Calling All Planet Heroes through Food Choices (Grades 4 - 8)
Planet Earth is an incredible—and unique—place in our solar system. It is the only planet that supports a diverse system of life! Earth has been able to support and take care of both plants and animals, including humans. So, how do we humans take care of Earth just like it takes care of us?
In this interactive program, students will take on the role of Planet Heroes as they are challenged to design and implement solutions to benefit wildlife, ecosystems, and global communities through one surprising avenue: our food systems!
This program integrates the Next Generation Science Standards by focusing on:
- Crosscutting Concepts: Patterns & Cause and Effect
- Science and Engineering Practice: Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions
Date: Tuesdays and Thursdays, January -May
Duration: 40-60 minutes depending on your schedule
Target Audience: 4th-8th graders in schools, libraries, homeschool groups, and more
Price: $70 per session; discounts available for Title I schools and bulk purchases of 5+ programs
Group Size: 8-65 students per session
Multilingual support: English
- Use the preparation checklist to make sure you don't miss a step in the process.
- The technical guide will help you become more familiar with our online platform, Zoom.
- Nervous about the technology? You can schedule a FREE technical check-in with Academy staff to walk you through how to connect the day of the program.
In this 40-60 minute program, we will explore the innovation and ingenuity of individuals across the planet who are designing ways to support ecosystems and communities.
Students will build and reflect upon their own ideas about one of the biggest impacts on Earth’s ecosystems: feeding all humans.
Throughout the program, students will be challenged to design simple, personal solutions for minimizing those impacts while meeting the needs of humans, plants, and other animals on our planet. By the end of the program, they will create their own Planet Hero Action Plan!
Specific challenges that students may design solutions for involve changing food choices and reducing food waste. For example, did you know that the #1 thing that clogs landfills in the US is wasted food? Or, that it takes a half-of-a-football-field worth of space to feed just one person in the US? When you add all of those needs up, it’s easy to see why there is less space for important ecosystems that provide clean air, water filtration, and space for more living things.
Science and Engineering Practices:
- Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions:
- 3-5: Apply scientific ideas to solve design problems. Generate and compare multiple solutions to a problem based on how well they meet the criteria and constraints of the design solution.
- 6-8: Apply scientific ideas or principles to design, construct, and/or test a design of an object, tool, process or system. Undertake a design project, engaging in the design cycle, to construct and/or implement a solution that meets specific design criteria and constraints. Optimize performance of a design by prioritizing criteria, making tradeoffs, testing, revising, and retesting.
Disciplinary Core Idea
- LS2.A Interdependent Relationships in Ecosystems: The food of almost any animal can be traced back to plants. Organisms are related in food webs in which some animals eat plants for food and other animals eat the animals that eat plants, while decomposers restore some materials to the soil.
- ESS3.C Human Impacts on Earth Systems: Human activities have altered the biosphere, sometimes damaging it, although changes to environments can have different impacts for different living things.
- 3-5: Students identify similarities and differences in order to sort and classify natural objects and designed products. They identify patterns related to time, including simple rates of change and cycles, and to use these patterns to make predictions.
- 6-8: Students recognize that macroscopic patterns are related to the nature of microscopic and atomic-level structure. They identify patterns in rates of change and other numerical relationships that provide information about natural and human designed systems. They use patterns to identify cause and effect relationships, and use graphs and charts to identify patterns in data.
- Cause and Effect
- 3-5: Students routinely identify and test causal relationships and use these relationships to explain change. They understand events that occur together with regularity might or might not signify a cause and effect relationship.
- 6-8: Students classify relationships as causal or correlational, and recognize that correlation does not necessarily imply causation. They use cause and effect relationships to predict phenomena in natural or designed systems. They also understand that phenomena may have more than one cause, and some cause and effect relationships in systems can only be described using probability.
Related Performance Expectations:
This Virtual Program is just one step toward reaching the Performance Expectations listed below. Addition supporting materials/lessons/activities will be required.
5-ESS3-1 Obtain and combined information about ways individual communities use science ideas to protect the Earth's resources and environment.
MS-ESS3-3 Apply scientific principles to design a method for monitoring and minimizing a human impact on the environment.
MS-ESS3-4 Construct an argument supported by evidence for how increases in human population and per-capita consumption of natural resources impact Earth's systems.