Elementary School

Step 4: Share & Extend

The fourth step in the Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge asks teams to show what their testing revealed and share their results with others who want to become Agents of Change in their own classrooms or schools. Just as students learned from the work of other scientists in Step 1, this step asks them to become a resource for those who can learn from their experience.

In this step, students will be asked to summarize their problem, the solution they proposed to impact it, the data they collected, and how they implemented and tested their solution. They will also share the time and resources that the process required, what they learned along the way, and what they would recommend doing differently.

Step 4 Checklist

Does your summary include:

  • The environmental area chosen and why it was chosen?
  • A description of the problem and solution?
  • How the solution was implemented and tested?
  • What were the biggest challenges?
  • How much time the process took?
  • What materials, resources and costs were required?
  • What did they do to spread the word about their project?
  • How others might be able to become Agents of Change in a similar ways?

Sample Summaries:

  • Now there is plastic fencing along the bottom of the hill above the creek and shrubs planted that are growing. We are watering the shrubs once a week. Once it is winter, we won't need to water them again until spring. Good news! The creek is not getting muddy any more. Our advice to others who do this is to be sure to get everyone's cooperation. We also had to show others where to ride their bikes so they wouldn't use the hill above the creek any more. We hope that the fence lasts through the winter time. We may have to keep reminding people to stay off the area. Just last week, someone tried to go through it and pushed the fence down in one place. We will be watching them!
  • We are proud to report that our effort was successful. In October, the school used only 14,199 kilowatt hours. That's a great reduction. We think we can do even better in November because people still haven't gotten into the habit of turning off lights and cutting power off at night. We also noticed rooms that had the lights on even when the sunshine was coming through the window. We think we might have gotten more students to help us participate if we had offered a contest. So we are going to offer a monthly energy award for classes that always have their lights off when we check, and that always have their electricity vampires cut off at night. The local electrical power company is giving us stickers to give to the students in the class that wins the award.
  • Our project was successful. See our tables and graphs for the data. We saw the amount of paper being used on just one side drop from 34% of the total amount recycled to 8.6% of the total amount. The amount of unused paper dropped to less than 1%. The percentage of paper with two sides used went up to almost 90%. One thing that we learned was that not all paper that is covered on one side can be used again. For example, tests have private information on them. So any paper with private information can be recycled. Often these are shredded so that no one can read them again. We also learned that students in other classes will help us, if they like the idea. We learned that you have to get them on your side to solve the problem. We found out that some people are confused about what can be recycled. In our study, we only looked at copy paper. But people also recycle newspaper, different kinds of cardboard, and paper bags. The building manager said those are all allowed, but sometimes people throw in paper with plastic attached or paper like napkins or paper plates that are oily. Those have to be removed because they will ruin the recycling process. There are many things we could have had people do with newspapers and cardboard - but that will be for next year.

Session One- Let's Talk About It

  • Now that you have completed your plan and collected your data, it's time for your Agents of Change to analyze the results.
  • While students will be asked to submit a written summary, it may be good at this point to start with a class discussion where students have an opportunity to share their feelings about the process, what they learned, what they liked about being Agents of Change, whether they feel like they really made a difference in their classroom or school, and what they'd do differently if they could.
  • Older students can take notes during the discussion to help with the written summary.

Session Two- Let's Tell Others About It

  • Remind students that science is all about sharing your experiences and discoveries with others. Have them list who in the school or community they would like to share their success with. They might include parents, other students, staff members, or community members.
  • Now make a list of different ways they could share the information. Students are free to get creative here!
  • Allow students to decide which method they'd like to use. You may once again need to use the democratic process here.
  • Review the checklist to ensure that students are including all necessary information in their summaries.

Session Three- Let's Tell the Judges About It

  • Now it's time for the final sharing step. And that's to share their summaries with the Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge judges! Your class just may be one of the finalists or even one of the top three winners and win great prizes!
  • Go to the Application page and review the required information. Make sure that you have everything you need to submit your work.
  • Work with students to answer each question on the site. Students can take turns reading the report, inputting the data or proofreading.
  • Before pushing that final submit button, read your entry to the class. Make sure they agree with what has been written.
  • Then do a countdown and push submit!

Session Four - Celebrate

  • The final stage in the process is to let your Agents of Change celebrate! They are true eco-heroes and should be very proud of themselves and their efforts to make their classroom or school a better place!
  • You can also review the next steps with students, sharing the dates in the timeline when winners will be notified.

Resources:

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