Lessons with All Materials

Lesson Example #1 Overview: Students investigate issues within their community regarding their use of water and use the information and data that they collect from their investigations to create awareness campaigns for their community and help strive for environmental justice for their community members.Megan-Patton headshot

Teacher: Megan Patton, Science, Grade 6

Lesson Plan Grade 5-8: Community Water Environmental Impact using Data Visualization Techniques

Lesson Demonstration VideoLink

Lesson Overview & Slide Deck: Link

Nichole Morecraft photoLesson Example #2 Overview: Students will learn what the meaning of Environmental Justice is, then as a whole group decide on what community issue they would like to focus on. After the group has agreed upon an overarching issue they will discuss how they will create a plan that will achieve change.

Teacher: Nichole Morecraft, STEAM, Grade 6

Lesson Plan Grade 6-8: Environmental Justice: How to Better the Community we Live In

Lesson Demonstration VideoLink

Lesson Overview & Slide DeckLink

Linda Filby pictureLesson Example Overview: Students are introduced to many different types of bees and their importance to the survival of plants and animals and make connections with nature and environmental justice from the data they collect throughout the lessons.

Teacher: Linda Filby, STEAM, Grades K-5

Lesson Plan Grade 3: What’s All the Buzz About Bees? (can be easily adapted grades 2-5)

Lesson Demonstration VideoLink

Lesson Overview & Slide Deck: Link

Rebecca Wetherbee headshotLesson Example #1 Overview: In this project unit, students will research topics related to their main environment, the city of Pittsburgh. Students are expected to research topics such as Pittsburgh green spaces, reducing our carbon footprint, lead in the water and more as they look in their community and try to effect change. Students will participate in data collection from their community to help drive a persuasive letter written to Mayor Ed Gainey to help effect change in the community. They will use their data and data analysis tools such as scatter plots or frequency tables to support their argument/position. They will also participate in audio production of their argument either in the form of a recorded performance of their letter, or a roundtable discussion of environmental topics they see affecting their community.

Teacher: Rebecca Wetherbee, Math, Grade 8

Lesson Plan Grade 8-9: Pittsburgh Environment Data Driven Letter

Lesson Demonstration VideoLink

Raelynn RuffusLesson Example #2 Overview: Students research food systems, make a plan, apply for funding through Chipotle’s Sustainability Challenge, execute the plan, and submit it for prize money.

Teacher: Raelynn Ruffus, Science, Grade 7

Lesson Plan Grade 7: Sustainability Challenge: Sustainable Agriculture Cultivated by Today’s Young Minds

Lesson Demonstration VideoLink

Lesson Overview & Slide Deck: Link

LaShawn Digbohou headshotLesson Example #3 Overview: In this lesson Environmental Justice & Data Science Overview and Life Connection students are introduced to the basics of environmental justice and how data science is used to inform it.  They are also given an opportunity to make connections to personal, local, and nationwide injustices.

Teacher: LaShawn Digbohou, Math, Grade 6

Lesson Plans Grade 6: Environmental Justice & Data Science Overview and Life Connection

Lesson Demonstration Video: Link

Lesson Overview & Slide Deck: Link

Victoria Lojek headshotLesson Example #1 Overview: In this lesson, students can choose between six significant habitat changes including wildfires, deforestation, city growth, sea levels rising, glaciers melting, and coral bleaching. Once they choose their topic, they will use EarthTime to analyze the data in different areas around the world so they can choose an area which they feel is impacted the most by environmental justice to complete a larger unit project.

Teacher: Tori Lojek, STEAM, Grades 3-5

Lesson Plans Grade 5 (includes unit plan): Understanding Human Impact on the Environment using Data Visualization Techniques through EarthTime

Lesson Demonstration VideoLink

Lesson Overview & Slide Deck: Link

Lynette Lortz headshotLesson Example #2 Overview: Students engage in an activity called Looking Ten Times Two in which they work independently then merge into group work. Students also engage in a data talk and use EarthTime to discover the constant burning fire in Braddock, PA and the environmental justice implications. Students will build connections between air pollution in Pittsburgh and surrounding industries. Students observe and capture data from historical photographs and work collaboratively with peers to understand the connection between the photographs and issues of Environmental Justice.

Teacher: Lynette Lortz, Computer Science, Grades 8-12

Lesson Plan Grade 8: Using Visualizations to Inspire Curiosity: How does our environment affect us?

Lesson Demonstration VideoLink

Lesson Overview & Slide Deck: Link

Shad WachterLesson Example #3 Overview: In this unit, students will have the opportunity to collect audio and visual assets through connecting with Nature. They will use those assets and coding skills to create multimedia/multimodal websites to share their observations and experiences with others. They will also make explicit connections between the computational thinking activities involved with coding their observations in Nature, and Environmental Justice through narrative story telling.

Teacher: Shad Wachter, Technology Literacy, Grades 3-5

Lesson Plan Grade 5 (includes unit plan): Coding Nature

Lesson Demonstration VideoLink

Lesson Overview & Slide Deck: Link

Holly Plank headshotLesson Example #1 Overview: In this lesson, students will be introduced to the Smell Pittsburgh website and app. The students will analyze the data collection process and visualization used by Smell Pittsburgh. Students will download selected data and create their own visualizations in order to make recommendations for intervention and/or activism. Smell Pittsburgh is an application developed in Pittsburgh that allows its citizens to report pollution by foul odors.Teacher: Holly Plank, Graduate Student Researcher and PhD student, University of PittsburghLesson Plan Grade 6-8: Citizen Science Lessons Featuring Smell Pittsburgh

Lesson Overview & Slide Deck: Link

​Lessons with Partial Materials​​

Lesson Example #1 Overview: Students collected data on school-wide plastic water bottle savings using information from school water fountains for over two-weeks for the three floors in the school. Students analyzed the data in small groups to identify observations and inferences. Students also conducted research into connections to Environmental Justice issues to form a persuasive argument.

Teacher: Sue Simmers, STEAM, Grades K-5

Lesson Plan Grade 4: Understanding and Educating Others on Environmental Advantages of Reusable Water Bottles

Lesson Example #1 Overview: In this unit, students use primary and secondary literature and photographs from the Love Canal to understand environmental injustice case studies through storytelling. Students used data to understand the impact of soil contamination on public health. At the end of the lesson, students wrote persuasive letters pertinent to their own context.

Teacher: Brandon Rigatti, Science Teacher, Grade 5

Lesson Grade 5: The Love Canal Tragedy: A Case Study in Environmental Justice

Lesson Example #1 Overview: Previously, students were introduced to freshwater ecosystems and how aquatic and tertiary ecosystems are interrelated. In this lesson, students will observe changes within the ecosystem they have been studying, and think of what may cause these changes.  What might happen if the ecosystem was polluted?

Teacher: Steve Roszak, Science Teacher

Lesson Grades 6-8: Pollution in a Freshwater Ecosystem

AJ Mannarino headshotLesson Example #1 Overview: Students will collect data on their households’ habits related to recycling, water consumption, consumption of resources, travel, etc. After analyzing the data, students will create story boards to design an app to address the environmental problem they explored. Students will use MIT app inventor to code interactive apps for a designated audience.

Teacher: AJ Mannarino, Technology Education, Grades 6-8

Lesson Plan Grade 7: Understanding Environmental Justice through the use of MIT App Inventor

Additional lessons created through this grant are provided above. Although the video demonstration links and slide deck are not included, the lesson plans contain links to resources and will be easy to follow in your classroom.

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