The Sustainable STEM curriculum features a 6-lesson unit focusing on sustainable design. Students create their own cell phone case out of renewable mushroom material and see how the product aligns with the three criteria of green chemistry.
This lesson introduces the global problem of plastics and sets the stage for designing a biodegradable cell phone case made from renewable materials. Students will consider their own impact on the environment through their personal choices while exploring the scale of effect that one product can have.
Students will be introduced to the engineering design process, which they will use to design, construct, and evaluate a prototype for their cell phone case.
In this lesson, students will take part in a very important task typical of any scientist or engineer: reviewing and revising their experimental procedure. Together, their changes will highlight the three criteria important for green chemistry technology, which allows for discussion of the sustainability of their mycelium cell phone case.
In this lesson, the students reflect on where their project is in the engineering design process and build their final product: a mycelium material cell phone case. They then create data tables that they will fill in throughout the growth process to help guide their product evaluation.
In this lesson, students will revise those procedures and use them to evaluate their mycelium cell phone cases. They will then use the information from their experiments to draw conclusions about their final product and choose one case to recommend.
This lesson challenges students to consider the information they have gathered about the cost, safety and performance of their case and communicate the details of their final product in a presentation.
In this lesson, students will explore the basics of polymer science, using pipe cleaners and colored penne to create models. Then, students will create two different slimes using chemical reactions and consider the difference between naturally derived and synthetic materials.