August 21, 2018


From its source to you, each and every material you touch requires energy at every stage of its lifecycle. The raw materials for cans and bottles are extracted from Earth and transported to manufacturing facilities where they are refined, molded, and repackaged before being transported to other facilities to be filled with food, drink, household goods, or other useful things for your use. More transportation takes them to your local store where they are stored and possibly air conditioned before you pick them up to use them. Removing materials from landfills and moving them back into the consumption cycle (recycling!) helps cut energy use from this process. Recycling can be done at a local level for a big impact on overall energy consumption.

The table on this page contains all of the activities and lessons related to materials. You can sort the table by title, short summary, category, or grade by clicking the column label. The filter drop-down menus limit the number of items in the table to only those that meet the specifications listed. You can also click any category or grade to view only those contents in those subcategories. To see all contents, simply click the reset button. Use the search box on this page to search for a particular activity in the table below.

ImageTitleShort SummaryCategoriesGradesgrade_hfiltertags_hfilter
warm freshly home made smores on a white plate
Solar Oven S’mores Project

In this food-based activity, students will learn about light energy and heat energy by making S’mores in a homemade solar oven.

Materials, Food, Activities, , , 2 3 4 5sci-k-5b vi-a-4
plastic bottles,Recycle waste management concept.
Recycling and Reusing Plastic

Students will learn ways to properly recycle and reuse plastic materials.

Materials, Activities, , , , , k 1 2 3 4 5sci-k-1b vi-c-4 sci-5-1b sci-1-1b sci-2-1b-sci-3-1b sci-4-1b
Aware mother teaching smiling children how to recycle household waste
Learn What’s Recyclable

In this activity, students will learn about recycling, and how to make materials ready for reuse. Students will be challenged to become the best recycler at home and at school.

Materials, Activities, , , , , k 1 2 3 4 5sci-k-1b sci-5-1b vi-c-4 sci-1-1b sci-2-1b-sci-3-1b sci-4-1b
Mix of plastic, metal, glass, carton and other trash background surface which are most polluting Earth
How Much Waste Do You Make at Home?

Students will learn about the various types of waste families produce at home and can challenge themselves to produce the least amount of waste in their family household.

Materials, Activities, , , , , k 1 2 3 4 5vi-c-4 sci-k-1b sci-1-1b sci-2-1b-sci-3-1b sci-5-1b sci-4-1b
Close-up Of A Person Throwing The Leftover Pasta Into The Trash Bin
How Much Food Do You Waste?

Students will track and measure their food consumption over two weeks to learn more about waste and strategies to reduce food waste.

Materials, Food, Cooling and Heating, Electricity, Activities, Water, Projects, , , , , , , 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8sci-k-1b vi-c-4 sci-2-1b
Gardening with Students
Gardening with Students

This project will teach students how to upcycle and reuse containers to start a garden. Teach kids ways to reuse food by having a discussion about planting leftover food to start plants.

Materials, Water, Projects, Activities, , , , 2 3 4 5 6sci-k-1b vi-c-4 sci-3-1b sci-4-1b
“Texas is Too Good to Waste”Materials, Student Patrol Program
Group of Asian young people planting trees in city park
Campus Beautification Project

Students engage their surroundings by scoping a beautification project from simple cleanup to large-scale landscaping.

Materials, Projects, , , 9 10 11 12
Sratsimir Village, Silistra, Bulgaria - December 10, 2016: Colorful castle made of plastic bottles and scraps against beautiful sky. Recycling and waste reduction concept, combined with art
Recycled Art Contest

A recycled art contest is a great way to get people pumped up about recycling.

Materials, Projects, , , , , , , , , , , , k 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
Earth Day Celebration
Earth Day Celebration

Students engage with community stakeholders to raise awareness of Earth Day and contribute meaningfully to celebrations and conservation.

Materials, Projects, , , 9 10 11 12
Group of teens standing together and holding a blank board
Energy Announcements, Posters, Marquee Signs, Display Cases

Students engage the school community with a communications approach designed to keep resource conservation at the forefront of everyone’s mind.

Materials, Electricity, Food, Projects, Water, , , , 8 9 10 11 12
Red circle marked date on the month calendar
Energy Week

Students and their advisors organize events, speakers, and school-wide activities to engage the entire community with the activities and education about conservation topics.

Materials, Projects, Electricity, Water, , , 9 10 11 12
Picture of old car oil filters represented in automobile service center. Old fuel filters of diesel engines.
Oil Recycling Project

By collecting used motor oil and oil filters for recycling, you can help keep used oil from contaminating the groundwater.

Materials, Projects, , , 9 10 11 12
Recycling center collection bins for paper clothing disposal waste management
Start and Maintain Other Recycling Programs

Once you have the basic steps for starting a recycling program you can expand to other areas that you see as a need in your school.

Projects, Materials, , , , , 7 8 9 10 11 12
Colorful Recycle Bins in a Public place
Start and Maintain a Materials Recycling Program

If you’re not recycling, you’re just throwing it all away. Help your school save our resources!

Projects, Materials, , , , , 7 8 9 10 11 12