A new curriculum from the Hewlett-Packard Co. and Scholastic Inc. aims to broaden students’ understanding of environmental issues related to technology.
Free to teachers, the program was mailed to 132,000 educators of 4th to 6th graders in November and is also online at www.scholastic.com/techloop. The curriculum offers lessons on electronics and the environment for use as part of schools’ science, mathematics, and language arts programs.
One lesson covers how to safely dispose of old technology, for example. “Let students understand that some components of electronics may contain substances that make them difficult to recycle—for example, computer monitors and older TV picture tubes contain lead and require special handling at the end of their lives,” teachers are told.
Related worksheets ask questions and give students step-by-step guidance in writing and revising “a report that outlines how technology is currently being used to solve an environmental issue.” A sample question: “According to the U.S. [Environmental Protection Agency], more than 20 million personal computers became obsolete in 1998 and only 1 percent were reused or recycled. How many computers were not reused or recycled?”
Also included in the curriculum are family-activity worksheets, in English and Spanish versions, to be filled out at home.
A version of this article appeared in the March 14, 2007 edition of Education Week