On YouTube: Plastic Pollution and You, Teaching Kids About Plastics
Marine Debris - News


Nate Drag, NYSG Great Lakes Literacy Specialist, E: nwd4@cornell.edu, P: 716-645-3610

By Alex Bielfeld, News10NBC

Rochester, NY, September 21, 2022 - New York Sea Grant has created "Plastic Pollution and You", a lesson plan directly dedicated to plastic pollution and the human influence, and it has already been used by some teachers across the state.

“So it’s a 15 activity curriculum and it moves kids, and anyone who works with it, to awareness to action. We’ve launched it in April, right around Earth Day, and it has been out across the state and teachers have been able to interact with it and use it in the classrooms and we are really excited about that,” explains Nate Drag, Great Lakes Literacy Specialist with New York Sea Grant.

The curriculum is catered for all, from elementary school to up and through high school. Nate adds, “At the elementary level a lot of that is the awareness. Understanding that there’s a lot of different types of plastic. Putting it in the recycling bin doesn’t magically turn it into a new item or new material, there’s a lot that goes into it. So, there’s that awareness. Then, you can build up in there for the higher levels. So, like the chemical analysis of different types of plastics or the complexity of the recycling system globally and what recycling markets really look like.”

The lesson plans are of easy access for teachers who would be interested in implementing this into his or her classroom.

“It is a free download for anyone. So, they can always download it. There is also a recording of a webinar we did in April when we launched the curriculum that has an overview with all the activities as well as a presentation from Dr. Sherry Mason who is a researcher out of Penn State who did some of the fundamental issue on some of this in the Great Lakes.”

The curriculum is co-authored by Nate Drag, New York Sea Grant Great Lakes Literacy Specialist and Great Lakes Program Associate Director at the University at Buffalo, Buffalo, New York, and Kathleen Fallon, Ph.D., a Coastal Processes and Hazards Specialist with New York Sea Grant, Stony Brook, New York.

If you are a teacher who is interested in the lesson plan, please visit www.nyseagrant.org/plasticpollution.

If you would like access to the NY Sea Grant educational resources, go to www.nyseagrant.org/gleee or www.nyseagrant.org/cyeducation. There's also a direct link to "Great Lakes Curriculum".

More Info: New York Sea Grant

New York Sea Grant (NYSG), a cooperative program of Cornell University and the State University of New York (SUNY), is one of 34 university-based programs under the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Sea Grant College Program.

Since 1971, NYSG has represented a statewide network of integrated research, education and extension services promoting coastal community economic vitality, environmental sustainability and citizen awareness and understanding about the State’s marine and Great Lakes resources.

Through NYSG’s efforts, the combined talents of university scientists and extension specialists help develop and transfer science-based information to many coastal user groups—businesses and industries, federal, state and local government decision-makers and agency managers, educators, the media and the interested public.

The program maintains Great Lakes offices at Cornell University, SUNY Buffalo, SUNY Oswego and the Wayne County Cooperative Extension office in Newark. In the State's marine waters, NYSG has offices at Stony Brook University in Long Island, Brooklyn College and Cornell Cooperative Extension in NYC and Kingston in the Hudson Valley.

For updates on Sea Grant activities: www.nyseagrant.org has RSS, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube links. NYSG offers a free e-list sign up via www.nyseagrant.org/nycoastlines for its flagship publication, NY Coastlines/Currents, which is published quarterly.

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