“There is no more powerful transformative force than education"
— Irina Bokova, former Director-General of UNESCO
WHAT ARE MICROPLASTICS?
Microplastics are pieces of plastic less than 5mm in size that have been found in all of Earth’s environments, including our food, water, air and even our bodies. Cleaning up plastic pollution is important, but we must also prevent it from entering the environment in the first place.
To drive solutions, decision makers need much more data on where microplastics are found, as well as what kinds of microplastics are found in different environments.
WHY TEACH ABOUT MICROPLASTICS?
While we need to clean the planet of existing plastic pollution, the root of the problem is the production of plastic in the first place.
Youth are highly concerned with issues such as plastic pollution and climate change.
Sustainable solutions need to be implemented and understood not just by this generation, but all generations going forward.
Climate change and sustainable development are increasingly important topics that parents want schools to teach.
Real change can only come following an understanding of the nature of the problem.
Giving students the knowledge, skills, and tools to understand the problem will empower them to develop sustainable solutions.
WHAT'S IN THE TOOLKIT?
Collect the microplastic pollution data needed to inform local and global solutions
TECHNOLOGY, TOOLS & DIGITAL RESOURCES
1 Saturna Imaging System: the first-of-its-kind technology that uses machine learning to count and characterize the physical properties of visible microplastics
Microplastics samples: samples recovered from the environment by ODI can be analyzed by students to better understand the different properties of microplastics
Educational resource about microplastic pollution and community science
Data interpretation guide to identify types of microplastics and better understand litter sources and how to address solutions
HOW IT WORKS
Order Your Toolkit
Receive the resources, tools, and technology you need to teach about microplastics in the classroom.
Learn About Microplastics And STEM
Read the included interactive educational resources to teach about microplastics and the importance of scientific data to create change.
Replicate The Sampling Process In The Classroom
Follow the included guide to replicate the sampling process. Students will learn how sampling is conducted and create their own scaled-down sampling station in the classroom.
Image, Upload and Analyze Microplastics Using the Saturna Imaging System
Operate the included Saturna Imaging System to image, count and characterize your microplastics while learning about how this data can contribute to local and global solutions.
Understand the Data
Apply the included Data Interpretation Guide to identify the types of microplastics to better understand litter sources and how to address solutions.
Use the supplied communication tools to educate and engage your community and policy makers about microplastic pollution, and influence change in your community.
UNITED NATIONS' SDGS
Plastic pollution, and its contribution to climate change and biodiversity loss, is a monumental hurdle for humanity to overcome.
The United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals “provides a shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet, now and into the future.”
Many of these goals are directly related to the impact of plastic pollution.
Students will learn how the current plastic production cycle leads to catastrophic levels of plastic pollution, which is further worsened by the breakdown of plastic into microplastic and nanoplastic particles.
By teaching about microplastic pollution, students will be better equipped to understand the global issues that the UN aims to solve with the SDGs.
BENEFITS FOR STUDENTS
The Toolkit empowers students with post-secondary and job-ready knowledge, skills and experience using scientific technology and educational resources to analyze data, problem-solve and engage their community in local solutions.
Students participate in hands-on learning and develop inter-disciplinary STEM skills.
Saturna gives students the opportunity to use a first-of-its-kind microplastics imaging technology that uses machine-learning based AI to quantify and characterize the physical properties of visible microplastics.
The Toolkit provides schools with a program that’s at the forefront of environmental education and cutting-edge technology to enhance STEM curricula.
It provides teachers with innovative resources for a unique learning experience.
The Toolkit can be used as a stand-alone project or integrated into curriculum throughout the semester or school year, and it can be shared among classrooms.
BENEFITS FOR SCHOOLS
“The Toolkit in an invaluable addition to any classroom because it allows for hands-on experience away from a textbook.”
Tanya Holmes, Grade 12 Student
SPONSOR A PROJECT
Help an underfunded school or non-profit to access a Toolkit and contribute to education while helping to collect important data about microplastic pollution.
BECOME A COMMUNITY SCIENCE AMBASSADOR
Help to educate and inspire your community or school to learn about and tackle microplastic pollution.