Students should have completed the lessons SySTEMs 1 and 2. In addition, this set of lessons asks students to refer to the SMUBA (Seeing, Mapping, Understanding, Believing, Acting) Process of Innovation. It is strongly suggested that you complete the lesson THINK: The Process of Innovation to give your students a base understanding of the SMUBA Process before implementing this lesson.
By the end of this lesson, students will be able to:
Part 1 of this lesson asks students to work as a class to create a complete representation of their local food system. This is an ideal time to utilize whatever technology may be available to your class in order to create a more dynamic representation of the system. Suggested resources include:
You will have already seen students’ data collections plans, so you will have a sense of how each group’s data will fit together. You can structure Part 1 of this lesson based on this knowledge, as well as the needs of your students. Some classes may be able to work independently while others will need more structure. You can pre-assign roles as needed.
The problems that students identify as well, as the actions they recommend, will depend on what data the students have collected. Not all problems are easily remedied, and students should be encouraged to focus on actions that they can actually take. It is important that they do not see smaller actions as less important than large-scale actions, and you should stress that there will always be trade-offs within complex systems. You can also place limits on the action in terms of length of implementation and materials needed. The project might be something that students revisit for short amounts of time over the course of several months; you can assign it as an ongoing homework assignment, or you might opt for an intensive implementation of a project over a short time span.
Sample problems and actions of different scales include:
If the data did not support students’ idea that a problem existed, they should think about why they had the perception of a problem, and how they can use the data to keep others from having a similar perception. For example, if they had the idea that fresh produce was not available near them, but then found that there were actually several small fruit stands in their area, they could think about why they were unaware of their existence, and then perhaps how to draw attention to these fruit stands in a way that would help other people know where they were located.
The lesson is most impactful if you help steer students to actions that can be implemented. Depending upon the actions students wish to take in Part 2, you should plan ahead to ensure that the actions can be carried out or shared. For example, if students want to create a guide that helps people find the quickest and safest transportation routes to local grocery stores, you may wish to speak to a local elected official to see if the guide could be posted on their website to share with the community.
Materials for project implementation- student generated
Part 1: Representing the System
Part 2: Taking Action and Trade Offs
This lesson was developed by the New York Hall of Science.
Copyright 2010-2014 Teachers TryScience