Image credit: Pass the Honey, Unsplash Photo Library
Following my students' research into the negative effects of plastic wrapping, we set ourselves the task of developing beeswax wrap as an alternative to it. That was possible because a local apiary (Wellington Apiary) donated free beeswax to the project. If you are not lucky enough to have a local apiary that would donate beeswax (!), you could develop another alternative wrap, and search out a local group or business that might become involved.
This project can be undertaken as a term project or as a year-long project, depending on the level of interest and the goals that are set.
Community links are invaluable in the successful completion of such a project. Before you begin, though, it is a good idea to save time by pre-determining contacts for possible sponsorship or donations.
Assume that your school budget is limited, and that creative thinking will be required. Some items will need to be purchased for the initial set-up and you will need to account for these in the budget total.
(For example, for beeswax wrap you will need pinking shears to prevent fraying fabric and for aesthetic purposes, some initial fabric, cotton and initial roll of beeswax. Total cost of such initial materials approx. $110.00.)
To provide an eco-friendly link to sustainable practices, ask students to put out a call for recyclable resources that could be used. (Beeswax wrap examples might be cotton fabrics, buttons, an iron and ironing board, an oven tray, baking paper and extra scissors.)
Communicating with a local business (as a local apiary did with the beeswax wrap example) may be feasible.
This type of community based project is supported by Sanders (2018), who believes that in today's busy society, community, family and schools should all work together to provide the necessary experiences and support to ensure that students are active and informed citizens in society.
Discuss and decide on the roles/tasks required to achieve the desired project outcome, and divide the students into these groups, being mindful of any access and participation issues.
Product/market research and related data collection, storage, organisation and interpretation, should be included in the process.
As a class, create a timeline/schedule to support students' appreciation of the time each group will have to complete their tasks. It will also provide students with a visual representation of the schedule and a way to monitor their progress against the key tasks. Here is an example used for the beeswax wrap project at Clarendon Vale Primary School.
Scheduled tasks along a timeline (beeswax wrap project)
The schedule has three main stages:
This is an example based on the beeswax wrap project. It can be adapted to your own material/product as necessary.
Digital Technology focus
Design Technology focus
HAAS Economics and Business focus
This refers to the methods we use to collect and access data from a variety of sources.
Students can generate various kinds of data through their own experiments, surveys and investigations.
To store data we record it in a format that allows it to be easily accessed or obtained.
Students could describe how the data they have acquired can be stored in different ways, using different representations and/or software. Selection of the most suitable representation is important.
Organising data refers to the way we order, sort and arrange it to assist us with interpretation in different contexts.
To interpret data, we use data and its characteristics, properties and patterns to form a conclusion or derive some meaning.
Students can work with data that requires some simple processing, using software. This could be in the form of things such as simple spreadsheet calculations or using data in code. They draw conclusions about the data as a result of this processing.