Information for Teachers

Resources for Educators and Students

Grays Harbor County has a variety of videos, books, and lesson plans for teachers to check out and use in their classroom. Call Mark Cox as 360-964-1647 for specific information and questions.

There are some fun and educational links below.

Instructors:

Garbology - Garbology is an exciting and interactive website that answers the question, "Where should my waste go?"
Teacher's Resources - Environmental Protection Agency
Environmental Education
 – Washington Forest Protection Association
EnviroLink - Environmental Education on the Internet 
The Globe Program - Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment 
Sierra Club - Environmental Education

Fun Pages For Students!

Student Page - Environmental Protection Agency
Recycle City - Environmental Protection Agency
Student Page - U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services - Student Page
Student Page - Guide to Recycling Glass

Science Fair Ideas - Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

  • Measure how much junk-mail your family receives in a certain amount of time, then contact Direct marketing, Mail Preference Service and other organizations to get their family off junk mail lists and measure the reduction. How many pounds of paper are saved in one month, etc.?
  • Measure packaging and compare cost savings with buying in bulk versus lots of individually packaged items. How much garbage is generated by excess packaging, what does it cost, where does it go, what are the alternatives? 
  • Save trash, do a mini waste sort. Measure and categorize the waste and report on charts. 
  • Make a mini landfill to show its parts, the items found in it and their decomposition rates. How quickly are these landfills filling up? How could we extend the life of a landfill? What are some of the problems associated with landfills and what are some solutions?
  • Where does methane gas come from and how does it affect global warming?
  • Demonstrate the greenhouse effect by measuring the temperature within a light trap (box covered with glass or plastic).
  • Demonstrate ways to reduce and/or reuse garbage. By doing these things could you save money on your garbage service? How?
  • Make a worm compost bin and demonstrate how easy it can be to compost food waste. Include some tests or variables involving the size and type of bin, the amount and kinds of food that are being put into the bin, amount of food versus the amount of worms, etc.
  • Determine how much energy and landfill space is saved by recycling.
  • Check out local stores and see how many items are made from recyclables or can be recycled.
  • Compare the durability of printing inks made from common vegetables.
  • Demonstrate how paper can be recycled and paper made at home.
  • Compare the durability, look, texture, etc of hand made “recycled” paper made from different types of paper and plant materials.
  • What effect does acid rain have on plant life?
  • Is trash incineration a viable alternative to landfills?
  • What effect would an oil spill have on plant life, marine life, etc?
  • What is the role of heat and microbes in composting?
  • Examine roadside litter, determine both cause and source, and recommend methods of combating it.
  • How does the rate of rainfall affect soil erosion? Demonstrate. What role does trees and plants play in reducing soil erosion.
  • What are all of the benefits of having plants and trees lining a stream or river. What is a riparian area? Show models of with and without.
  • Create a perfect compost pile with just the right balance of materials (brown stuff (carbon), green stuff (nitrogen), air circulation, moisture). Build several different piles and vary the amounts of the types of materials in each. What effect will differences in the ingredients have on the finished compost?
  • Test the effectiveness of compost as something that adds nutrients to the soil by planting two small potted gardens/plants, adding compost to one and only using soil for the other.
  • Are safe homemade cleaners as effective as commercial cleaners? What are the cost differences? What are the dangers of certain chemical cleaners and what do the labels tell you?
  • Ideas for water conservation at home and at school. If you have a leaky faucet how much water is being wasted per day, per year?
  • Design, construct and test a mechanical method of separating solid waste from recycling.
  • Check out how much paper your school recycles and come up with ideas to recycle more paper or other materials such as aluminum cans, glass, etc.
  • Find out how many paper products your school buys are made from recycled paper. Come up with a plan to increase this amount. What does “closing the loop” mean?
  • Organic fertilizers versus chemical fertilizers.
  • How earthworms affect our soil. Put two kinds of soil (potting soil on top and clay soil on the bottom) in a glass jar. Put earthworms in it and feed them. Put in dark place and watch for a month. What happens?
  • Transfer station tour, see what’s being recycled and what’s not. Come up with ideas to improve recycling in the county.
  • Build a model of a watershed and show how people can affect it.
  • Build a model of an aquifer out of a plastic two-liter bottle to show how groundwater is affected by wells and pollution.
  • Using plastic two-liter bottles you could make a water filter, sand pendulum, lung capacity tester, collapsing container experiment (temperature/pressure), oceanographic densiometer, terrarium, and much more. (For these ideas and more read Recycling Two-Liter Containers for the Teaching of Science, by Alfred De Vito.)