Elementary School

Step 3: Act

Now it's time for the class to put their plan into action! Along the way, they should be collecting data, keeping records and making observations about whether their plan is really working. It is really important at this stage that class members are working together as a team to create change.

Suggested Timeline: Two to four weeks, depending on the project

Step 3 Checklist:

Do class members:

  • Each have an individual role?
  • Each know his/her job?
  • Work together to carry out the solution?
  • Know how to collect data?

Does the data:

  • Show a record of what's been done, when it was done and what happened?
  • Include any changes that were made to the plan along the way?

Sample Data Collection

  • We asked the principal to let us go to each classroom and explain what we were going to do. We asked students to stop riding their bikes and walking on the hill. We sent home flyers explaining what we wanted to do and what we needed. A parent had some fencing he wasn't using and gave it to us. It was just a little more than we needed. Whew! We got stakes from another person to hold up the fence. No one had the plastic, so we took some old, clean, good toys and had a toy sale at school and got enough money to get the plastic fence and some, but not all, of the shrubs. We were able to buy six of them. Our teacher talked with the owner of the nursery and she said that she would donate the other four. We wrote her a nice thank you note! She also gave us some peat moss and some mulch to help with the planting. We invited everyone from the school to help plant the shrubs and put up the fences on a Saturday. We had over 50 people there! It only took about two hours and the PTO had people bring drinks and snacks. That tasted good after all our hard work!
  • For the month of September, the school used 15,233 kilowatts of electricity. We used paper that prints large badges in our printer to make small signs that go over every light switch in the building. These remind people to turn off the lights. We wrote a speech, practiced it and sent two students to each classroom to explain why it is important to conserve energy and to turn off lights in the classroom and unplug things that aren't being used. We took turns as end-of-day monitors, who go through each room at the end of the day to be sure that the lights are off and the computers, printers, and other vampires have their electricity cut off. As students go on tasks from our classroom, we're always on the lookout for empty rooms with the lights on.
  • A group of four students from our class prepared a presentation for the teachers and we got permission to present to them at a staff meeting on Monday afternoon. We explained what we had found and that we want to see if we can improve. One of the teachers said that there were sometimes good reasons to have only one side used--like a test paper that should not be seen by anyone else. They said that most test papers go home with students, but that we should be extra careful if we find any. We promised not to read anyone's paper, but just to count them. A teacher will be with us when we count the recycled papers. Two students from our class went to each classroom in the school and showed ways to save and reuse paper. One-sided papers that are not tests should have the first side crossed out in pencil and placed in a special bin where they can be reused. Notebook paper should be used on both sides. We posted a notice in the copy room reminding everyone to only copy exactly the number that you will need and not to make extras. We went every Friday afternoon with our teacher to count the recycled paper and record how much of each category was in the bin. We recorded the results and put the numbers on a table. We then used the table to create a graph of the results. See the table and graphs attached.

Suggested Steps

The following sequence is designed to help you introduce and guide students through Step 3 of the Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge. The sequence is designed to be flexible and can be easily adjusted to your schedule and the class time available.

Session One- Team of Change

  • Since teamwork is such an important part of Step 3, this may be a good time to do some teamwork exercises. Several can be found in the resources section of the site. The Challenge of Change - Act lesson plan.

Session Two- Ready, Set, Go

  • Once you have gotten the students used to working as a team, review the plan you created in Step 2 and have each student share his/her job for creating change.
  • Determine how you will monitor your progress along the way. Will you come together at the end of each day to share progress? The end of each week? Will all students report progress or will different students report on different days? What type of data will you collect? Where will you keep the data?
  • Review the dates that you outlined in your plan and make sure all students know when they will be expected to participate, share, report or act. It may also be helpful to keep a timeline visible in the classroom (students can actually create this).
  • At this point, students should be ready to carry out their plan, feeling comfortable about their specific jobs and about asking for help if they need it.
  • You may want to have daily or weekly meetings to talk about your progress. At these meetings, students can discuss:
    • How the project is going
    • Whether they continue to understand their jobs
    • If they are observing positive changes
    • What they are learning
    • What problems they are facing
    • If they need to make changes to the plan to overcome these problems
    • If they need help.


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