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Ocean Plastic Waste

How can we reduce the problem of ocean plastic waste?

Students are tasked with exploring the problem of ocean plastic waste. Students will explore the impact of plastic waste on marine ecosystems and the likely future harm to food chains if this problem is not solved. examining the nature of plastic itself.


Students must also investigate why the chemical composition of plastic means it doesn’t biodegrade. 


Students must use what they learn to invent a biodegradable substitute for plastic and show how it would help restore marine ecosystems back to health.


Key tasks


  • Classification of marine organisms. Students create food chains and food webs to represent the interactions between organisms in marine ecosystems. They must overlay the known impact of plastic on different organisms within this ecosystem to determine the current and future stress on the ecosystem caused by plastic 


  • Sorting plastics. Students will explore why recycling plastic is harder than they might think. They must design an experiment to test our ability to automatically sort different plastic codes, based on the behaviour of different plastic types in different solutions 

Key facts:

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Curriculum information

Science - Biological Sciences - Classification & interactions of organisms

ACSSU111-112 | VCSSU091 & VCSSU093 | SC4-14LW

Science - Chemical Sciences - Separation of mixtures; Properties of matter

ACSSU113, ACSSU151 | VCSSU095 | SC4-17CW



15 - 20 lessons

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