“This year I was sampling the new BC Science 9 Curriculum and an inquiry project on sustainability fit perfectly […] I used resources from Be The Change Earth Alliance to have my students complete a variety of inquiry projects on different sustainability topics […] The overarching questions were as follows: “How can I value the Earth’s limited natural resources in my every day choices?” or “How does a “disposable” mentality affect global sustainability? Is “more” better?”
We are a fairly large middle school (7-9) in Chilliwack. Our students are a diverse group that come from a variety of socio-economic and cultural backgrounds. The new BC Science 9 curriculum has a new focus on sustainability and our future. I want my students to gain a good understanding of our world and the real concerns for their generation in terms of issues such as climate change, oil dependence, water scarcity, etc. I wanted to create an atmosphere where students can gather evidence and develop their own opinions based on that evidence. Through this they can make good decisions in their futures both on a personal level and in society.
This year I was sampling the new BC Science 9 Curriculum and an inquiry project on sustainability fits perfectly. I used resources from Be The Change Earth Alliance to have my students complete a variety of inquiry projects on different sustainability topics. This is the second year I did this. It seemed to have a significant impact on the 60 students I used it with. They enjoyed the self-directed inquiry focus. The research had excellent articles and videos that allowed students to learn the real facts on their topic. It also involved practical personal activities and excellent critical thinking questions on their topic.
The inquiry project went very well and many students came out of the project with a new enlightened perspective. Many were excited to share what they had learned with their families and friends. Students also now had real things that they could do to make a difference on a personal level, many which they did during the action part of their project. I also observed a lot of excellent critical thinking in the critical thinking portion of their research.
I think that this project was a good start for adding a topic I see as very important to my students’ learning. That said, there is a lot more we could do. Students could take their personal actions to a school wide level and get other students who did not get to complete the research project involved. This is an area I’d like to see grow in our school, along with more teachers embracing this type of education. I believe the new curriculum is starting to address this and I hope to get more science teachers in my school to embrace the type of sustainability project I did this year.