7th Science Rocks!

Sustainability Projects & Showcase

Human  Impacts &

Environmental Science:

Problem – Based Learning:  

Which Problem Will You Solve?

1.   Due Dates  & Explanation– with the Sustainability Project

April 27:     Brainstorm – Make it Rain — Brainstorm and Decide  Environmental Problem / Solution 

<See April 27 Blog Post for details, websites used for ideas,..>

May 1-2:  Students / partners make decision regarding the environmental problem that you would like to solve, and make some solutions- suggestions.  Solutions should be much more than “picking up trash.”   They should include science-based surveys that generate data, or 7th grade science level experiments, or research that also generates data about your problem, or working models,….

This project requires your STEM Engineering Work Plans…. and “higher level thinking:” apply, analyze, evaluate, create/design, improve, share and communicate.

Solutions do not need to cost money.    If there are small expenses involved, the business partners may offer to provide that item if you are organized and show them why it is needed.

May 2-4 (assignment):  First Contact of Community Organizations / Professionals associated with your problem & solution.  Refer to / use the letter that I wrote for you to start off your explanation (Blog Post: May 2, also  listed below).  Be specific: what do you need?  How can they help you to solve the problem?   This  written / verbal / meeting contact needs to be made; aim for a reply or agreement to partner with you  — reply by May 9?

  1.  Contacting a Business, Nature Center, Maintenance Supervisor, Company owner, Environmental organization, or other Professional…
  2.  Who will you need to contact?
  3.   Will you contact them by gmail, in person, or by phone?
  4.  Do you know what to say?

A good start is …


Our names are _____, ___, _____.  We are students at Allendale Middle School

We are working on a Sustainability Project in Seventh Grade Science.  This is a Problem-Based Learning project– we have to solve a problem that relates to Environmental Science. We are able to choose the problem, design a solution and determine the best method to solving this problem.

We are contacting you because   ______________________  (explain what your problem is and why you need their help.  Tell them the date or location or materials that you need from them– any of the details).  

We appreciate your time and help.  If you could email us back (PLEASE give them your emails, even if you are talking to them in person!), our emails are:  ——  ——  —–.)

When we have completed this project, we will contact you with our results and data.  We will also have a presentation on May 30, in the evening, that you are also welcome to attend.

Thank you for your consideration, time and help.


_____,   _____,   _____

May 4:  You and your partner complete Action Plan: Page 2, questions 3-4-5,  Materials & Method.  We will set up the dates on the method/Procedure Table  today together in class.  I will check —–> First Contact of Professionals associated with your problem & solution.  This should be done.

May 8 :  Continued contact (via emails and phone calls)
Draw  map of area/businesses/ land that is involved with your problem & solution; plan the dates and times that your team will meet to work on the Action – Solving the Problem
May 9:  Diagram, Map, Design…. that represents your experiment, location, working model…  This will be started in class.  You may need to complete this as you complete your experiment or survey.  
May 9 — 14: In class: Decide how you and your partner will complete “Action Steps” of your projects:  this is when you should run any experiments or trials to test your problem/try to find your solution—-   OR   Go to the business or Nature Center or location that your  project revolves around  —– OR  make your model to show your solution to your problem  —— OR run your survey to check what people know about your project – the problem that you are trying to solve…..  WHAT ACTION is your group taking to solve your problem???
May  11 – 21 –  Record Data; measurable results.   Record results of your Experiment/ Survey/ Working Model should be recorded on page 3 (#5 and # 6) of your Action Plan WS.  What happened?  What were the results?  What did you do next?  Record data on a table or chart or graph (rough draft– there is a table in the packet to record data); draw a design, or map or diagram  (create an extra table or graph if needed),… Take pictures of the action!!   Build a working model, run experimental trials,… and take pictures!  Your homework should be completed as you work on these trials outside of class, and meet with your partner at your location.  
May 18 & May 22:  Start your formal copy of your data table, chart, graph on the 18th.  Determine which method would BEST illustrate your data, and help people to understand your problem and solution.  Draw the outline or X  and  Y axis,  write the Labels and Title—  just make decisions and get this set up..   The 22nd—-  all data and results should now be completed, so record all of this numerical results on your formal data table, chart or graph.
May 22.  We will also email Invites to the Sustainability Showcase to your businesses and organizations that you partnered with (you may also choose to give out hard copies, for instance, to your parents).  
May 23 & 29 – Google Slides  Summary… you will start this on the 23rd and complete it n the 29th.  This is a set of slides that :”showcase’ your overall project:  the experiment, working model, activities, and the problem that you and your partner solved. Documentation completed—–> photos, graphs, tables, charts, maps diagrams.
Guidelines for the Sustainability Showcase Google.slides  (you will also receive details and a rubric for this on the 23rd):
Slide 1: Project Title; student names      Slide 2: Environmental Problem OR Purpose Statement OR Focus of the Project.  [1-2 sentences, larger font]      Slides 4-5: Diagrams?  Maps?   Design of Experiment / Working Models      Slide 6-7-8……. Pictures-Photos Slides: slides with your photos documenting your actions and experiments and working models….  These slides should have a title and labels (but do not write paragraphs!).  If you also include photos from the internet, make sure to note URL’s—> state your references.      Slides 9-10—Results from your Experiment….  Graphs?  Data Tables?  Charts?   Make sure you have a title, labels, correct capitalization, correct units….
    Slides 11-12: How did you partner with the community?   Which business, non-profit, professional, educator, company,…  helped your team out in your quest to solve your problem?    What did they do (answer questions, met with you, provided you with information,…?    (Last slides)  Slides 13-14:  Summary of the project, and/or conclusion of your experiment.  What did you learn?  Can you relate your solution to the Performance Standards?     Keep these slides  clear,  and to the point. ( 1-2 sentences- per slide).  Make sure to include science concepts from this unit (environmental notes, notes on types of matter)————————-
May 30  – Sustainability Showcase Open House Night   6:30-8:00pm   Students arrive at 6:15-6:20.   Groups present their projects at school to members of the community, parents, other students and environmental professionals.Students arrive by 6:15-6:20pm.  Student groups set up their laptops in the Media Center.  Parents, community partners, community guests may enter and walk through the Showcase between 6:30 and 8:00pm.  


Sustainability Showcase Invitation:  will be shared with you… by  May 22!         

Please make a copy and either email or drop it off to your contacts- people in the community who helped you with your project, or others who answered your questions and worked with you.    Make sure you write a “thank you” note and sign the paper/email.  Personally invite these people to  the Showcase.


PARENT LETTER  please share by MAY 9….

Dear Parents,

By now your son or daughter has verbally invited you and/or sent an email to the AMS Sustainability Center Showcase  Wednesday evening, May 30.  Some parents have asked how important is this event.  Please allow me to share some additional facts about this project-based learning activity and final open house.

The students will be working on these Problem-Based_Learning Google.20% projects for  5 weeks.  This means that they will be participating in the brainstorming, researching, collaborating, analyzing results and concluding the work associated with their projects at least one out of every five classes.  Students will also complete their activities – the Action Steps – of the projects outside of class, so this will be a large undertaking.   This is an example of Project-Based Learning, in which the student groups identify an environmentally themed problem, decide which method they should try to solve the problem and then they look back to analyze their problem solving.  

These projects involve the students connecting with their local community.  Most of the student groups will contact area businesses, Allendale Township offices, school officials, nature centers, state and county parks and other organizations as they enlist the support and knowledge of the concepts associated with their projects.  

Students will create a short Google.Slides presentation to showcase their problems, actions and solutions to their projects.  Students will be sharing these presentations and their projects with parents, other students, community members, students currently environmental education in their studies at area colleges and other adults interested in sustainability and environmental issues.  This evening is a showcase of the work that the students have completed, and it gives the students an opportunity to answer questions associated with their projects.

Students should arrive at AMS Media Center with their fully charged laptops between 6:15 and 6:20pm.  The Sustainability Open House will run from 6:30 until 8:00pm.  Please plan on dropping off and picking up your son/daughter in the East Parking Lot or the Loop in the front of the School.

The students are working hard and will learn so much from the problems they are tackling with Sustainability and Environmental issues.  These projects provide an opportunity for students to connect with professionals outside of the school setting.  This is both beneficial for the students and the people in those organizations.  I know this class has so much potential and I cannot wait to see their finished projects!!!   

Thank you for your support and help with this Third Annual Sustainability Showcase.


Ms. Chris Kelly



2 thoughts on “Sustainability Projects & Showcase

  1. thanks for putting up the notes and could u post some of the notes from last year please

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