Plastic pollution is ubiquitous and there is growing concern about its consequences. Given that current research findings often reach the public insufficiently, the issue should be addressed at school. To create a fruitful learning experience, we propose three associated hands-on, inquiry-based learning activities that require little equipment. Students learn about the origins and properties of plastics, investigate everyday sources, learn about recycling, address and reflect upon the material’s (dis)advantages, and are encouraged to consider solutions. All activities align with the Next Generation Science Standards and are primarily designed for the middle school classroom; we further provide modifications for elementary and high school settings.

You do not currently have access to this content.