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Table 2.

Overview of pre-activity preparation, stations, activity and learning content, assessment, and required time.

Pre-activity Preparation
Printing of workbooks, sample solutions, and instructions (see Supplemental Material Appendices A, B, C)
When all materials for the experiments are ready (Tables 38), the teacher should schedule one hour to prepare the classroom:
  • One school desk for each station

  • Each station is set up twice (12 tables for stations 1–6; station 7 does not require an extra table)

  • Secure placement of laptops and microscopes

  • Division of the class in groups of three or four

 
 Activity & Learning Content Assessment Time (minutes) 
What is microplastic? Introduction (pre-group phase)
Teacher-guided learning & listening of students:
  • Teacher introduces into the issue “microplastic in aquatic ecosystems”

  • Teacher guides the students through the presentation, motivates and arouses students' interest

  • Teacher does not reveal too much yet, so that students are motivated to work out the content themselves

  • Students contribute and answer open questions in the workbook

 
Students independently check the correctness of their solution with the sample solution 20 
The search for microplastic in everyday products Station 1: Examination of exfoliating cream
Hands-on learning:
  • Students filter exfoliating cream (dissolved in water) and extract microbeads

  • Students identify the plastic type of the microbeads

  • Students recognize problems of microbeads in sewage

 
20 
The search for microplastic in everyday products Station 2: Examination of textiles
Hands-on learning:
  • Students wash fleece in soapy water and filter out fibers that detach from it

  • Students identify the plastic type of the fleece fibers

  • Students recognize the problems of synthetic fibers in sewage

 
20 
The search for microplastic in everyday products Station 3: Mr. Experto looking for traces in the drugstore
Hands-on learning:
  • Students check personal-care products and detergents for microplastic

 
20 
Microplastic in the environment Station 4: How does microplastic get to the beach?
Hands-on learning:
  • Students watch a film about insufficient filter systems in sewage treatment plants

  • Students create a flowchart on microplastics' path to the beach

  • Students define primary and secondary microplastics

 
20 
Effects of microplastic Station 5: Microplastic in the environment – so what?!
Hands-on learning:
  • Students read a text about problems of marine animals caused by plastic

  • Students answer questions, create a food web, and discuss animals' and humans' burdens

 
20 
Consumption options Station 6: Is there an alternative?
Hands-on learning:
  • Students play a plastic-memory game: they match related single-use, multiple-use, and alternative products

  • Students discuss the pros and cons of the products

 
20 
Treatment strategies Station 7: Minimizing the problem
Hands-on learning and discussion of ideas:
  • Students answer questions of introduction again

  • Students recapitulate the content of stations and discuss approaches to reduce microplastic input into the environment

 
20 
Evaluation Evaluation
Teacher-guided learning and discussion:
  • Students summarize and review group results

  • Students describe, discuss, and improve outcomes

  • Teacher ensures understanding and consolidates new knowledge

 
Joint review of the group results to overcome difficulties in comprehension, consolidate new knowledge, and extend students' interest 20 
Pre-activity Preparation
Printing of workbooks, sample solutions, and instructions (see Supplemental Material Appendices A, B, C)
When all materials for the experiments are ready (Tables 38), the teacher should schedule one hour to prepare the classroom:
  • One school desk for each station

  • Each station is set up twice (12 tables for stations 1–6; station 7 does not require an extra table)

  • Secure placement of laptops and microscopes

  • Division of the class in groups of three or four

 
 Activity & Learning Content Assessment Time (minutes) 
What is microplastic? Introduction (pre-group phase)
Teacher-guided learning & listening of students:
  • Teacher introduces into the issue “microplastic in aquatic ecosystems”

  • Teacher guides the students through the presentation, motivates and arouses students' interest

  • Teacher does not reveal too much yet, so that students are motivated to work out the content themselves

  • Students contribute and answer open questions in the workbook

 
Students independently check the correctness of their solution with the sample solution 20 
The search for microplastic in everyday products Station 1: Examination of exfoliating cream
Hands-on learning:
  • Students filter exfoliating cream (dissolved in water) and extract microbeads

  • Students identify the plastic type of the microbeads

  • Students recognize problems of microbeads in sewage

 
20 
The search for microplastic in everyday products Station 2: Examination of textiles
Hands-on learning:
  • Students wash fleece in soapy water and filter out fibers that detach from it

  • Students identify the plastic type of the fleece fibers

  • Students recognize the problems of synthetic fibers in sewage

 
20 
The search for microplastic in everyday products Station 3: Mr. Experto looking for traces in the drugstore
Hands-on learning:
  • Students check personal-care products and detergents for microplastic

 
20 
Microplastic in the environment Station 4: How does microplastic get to the beach?
Hands-on learning:
  • Students watch a film about insufficient filter systems in sewage treatment plants

  • Students create a flowchart on microplastics' path to the beach

  • Students define primary and secondary microplastics

 
20 
Effects of microplastic Station 5: Microplastic in the environment – so what?!
Hands-on learning:
  • Students read a text about problems of marine animals caused by plastic

  • Students answer questions, create a food web, and discuss animals' and humans' burdens

 
20 
Consumption options Station 6: Is there an alternative?
Hands-on learning:
  • Students play a plastic-memory game: they match related single-use, multiple-use, and alternative products

  • Students discuss the pros and cons of the products

 
20 
Treatment strategies Station 7: Minimizing the problem
Hands-on learning and discussion of ideas:
  • Students answer questions of introduction again

  • Students recapitulate the content of stations and discuss approaches to reduce microplastic input into the environment

 
20 
Evaluation Evaluation
Teacher-guided learning and discussion:
  • Students summarize and review group results

  • Students describe, discuss, and improve outcomes

  • Teacher ensures understanding and consolidates new knowledge

 
Joint review of the group results to overcome difficulties in comprehension, consolidate new knowledge, and extend students' interest 20 
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