I have spent sunny days in the garden reading the excellent Engineering Education for the Next Generation by Samuel Cord Stier, who is the executive director of The Center for Learning with Nature. This book together with wild gardening books, Wild Your Garden and Wildlife Gardening, provided the basis for the ideas about bringing sustainability into the classroom or home.
Sustainability is rarely explored in the lower grades, yet, I think it can be introduced by using engaging activities that provide children with hope for the future while at the same time inspire a love and fascination for nature. Nature produces materials without mining, produces power without pollution, and reuses materials. Children can learn from nature and develop strategies to design a world that is long-lasting.
This project-based learning unit is inspired by the popular “Write the Room”. The idea behind “Invent the Room” is to provide students with opportunities to explore the objects in the room from a sustainability and biomimicry perspective.
Children are asked to carry out a Life Cycle Analysis of an object in the room. Then the task is to make the production, transportation and disposal of the thing more sustainable. Included in the resource are inspirations about how to use animals and plants to design or invent things.
Perfect for exploring the classroom, in school or at home. Engaging science resource to welcome students back to school.