain central files rather than using several files for individuals.Use electronic mail or main bulletin board.Remove your name from the mailing lists of materials you no longer want to receive: write to Mail Preference Service, c/o Direct Marketing Assoc., P.O. Box 90008, Farmingdale, NYUse cloth napkins instead of paper napkins.Use a dish cloth instead of paper towels. (http://www.dnr.mo.gov/env/swmp/pubs-reports/threers.htm)Printed on Recycled Paper
5 Printed on Recycled Paper REUSEREUSE It makes economic and environmental sense to reuse products. Sometimes it takes creativity:Reuse products for the same purpose. Save paper and plastic bags, and repair broken appliances, furniture and toys.Reuse products in different ways. Use a coffee can to pack a lunch; use plastic microwave dinner trays as picnic dishes.Sell old clothes, appliances, toys, and furniture in garage sales or ads, or donate them to charities.Use resalable containers rather than plastic wrap.Use a ceramic coffee mug instead of paper cups.Reuse grocery bags or bring your own cloth bags to the store. Do not take a bag from the store unless you need one. (http://www.dnr.mo.gov/env/swmp/pubs-reports/threers.htm)Printed on Recycled Paper
6 RECYCLERECYCLE Recycling is a series of steps that takes a used material and processes, remanufactures, and sells it as a new product. Begin recycling at home and at work:Buy products made from recycled material. Look for the recycling symbol or ask store managers or salesmen. The recycling symbol means one of two things - either the product is made of recycled material, or the item can be recycled. For instance, many plastic containers have a recycling symbol with a numbered code the identifies what type of plastic resin it is made from. However, just because the container has this code does not mean it can be easily recycled locally.Check collection centers and curbside pickup services to see what they accept, and begin collecting those materials. These can include metal cans, newspapers, paper products, glass, plastics and oil.Consider purchasing recycled materials at work when purchasing material for office supply, office equipment or manufacturing.Speak to store managers and ask for products and packaging that help cut down on waste, such as recycled products and products that are not over packaged.Buy products made from material that is collected for recycling in your community.Use recycled paper for letterhead, copier paper and newsletters.For more information on reducing, reusing, or recycling, contact the Missouri Department of Natural Resources' Solid Waste Management Program. Call toll-free number and ask for the solid waste management program at or (http://www.dnr.mo.gov/env/swmp/pubs-reports/threers.htm) Printed on Recycled Paper
7 Managing Recovered Materials DNR strongly supports resource conservation. Recovering materials that would be disposed of as waste is not way to conserve resources and it benefits our environment, conserves raw materials and reduces energy consumption, waste and pollution. Recovery operation s must be well planned and follow the state laws. The steps to managing recovered materials are as follows:1. Planning—what types of materials, how to collect them, where you will collect them, how youwill transport, process, manage, store and market them.2. Economics—consider the cost of managing and marketing recovered including processingequipment costs; research how much recovered material is available to ensure there is enough to collect, recycle, and market.3. Things to Consider how health and environmental issues may affect your business:a. What types of materials are you planning to recover?b. How are they regulated?c. Could they be hazardous to human health or the environment?d. Could they be a fire hazard?By-products of human activity range from clean fill to regulated solid wastes to hazardous wastes.1. Clean Fill—uncontaminated soil, rock, sand, gravel, concrete, asphaltic concrete, cinder blocks, brick, minimal amounts of wood and metal and inert (nonreactive) solids. One example is concrete containing wire mesh or reinforcing rods (rebar) may be used for clean fill if you remove the rebar. Another example is concrete may be used only in locations where they will not contact ground water or surface water. Shingles, sheet rock or wood wastes are not clean fill.
8 Managing Recovered Materials Continued Recovered Materials—are materials removed from the waste stream for reuse or to be made into a new product. Recovered materials include clean fill as well as metals, paper, cardboard, asphalt shingles, sheet rock, concrete, lumber and other wood waste, glass, electrical wire, plastics, organics, etc. Recovered materials must be used in some way to remain exempt from being a solid waste. Recovered materials stored indefinitely with no use or market do not retain their exempt status and will be regulated as solid waste.Regulated solid wastes includes everything except materials being properly recovered or used for clean fill. Regulated solid waste may be disposed only at a solid waste landfill or transfer station. It is illegal for open-burning, to dump, to bury. Dumping regulated solid wastes on public or private property is illegal even with a landowner’s permission. Everyone is responsible: contractor, subcontractor, hauler, and the landowner.Hazardous Wastes—Improper managed hazardous wastes are dangerous to our human health and the environment. Hazardous wastes include paint, stain, shellac, varnish, solvents, many chemicals, pesticides, herbicides, products used for building and vehicle maintenance, lawn care, cleaning, polishing etc. There are state and federal regulations for hazardous waste regulations. You have to show that the materials are recyclable with a feasible means of being recycled; and the amount of material recycled or transferred to a different site for recycling equals at least 75 percent by weight or volume of the material accumulated on site at the beginning of that period. You must also report any material you have recovered may be hazardous to DNR regional office to discuss management options. Also demolition materials may contain asbestos which is harmful to humans. Asbestos is often found in older building in ceiling or floor tiles, sound proofing insulation, pipes, duct work, boilers or transit siding or shingles. A certified Missouri asbestos inspector must inspect the building or materials. The Air Pollution Control Program’s Asbestos Unit ( ) is a good contact and they can also send you a fact sheet about managing construction and demolition wastes.
9 Managing Recovered Materials Continued What do you do with materials that cannot be reused or recycled? Some of these items might be cans, bottles, old shoes, plastic dinner ware found in yard waste or paper and cardboard in a load of roofing shingles. These are managed by solid waste and are sent to a solid waste landfill or a transfer station. Garbage and other wastes decompose and are stored in covered containers and removed within 24 hours and other wastes should never be stored longer than one week. Recovered materials should be moved within six months of receipt. Records must be kept when the materials arrive and when they are removed or used, and where they are taken.How will you store recovered materials until you can market them or process them? Inside storage is safer, cleaner, and usually has fewer complaints, and helps to retain the market value of the recovered material. Some local ordinances may require inside storage. Recovered materials may loose their value from being stored too long. Outside storage concerns might be a problem and attract rodents, provide breeding grounds for insects, attract scavengers or pose a fire hazard. Also processing recovered materials outside may require a storm water permit.State and Local Environmental Permits and Approvals: Missouri solid waste law allows most source-separated materials to be recovered or processed without a solid waste permit as long as the activity does not create a public nuisance, harm public health, or pollute the environment. Recovered materials are kept separate or removed from regulated solid wastes. When recovered materials are mixed with solid waste the facility must have a permit exemption from Solid waste Management Program. Sorting or separating mixed recovered materials is a permit-exempt activity. Example are newspapers, milk jugs and aluminum cans. If your facility produces any emissions such as dust or odors you may need an Air Pollution Control permit. You may also need a Storm Water permit from Water Pollution Control Branch. Also sometimes local permits or approvals are required and you would contact your local code enforcement, planning and zoning or public works departments.
10 Printed on Recycled Paper FACTSMissouri Waste Management 2010 Tonnage Report:Waste Tonnage: 5,285,861 tonsAlternative Daily Cover Tonnage (substance other than soil used to cover waste in a landfill :19,648 tonsMissouri has legislation for scrap tire fee and provides for a management system. In the law expired and during an 18 month period a half million tires were illegally dumped.Time to DecomposeIt can take up to 700 years for plastic to decompose in a landfillAbout 5.5 million empty toner cartridges fill the landfill sites every year in the United KingdomGlass takes over 1,000,000 years to decompose in a landfillAmount of waste60% of the rubbish in land fills could be recycledEach person creates about 4.7 pounds of waste every dayLandfills in the US are decreasing in number but increasing in sizeAmount of waste RecycledIn % of lead acid batteries were recycled, 54% of paper and paperboard were recycled, 64% of yard trimmings are recycled and 35% of metals were recycledIn 2007 I n the US 85 million tons of 254 million tons of municipal solid waste was recycled (Recycling Facts. Org)In ,500 aluminum cans were recycled every minute in CaliforniaRecycled SavingsIn 2007 the amount of recycling saved energy equal to 10.7 billion galloons of gasoline and prevented the release of carbon dioxide of approximately 35 million carsEach ton of mixed paper that is recycled can save the energy equivalent to 185 gallons of gasolineRecycling 1 ton of aluminum cans conserves the equivalent of 1,665 gallons of gasolineRecycling 1 ton of plastic saves 7.4 cubic yards of landfill spaceWheat and Who recycles?Approximately 8,660 curbside recycling programs exist in the USAbout 3,510 communities have composting programsPrinted on Recycled Paper
11 Printed on Recycled Paper More FactsPlastic Recycling Facts: 1.6 gallons of bottled water was consumed in 1976 and in 2006 the amount was 28.3gallons2. In million pounds of wide-mouth plastic containers were recovered for recycling3. In 2008 the recycling rate of plastic was only 27% . In the 2008 Great American Cleanup volunteers recovered and recycled 189,000,000 PET (plastic) bottles from highways, waterways, and parksIn trillion pounds of plastic bottles were recycled. The PET bottles recycled in 2006 increased more than million pounds as compared to HDPE bottle recycling increase in 2005 to 928 million pounds.: 30 million tons of plastic waste were generated in 2009, representing 12.3% of the total MSW: In 2009 the US generated 13 million tons of plastics as containers and packaging, almost 11 million tons as durable goods (appliances) and 7 million tons as nondurable goods (plates and cups): Only 7% of the total plastic waste generated in 2009 was recovered for recycling7. In 2009 the category of plastics (bags, sacks and wraps) was recycled at 9%(http://www.epa.gov/osw/conserve/materials/plastics.htm8. Plastic Recycling business has tripled and there are 1,600 businesses involved in recycling post consumer plastics. Some of those businesses are for playground equipment. (Kaplan, Miracle, Playworld Systems, Playmore, PlayMart, Foresite).9. Recycling 1 ton of plastic saves 7.4 cubic yards of landfill space10.. Plastic Recycling lags behind other items such as newspaper (80%) and fiberboard (70%). Plastic bottles a rate of 24%11. Plastic polymers require greater processing to be recycled. Plastics have a low entropy of mixing which is due to the high molecular weight of their large polymer chains. Heating alone is not enough to dissolve such large molecules and the plastics must often be of nearly identical composition in order for them to mix efficiently. When the plastics are not compatible they set in layers like oil and water.12. Another barrier to recycling plastic is the use of dyes, fillers, and other additives. It can be expensive to remove the fillers. Also another concern is that some plastics do not have the universal triangle recycling symbol and number so one would know which kind of plastic was in the item. An example is plastic utensils. If biodegradable plastics are mixed with other plastics for recycling the reclaimed plastic is not recyclable because the variance in properties and melt temperatures. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plastic_recycling)Printed on Recycled Paper
12 AND More Facts on Plastics 13. Types of plastics:PET-post-consumer polyethylenes or the plastic bottle is sorted by color, cleaned, crushed, shopped into flakes, pressed into bales, and then are sold. Uses of PET is to create fabrics used for clothes such as jackets, coats, shoes, bags, etc. Also the PET fabric is being blended with other fabrics and are producing Billabong’s Eco-Supreme Suede, Livity’s Pip-Tide III, Wellman Inc’s Eco-fi, and Reware’s Rewoven, Crazy Shirts, and Playback.PVC or Vinyl Recycling uses HDPE or number 2 plastic for recycling by down cycling the plastic into lumber, tables, roadside curbs, benches, truck cargo liners, trash receptacles, and rulers.Other plastics:White plastic foam peanuts are being reused by shipping stores.Plastic films are used in Israel to produce household products such as bucketsAgricultural plastics such as mulch film, drip tape, and silage bags are recycled into larger products for industrial applications such as plastic composite railroad ties.India has formulated a road surfaces that includes recycled plastic by blending bitumen (asphalt) with plastic that has been shredded and melted at a temperature below 220 degrees C (428 degree F) to avoid pollution14. Plastic Recycling lags behind other items such as newspaper (80%) and fiberboard (70%). Plastic bottles are around a rate of 24%Printed on Recycled Paper
13 More and More FACTS on Plastics 15. Plastic polymers require greater processing to be recycled. Plastics have a low entropy of mixing which is due to the high molecular weight of their large polymer chains. Heating alone is not enough to dissolve such large molecules and the plastics must often be of nearly identical composition in order for them to mix efficiently. When the plastics are not compatible they set in layers like oil and water.16. Another barrier to recycling plastic is the use of dyes, fillers, and other additives. It can be expensive to remove the fillers. Also another concern is that some plastics do not have the universal triangle recycling symbol and number so one would know which kind of plastic was in the item. An example is plastic utensils. If biodegradable plastics are mixed with other plastics for recycling the reclaimed plastic is not recyclable because the variance in properties and melt temperatures. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plastic_recycling)17. Recycling Symbols are called resin identification code and is stamped or printed on the bottom of containers and surrounded by triangle of arrows. These symbols are to help make recycling of plastics easier.Printed on Recycled Paper
14 Plastic Identification Code PolypropyleneStrength, toughness, resistance to heat, chemicals, grease and oil, versatile, barrier to moistureMicrowaveable ware, yogurt containers, margarine tubs, disposable cups, platesPolystyrene(PS)Versatility, clarity, easily formedEgg cartons, packing peanuts, disposable cups, plates, trays , takeaway cont. cutleryOther(often polycarbonate or ABS)Dependent on polymers or combination of polymersBeverage bottles, baby milk bottles. Non packaging uses for polycarbonate: compact discs; unbreakable glazing, electronic apparatus housing, lenses, headlamps, riot shields, instrument panelsPolyethyleneTerephthalate(Pet, Pete)Clarity, strength, toughness, barrier to gas and moistureSoft drink, water and salad dressing bottles; peanut butter and jam jarsHigh-density(HDPE)Stiffness, strength, toughness, resistance to moisture permeability to gasWater pipes, hula hoop s, five gallon buckets, milk, juice and water bottles, the occasional shampoo bottlePolyvinylChloride(PVC)Versatility, ease of blending, strength, toughnessBlister packaging for non-food items, cling films for non-food use, non packaging uses are electrical cable insulation, rigid piping, and vinyl recordsLow-density(LDPE)Ease of processing, strength, toughness, flexibility, ease of sealing, barrier to moistureFrozen food bags: squeezable bottles, e.g. honey, mustard; cling films; flexible containerPrinted on Recycled Paper
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18 The Earth Friendly Outdoor Classroom Goals Young children and their families will understand why recycling is important to our earth and what materials can be used for recyclingThe community and organizations will become more aware of recycling and the importance of recycling in our community, the state, and the nationThe Kirksville R-III Schools will provide supports to the school for recyclingThe outdoor classroom will parallel the indoor classroom curriculum and recycling will be integrated into the different centers or areas of learning in the classroomThe outdoor classroom will have the following areas:Science and NatureMathLiteracyDramatic PlayMusic and MovementSensoryMotor and MovementArtPrinted on Recycled Paper
19 Grant Items and Matching Items Playground Equipment Tonnage.Gazebo for Literacy area 12,768 milk jugs or 1682 poundsDramatic Stage for drama area 7,148 milk jugs or 910 poundsBridge for nature and science area 4,722 milk jugs or 787 pounds4.Birdhouses for nature or science area milk jugs per house = 4176milk jugs or 352 lbs.Craft Table for art area 12,300 milk jugs or 1,757 pounds4 Planters for nature and science area 1,128 milk jugs – 4,512 jugs or 560 lbs.Dino fossil head and tail for nature and science area lbs and 411 lbs (recycled concrete)2 Butterfly Tables for meals and projects 909 milk jugs per table = 1818 or 1000 poundsRecycle rock for sensory/motor area 2 tons8 Child Size Benches throughout outdoor classroom 1,113 milk jugs per bench = 1,440 or 200 lbs4 recycling containers milk jugs x 4 = 1,452 milk jugs Toddler Clubhouse milk jugsPrinted on Recycled Paper
21 The Excuse: It is too expensive and too time consuming to recycle The costs for curbside recycling program costs more than just regular trash pick up. The Environmental Service Company or know as Garage Disposal Company may have to pay for other companies to get the recycle materials such as plastics, glass, wood, concrete, paper, etc.However many local governments are paying fees to hauling companies, transfer stations, or landfills out of the local tax revenue. This reduces the residents cost for their trash pick up, however the resident is paying taxes for the local government to recycle and to maintain the landfills.Depletion Costs or costs associated with future disposal is avoided if we recycle.Landfills have limited space and when they are full another landfill must be started which is additional costs to operate and maintain. A new landfill includes costs of buying land, constructing the landfill, operational costs, long-term maintenance costs after the landfill is closed, and transportation costs.Recycling can save the expenses of a land fill, however the consumer does not think of the savings at the time of dumping garbage or recycling.Recycling requires less refining than raw material. It takes less energy to melt down an aluminum can than to process raw materials to make a new aluminum can. So by recycling we cut down on the environmental damage and conserve our natural resources.When you purchase a product that has not been recycled part of the cost of that product includes the cleaning up of wastes and limiting emissions.Often damage to our environment is not always realized until years later. One example is acid rain which pollutes the air and in turn the companies and government have to pay additional money to fix the problem.(http://www.dnr.mo/gov/env/swmp/pubs-reports/rececon.htm)Printed on Recycled Paper
22 More Excuses and More Reasons Energy is saved from manufacturing products from recycled materials. Recycling one aluminum can is equal to the energy in the amount of gasoline to fill the can half full.Labor costs for recycling products are often higher than those used in manufacturing a virgin product because recyclables from curbside collections or drop off centers must be separated, cleaned, and processed.Also capital expenditures are required when a product is going to be recycled as either new machinery or retrofitted equipment is needed.Recycling saves energy and cuts down on pollution emitted by utilities and the companies. The pollution created by companies and the clean up costs are passed on to all energy consumers in their utility bills.Utility companies have to comply with tougher standards through the new clean air law. They are obligated to reduce pollutants they release while producing energy. Therefore, the cost of compliance is passed on to the consumer.Recycling creates less use of energy and less pollution. This also reduces the cost to the consumer and limits the damage to natural resources.When weighing the long-term costs and advantages recycling makes economic better for the consumer, the community, the state, and the nation. Also, the environment we live in and enjoy is better and safer for us and our children (DNR Solid Waste Management Program: )WHERE DO YOU FIT INTO THE RECYCLING PROCESS?Printed on Recycled Paper
24 In Michigan cans and plastic are recycled in the stores where you purchased your products: Wal-Mart or Grocery Store
25 In Michigan a 12 pack of soda costs $2 In Michigan a 12 pack of soda costs $2.78 and when you return the empty cans you get 10 cents for each can or $1.20 per 12 pack so you actually paid $1.58 for the 12 pack. In Missouri you pay $ for a twelve pack.
26 And in Chicago they have trash and recycling And in Chicago they have trash and recycling. This is supported by the promiseofpepsico. The money is used to support disabled veterans.
29 The Field Museum and the Underground Connection Just for Families Just for Families » | 10 Things to Improve SoilNow that you are interested, why not learn more and see how you can make a difference in soil quality?Recycle. Recycling yard waste reduces landfills and increases the amount of nutrients that could be returned to the soil.Start a worm compost bin. Earthworms are natural recyclers! Feed your organic kitchen scraps to them and watch them turn it into the perfect environment for your garden and the critters that love to live there. This increases the quality of soil in your backyard or school and, by separating organic garbage from trash, you reduce curbside trash and landfills.Start a regular compost pile. Let bacteria, fungus, and insects, as well as water, temperature, and chemistry turn your raked leaves and grass, organic kitchen scraps, and other decaying material into fertile soil. You'll need a special spot in the backyard or corner of the school yard, but you'll have fun checking the temperature and noticing the microscopic activity that goes on to make healthy soil! journeytoforever.org/compost.htmlSupport farmers who grow crops organically, without the use of pesticides and herbicides that strip the soil of nutrients, and use low-tillage methods.Read and incorporate the principles of the International Earth Charter into your lifestyle. environet.policy.net/Learn about your local area's special dumping, run-off, and hazardous waste disposal rules, as well as what toxic materials you may have in your home. environet.policy.net/health/cabcon_report.vtmlGrow things. Start a backyard or windowsill garden or farm a small plot in a local community garden. You'll learn about what kinds of soil makes the best-tasting and healthiest plants.Have a No Trash Lunch Week. Try to bring your lunch to work or school for an entire week without using any non-recyclable materials. Things that are OK to include are organic material for the compost, recyclable plastic, glass, and aluminum—see if you can create a lunch habit in which nothing is put in the curbside trash can!Plant native species in your backyard or on your school campus. Lessen the negative impact of asphalt and concrete on our critter friends' homes! Create prairie lands, school gardens, or volunteer in areas that are being restored.Plan a volunteer workday to help clean up a vacant lot, river habitat, or other place in need of restoration.↑ Return to top
30 Field Museum and the Underground Connection Just for Teachers Soil Studies Welcome to the Underground Adventure Web site, a unique set of online soil education and biodiversity activities that invites students to develop and test a hypothesis about soil ecosystems in their neighborhood.Through the activities on this Web site, students will decide on a research question, propose a hypothesis, establish a study site at their school, conduct field research, take notes on their findings in a scientific journal, and modify their hypothesis based on what they find. More importantly, they will interact with the world around them in new and exciting ways.Each activity provided on this site is designed as a stand-alone learning opportunity that can fit in with your existing curriculum and lesson plans—or you can combine multiple activities into a cohesive curriculum unit on the physical properties and biodiversity of soil. This program was developed as a fifth-grade environmental science curriculum. However, the activities are interdisciplinary and are appropriate for grades 3-8.The Goals of Underground Adventure:To combine outdoor education with technology to create a unique learning experienceTo teach the scientific method by investigating soils and underground lifeTo create soil education materials that help educators meet existing Illinois state learning standardsTo interest young people in careers in scienceTo sow the seeds of environmental literacy and stewardship in a broad range of communitiesWhy Do Outdoor Soil Studies With Your Students?Children are innately interested in the natural world in which they live. Seeing a new creature, rock, or constellation for the first time, students are often motivated to turn voluntarily to their textbooks to learn more about their discoveries. The quest for the who, what, and how of the world's mysteries can be an exciting adventure in learning.There is no more highly stimulating setting than the outdoor classroom. No books can rival the vividness of the real world. Outdoor learning involves all of the senses and changes with the seasons.By studying nature, students can see themselves as part of the natural world rather than removed or separate from it. Students may then develop a sense of responsibility for the world in which they live and on which they depend for survival. Meaningful outdoor learning experiences may lead to a more environmentally literate society. Who knows? One of your students may grow up to solve some of our most pressing environmental dilemmas.Scientific InquiryThe activities in the Underground Adventure Web site guide students through an outdoor field study of soil life and some of the variables that affect soil biodiversity. Through these activities, students will gain experience in scientific skills such as hypothesis, observation, and inference. When done together as a unit of study, the activities are designed to help students answer this research question: What is the relationship between the soil's physical properties, environmental and human factors, and soil biodiversity? However, each activity is written as a stand-alone lesson so that you can focus your study of soil biodiversity on one or more variables as best fits your time and your students' needs. Simply tailor the research question to reflect the activities you will do or choose activities that will help answer research questions posed by students. In addition, this set of activities can serve as a model after which students can design their own inquiry to study a research question that interests them.Getting StartedYour students will need the following resources as they get ready to conduct soil research through the activities provided below:Field Journal Students will learn why scientists use field journals, take a peek at some field journals from Field Museum scientists, and start their own field journals. Time: 30 minutesWorksheet: Journal CoverWorksheet: Field StudyField Site Students will learn why a good field site is so important to field work. A Field Museum scientist will share his secret for finding a good field site. Then students will have an opportunity to try finding a good site for a soil study. Time: 30 minutesSetting Up Quadrants For several of the activities in their soil exploration, students will need to set up quadrants—50 cm x 50 cm squares in which to test the soil. This activity guides students through setting up a quadrant. Time: 15 minutesField Guide The Underground Adventure Field Guide has information about soil types and soil critters students are likely to encounter in their soil explorations. Time: VariesWorksheet: Field Site Description
31 Field Museum and the Underground For Teachers Activities Soil Properties Activities Soil Properties Overview This section includes information about soil types and soil compaction, as well as other information students need for testing the physical properties of the soil at their field site. All of the activities in this section use the following worksheets:Soil Properties OverviewSoil Properties DataTexture Test In this activity, students will determine the composition of the soil by feeling the texture of the soil. They will then use these data to classify the soil as sand, silt, or clay. Time: minutesWorksheet: Texture-by-Feel Analysis of SoilMud Shake In this activity, students will determine the composition of the soil by separating the soil particles into layers. They will then classify the soil as sand, silt, or clay. Time: minutes, over two daysSoil Temperature In this activity, students will measure and record the soil temperature at their field site over time. Time: minutesCompaction Test In this activity, students will measure and record how far a pencil can be pushed into the soil at their field site. Students will use these data to infer the degree of compaction of the soil. Time: minutesPercolation Test In this activity, students will measure and record how long it takes water to soak into the soil at the selected field site. Students will use these data to infer the degree of compaction of the soil. Time: minutesFactors That Affect the Soil Overview This section includes an overview of environmental and human factors that can affect the physical properties and biodiversity of soil. These factors are variables—your students can measure and track these variables over time as part of their research on the physical properties and/or biodiversity at their field site. All of the activities in this section use the following worksheet:Factors That Affect the Soil OverviewAir Temperature In this activity, students will measure and record the air temperature at their field site over time. Time: 5-10 minutesWorksheet: Environmental FactorsCloud Cover In this activity, students will measure and record the percentage of cloud cover at their field site over time. Time: 5-10 minutesFood Source Habitat In this activity, students will research the main food sources for four soil critters and match each critter to the soil habitat type best suited to its food source needs. Time: minutesInformation Sheet: What Do Your Backyard Critters Eat?Information Sheet: Habitats in Your BackyardWorksheet: Critter Food SourceWorksheet: Food Source HabitatGround Cover In this activity, students will practice mapping skills, increase spatial reasoning and estimation, and gain an understanding of the soil environments at their field site. Time: minutesWorksheet: Map Your Field SiteWorksheet: Ground CoverSoil Biodiversity Overview This section includes information about soil organisms and other information students need for observing and identifying the soil critters they find at their field site. The activities in this section use the following worksheet:Soil Biodiversity OverviewLooking for Life In this activity, students will look for, identify and count the organisms found in soil samples from their field site. Time: minutesWorksheet: Looking for LifeRock Flip In this activity, students will sample the soil critter population at their field site by flipping over a board or rock and counting the different types of critters they find. Time: minutes on two day
32 Field Museum and The Underground Connection For Teachers Field Journal ObjectiveTo emphasize the importance of accurate record-keeping, students will learn the proper techniques for recording observations in a field journal. In addition, the journals promote creativity and observation skills.Estimated Time30 minutesMaterialsNotebookWriting instrumentJournal Cover worksheet (optional)Field Study worksheetEducational StandardsClick to viewWhy Keep a Field Journal?Keeping a journal is an important part of fieldwork. A scientist uses it to provide a permanent record of what is going on in the natural world, somewhat like a diary of nature.When you look back at pages from weeks gone by, you will know what day it was when you saw particular things. If you keep a journal for many years, you will begin to notice patterns. Eventually you will be able to predict when certain animals will return and when particular plants will bloom.Scientists call this phenology, the study of seasonal, weather-influenced changes in living things.Keeping a field journal is an excellent way to get students used to recording their observations. Observing nature is an engaging activity for most students. Writing down what they see encourages students to think about the world around them in a more meaningful way, to ask questions about it, and to see patterns in nature. Although this set of activities involves a study of the soil, field journals can be used for other types of studies as well.What Goes in a Field Journal?A field journal is a diary, where you keep all the information you gather in the field. As you observe nature and gather data through field tests and experiments, your field journal gives you one place to store all the information you gather. Think about the kinds of information you might keep in a field journal:What kinds of information will you need to record about the site where you are doing your field work?What kinds of information will you need to record about the critters you observe?What other information will help you to make sense of what you observe or help you to find patterns?What other information might you want to have when you look back at your notes after a week, a month, or a year?You may want students to discuss their ideas in small groups and then share them with the class, or you may choose to brainstorm as a class. In either case, write students' responses on the board and accept all reasonable responses.Watch the video of a field scientist explaining what he puts in his field journal.Compare the information the scientists included with the ideas you listed on the board. What types of information did scientists include that students did not mention? How might the type of information included in the field journal differ depending on the particular study?
33 Field Museum and the Underground Connection For Teachers Field Journal Part 2 Creating Your Field JournalA field journal is always a work in progress, since you will add information to it for as long as you work in the field. However, there are some things you can do to get your field journal started:Decide what you will use for your field journal. A binder or notebook to which you can add pages will probably work best. Data recording worksheets are included for each activity in this set. Using a binder will allow students to include these printed worksheets in their journal. There are a number of other options, however, that you may find more suited to your students. You may elect to staple the worksheets and blank pages together to create a journal. You may also have students use a notebook and simply hand copy the worksheets into the notebook or design their own way to record their data. Students can also use the worksheets and then just record a synopsis of their data in their journals.Create a cover for your journal. Be sure to include your name, grade, school, and a title for your field study. You can use the Journal Cover worksheet or create your own.Define your research question. What is it you hope to learn from your field work? The activities on the Underground Adventure Web site will help you answer the question: What is the relationship between the soil's physical properties, environmental and human factors, and soil biodiversity? You may have a different question you want to answer, or your teacher may give you a different research question. You may choose to do only some of the activities provided. What question do you hope to answer through your research? When you decide on your research question, write it down in your field journal. What are some other questions you have about the soil and the creatures that live there? Write down two or three additional research questions. You may want to design a study to investigate those research questions later. The questions you ask here will guide your observations. Of course, you can always change your questions or pose new ones as you learn more through your research. The activities on this site are designed to help students study the research question mentioned here. If you choose to focus on only one or more of the activities on the Web site, you will need to adjust the research question to match the activities you select. You may also work with students to determine a research question about soil that interests them, and then select activities from the Web site to help answer this question. Have students explore the Underground Adventure Field Guide and Meet the Creepy Critters to stimulate their thinking.Generate a hypothesis, or an educated guess, to answer your research question. Think about the research question. You may want to find out more about soil life before you formulate a hypothesis. Meet the Creepy Critters, the Underground Adventure Field Guide , and the Resources section of this Web site are good places to start. Then try to answer the research question. Don't worry—your hypothesis might not be right, but make the best guess you can based on what you know about soil life. As you do the activities on this Web site, you will begin to find out if your hypothesis is correct, and you can always change your hypothesis as you learn more. If necessary, review the scientific method with your students. Students can begin to see the value of asking a guiding question and then designing a study or experiment to answer it.Several of the Underground Adventure activities include printable worksheets for collecting your data. Before you get started on an activity, print out the data sheets you will use and add them to your field journal so you'll be ready to collect data when you're working at your field site.
34 Field Museum and The Underground Connection For Teachers Field Journal Part 3 Tips for Using Your Field JournalYou should bring your field journal each time you go into the field. Below are a few tips to help you use your field journal.For each soil activity that you do, there will be a worksheet that you can use to record your data. To make it easier to see how all the data fits together, you should also record the results from each of the activities together in one place. You can use the Field Study worksheet for this or create your own. You can easily adapt this to your students' particular interest levels and abilities. For more advanced students, you may ask them to determine what kinds of data they will look for in the field and have them create their own soil study page. For others, you may ask them to create a soil study page after they return from the first day of field work. They will then need to determine which data should be included in the synopsis of that day's field work.Write everything down. Be sure to include lots of blank pages in your journal, so that you can write or draw what you see, hear, smell, feel, even taste!Make a note if there is something new at your site, such as a new plant or a burrow under a tree that wasn't there the last time you observed.Always record the date and time when you make an observation. Students should record this on every page of their journal so that they can re-order their pages if necessary.Use as much detail as possible. Remember, you want to be able to get good information from your journal a week from now or a month from now.Question what you see. As you observe, you may have questions about what you see. Be sure to write your questions down. Who knows, they may become the guiding questions for another field study! As a follow-up to the Underground Adventure activities or as the field work progresses, you may ask each student or group of students to design an experiment or study around one of their questions. They can record information related to their question, in addition to the other information they are recording.↑ Return to top ↑HomeMeet the Creepy CrittersKid Zone Just for TeachersField JournalField SiteQuadrantsField GuideSoil Properties» Texture Test» Mud Shake» Soil Temperature» Compaction Test» Percolation TestFactors That Affect Soil» Air Temperature» Cloud Cover» Food Source Habitat» Ground CoverSoil Biodiversity» Looking for Life» Rock FlipWorm Bins Just for FamiliesTake a Virtual TourPlanning Your VisitResources
35 Field Musuem and the Underground Connection for Teachers Field Site Just for Teachers » | Field SiteObjectiveStudents will develop observational and organizational skills necessary for accurate data collection.Why Choose a Field Site?Estimated Time1-2 hours, possibly divided over two daysMaterialsField journalWriting instrumentsTape measure or yardstick/meter stick in both customary and metric unitsField Site Description worksheet (optional)Educational StandardsClick to viewChoosing a field site allows you to make observations and do studies and experiments at the same place over a period of time. When you observe in the same place over time, you can see how the place, its organisms, and other natural elements change. You can really get to know the area and its inhabitants.When you spend time choosing a good field site, you can be sure that you have a good chance to see the organisms or other natural elements you are looking for. If you want to study deer, for example, it may not make sense to go to a small park in the middle of a city to observe them. However, if you want to observe squirrels, that same park would be an ideal place to go. Thoughtfully choosing a field site encourages students to think about the focus of their study. Observing at one site over time gives them an opportunity for a much richer understanding of changes in nature, including life cycles of insects and the effects of temperature and weather on the soil and its inhabitants.What Makes a Good Field Site?Choosing a good field site can make big difference in the data you collect. How would you go about choosing a good site?What things do you need to consider when choosing your site?What resources might you use to find a good site?You may want students to discuss their ideas in small groups and then share them with the class, or you may choose to brainstorm as a class. In either case, write students' responses on the board and accept all reasonable responses.Watch the video of a scientist explaining how he chooses a field site. What kinds of things does he consider when choosing a site?Compare the information the scientist mentions with the ideas you listed on the board. What factors did the scientist include that students did not mention? What resources did the scientist mention that the students did not?Choosing Your Field SiteBefore you can begin gathering data, you must choose a good site. If you are working with a group or a class, you will need to make this decision together.Think carefully about the kind of data you will collect. In this case, you will be gathering data about soil and soil critters. What are some things that your site must have so that you can gather the data you are looking for? Some of the factors students might consider include: the amount of open soil available in the area, diversity of micro-habitats (e.g., rocks and logs, shaded areas and sunny areas, water).Think of at least two areas where you could go to collect data. If possible, go to these areas and look around. For each site you consider, make a list of the advantages and disadvantages of the site. Considering more than one site helps students to think more carefully about what makes a good field site. However, if you have a time constraint or lack multiple areas to consider as field sites, you can skip this step.Look at the advantages and disadvantages you listed for each possible site and choose one of the sites.Go out to your site and create a detailed site description and map of your site. You can use the Field Site Description worksheet or create your own. You can have students brainstorm important elements to include in their site description, either in groups or as a class. They can then compare these elements to the ones on the Field Site Description worksheet or they can use the elements they suggested to create their own site description.Add the worksheet to your field journal.
36 Field Museum and the Underground Connection for Teacher Field Site 2 Tips for Choosing a Field SiteChoosing a good field site is very important. Below are a few tips to consider as you choose your site.Think about what you want to study and find a site that matches. In this case, you want to study the soil and soil critters, so be sure to choose an area where you can easily get to and study the soil. Students may also want to consider the condition of the soil and the amount of litter found there. Another option is to find a site that has been altered significantly by humans and compare it to a more "natural" site.Think about diversity. A field site with several micro-habitats might give you more interesting data than one that is all the same. Choosing a diverse area will allow for interesting comparisons as students gather data from different areas of the site.Be practical. Choose a site that is close by and easy to get to. You will want to visit your site regularly.Be considerate. Choose a site where your work won't be a problem for other people who use the site. For example, it is probably not a good idea to dig holes on the sports field, where players may be injured if they step in one. Students may also want to consider traffic through the area. For some activities, students will set up roped quadrants in which to work.Think about the size of your field site. For some of the activities on this Web site, you will divide your field site into smaller quadrants to study. Look for an area that is large enough to be interesting and challenging, but not too large to manage. Keep in mind that for some activities, students will be setting up 50 cm by 50 cm roped quadrants. The site should be at least large enough to accommodate these quadrants for groups of two to four students.↑ Return to top ↑HomeMeet the Creepy CrittersKid Zone Just for TeachersField JournalField SiteQuadrantsField GuideSoil Properties» Texture Test» Mud Shake» Soil Temperature» Compaction Test» Percolation TestFactors That Affect Soil» Air Temperature» Cloud Cover» Food Source Habitat» Ground CoverSoil Biodiversity» Looking for Life» Rock FlipWorm Bins Just for FamiliesTake a Virtual TourPlanning Your VisitResources
37 Field Museum and the Underground Connection For Teacher Quadrants ObjectiveStudents will practice measuring and following directions as they create quadrants.Why Work in Quadrants?Estimated Time15 minutesMaterialsStringMarkers (2 colors)Four stakes (pencils or short dowel rods can be used)Meter stickPrintout of instructionsIt is important to work in an area of the same size each time, so that you can accurately compare your data with the data from other groups or from other days. By creating a quadrant within which to work, you can be sure that you work in a square area with the same dimensions each time you do an experiment. If you know you're going to do several experiments, try to set up your quadrant somewhere that will not be disturbed so you can leave it in place and come back to it for the later experiments. Working within a quadrant acts helps to control variables of size and space and allows students to compare data meaningfully.Setting Up QuadrantsChoose an area of the field site to investigate. If you are working with a class, be sure to spread out over the field site. Then follow the directions below to set up a 50 cm by 50 cm quadrant. You can also watch the video to see a Field Museum scientist setting up a quadrant.Tie a small loop in one end of your string.From the end of the loop, measure and mark the string at 50 cm, 100 cm, 150 cm, and 200 cm.Place a stake in the loop of the string, and push the stake into the ground.Pull the string out straight and locate the 50 cm mark. Push a second stake into the ground at the 50 cm mark.Bring the string around the second stake to form an 'L' shape, and place a third stake into the ground at the 100 cm mark.Bring the string back around the third stake and locate the 150 cm mark. Push the fourth stake into the ground at the 150 cm mark.Bring the string around the fourth stake and back to the first stake to create a square. Line up the 200 cm mark with the first stake.Step back and look at your quadrant. The goal is to have a square area in which to work, that is 50 cm by 50 cm. If the area doesn’t look square or if any of the marks on the string are not quite aligned with the stakes, adjust your stakes accordingly. Then tie or wrap the end of the string around the first stake.Students should set up a quadrant for each of the experiments in the Soil Properties or Looking for Life sections. Once they have set up the quadrant, they can do some or all of the experiments outlined on this site, depending on your preference. Students should use the same quadrant for all of the activities they conduct within their Underground Adventure to ensure that they control for extraneous variables.
38 Field Museum and the Underground Connection For Teachers Using a Field Guide ObjectiveStudents will observe soil and soil creatures and use tools to identify them.Why Use a Field Guide?Estimated TimeVariesMaterialsUnderground Adventure Field GuideScientists use field guides to help identify the organisms they find. There are so many plants and animals in the world that it would be impossible for one person to know them all. Field guides allow experts to put their knowledge together in a way that is useful to others for identifying unknown plants, animals, or other objects in nature. There are field guides for types of birds, insects, plants, animals, and even mushrooms! Field guides are often made for a certain place or region, showing just the organisms that can be found there. Field guides usually have pictures or drawings, as well as descriptions and other information to help you identify things in nature. Some field guides are organized by color, others by when or where the organism can be found. Some are written for adults and some for children. But all field guides help you get to know the world around you. It is important that students understand that scientists also use tools, such as field guides, to help them in their work.What's in the Underground Adventure Field Guide?The Underground Adventure Field Guide has information about several critters that you are likely to find in the soil, as well as information about different types of soil. Some of the information you can find about soil critters includes:SizeColorHabitatDistinctive characteristicsOther interesting informationTo make the field guide easier for students to use, only brief information is included for each critter. It is important to note that the kind of information included will vary for each creature. If students are interested in finding more information, see the Resources section for additional resources.Using the Underground Adventure Field GuideUse the index below to find critters and soil types in the field guide. You can find the critters by name or by type. Browse through the guide to identify any unknown critters you find. It will be helpful for students to look through the field guide before doing field work. They may also want to do the Meet the Creepy Critters and Critter Quiz online activities. When students find an unknown critter, challenge them to think about whether it is an insect, an arachnid, another arthropod or another invertebrate. Students can use the overview information for each of these types. Once students have reviewed the soil type information, they can also explore which types of soils might be the best habitat for each critter.About Invertebrates and ArthropodsInsectsArachnidsOther ArthropodsOther InvertebratesAntsCentipedesCicadasCrayfishEarthwormsEarwigs