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Science: Future Earth

Science Week 2017 - FUTURE EARTH

Designing and Implementing Sustainable Solutions

Exploring green infrastructure and the creation of sustainable residential areas

Use the links above and the video to the right for inspiration and undertake some 'scientific research to design solutions to attain a sustainable residential development on 'Future Earth'". Collate solutions under the following headings:

  • energy saving actions
  • reducing, reusing, recycling, recovering, rethinking and remanufacturing solutions
  • water conservation and best practice management
  • biodiversity enhancement ideas
  • actions to tackle a changing climate
  • ideas to improve people's health and wellbeing
  • ideas to change lives and the Earth

Watch the video below. Rob Greenfield details many examples of how he lives a sustainable lifestyle. Record the examples that you could integrate in your home and lifestyle. 

Sustainable Choices

Consider how human activity in the community can have positive and negative effects on the sustainability of ecosystems

Read about Randy Mandez's account of his approach toTrash on Your Back Challenge. The Trash on Your Back Challenge involves a person carrying around all the rubbish they generate with them for the duration of 5 days. At the end five days the rubbish is divided into three groups - landfill, recycling and compost. 

Complete the 5 day Trash on Your Back Challenge, blog your experiences and share the with your class. 

Questioning the Future

Image: UNESCO's 17 Sustainability Development Goals Mural at Questacon. Ian Dudley and Anna Trundle, 2016. 

Discuss Ban Ki Moon's message and brainstorm what 'Plan A' might consist of. 

Leading the way to Sustainability

Explore the range of ways people are leading the way and tackling sustainability issues globally. 

Before the Flood is a documentary produced by National Geographic, featured below. Actor Leonardo DiCaprio meets with scientists, activists and world leaders to discuss the dangers of climate change and possible solutions. Click on this link to explore the National Geographic website on the documentary. Follow links on the website to explore content on understanding carbon's impact and climate change.

Make a Positive Difference for Sustainability

Generation Yes - 4 Steps to Net Zero Emissions

This activity explores the four-step plan to achieving net zero emissions. These steps have been developed to show how we can move to a point where we are producing no more emissions than we can absorb without causing major disruptions to sectors such as industry, manufacturing, transport and society. A teacher worksheet outlines a lesson plan for this activity. An account will need to be set up using school email address to access this. An modified version of the lesson may involve watching the following video and completing the associated questions.

Q1 What are the four steps?

Q2 What does each of the four steps mean? Imagine you were explaining these steps to a six year old.

Q3 What are some of the activities does each of the four steps propose?

Q4 How do you understand these four steps can play in helping change climate change?

Additional Activities

Generation Yes - Deep Decarbonisation

Students explore deep decarbonisation projects by analysing case studies. The activity can be extended by students designing their own decarbonisation project. A teacher worksheet outlines a lesson plan for this activity. An account will need to be set up using school email address to access this. Alternatively a modified version of the lesson may involve students exploring one of the case studies listed below and completing the associated questions. 

Q1 How does the case study demonstrate a reduction in emissions?

Q2 What technology is used in the case study? What alternative energy or fuels are used?

Q3 What are the benefits of this example?

Q4 What is most interesting or inspiring about the case study?

Q5 What questions do you still have about the case study?

Q6 How do you think example can be applied on a broader scale?


Science Online Database


World Book Online


Britannica Online

Designing and Implementing Sustainable Solutions Videos

This interactive developed by Ecocreative for the Mount Barker Regional Council helps others understand what living sustainably might mean.

Sustainable Choices Videos

The Story of Stuff, originally released in December 2007, is a 20-minute, fast-paced, fact-filled look at the underside of our production and consumption patterns. The Story of Stuff exposes the connections between a huge number of environmental and social issues, and calls us together to create a more sustainable and just world. It’ll teach you something, it’ll make you laugh, and it just may change the way you look at all the Stuff in your life forever.

Questioning the Future Videos

Watch the video below on a case study about the ResourceSmart Schools Program in Victoria and check out the range of real life learning activities students are involved in.

Leading the Way to Sustainability Videos

Watch the clip below 'Grow Lightly, South Gippsland' and find out about thier community project to support their community to access locally grown fruits and vegetables. 

Make a Positive Difference for Sustainability Videos

View 'Leonardo DiCaprio's moving speech on climate change' below. He discusses the massive changes he believes are needed for Earth. Talk about the importance of working together to create solutions.

National Science Week Twitter