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In this creative project, students will learn about the circular economy before rethinking and redesigning the way we create, use and dispose of packaging. Through a series of video animations, a hands-on card sorting activity and a case-study presentation, students will be provided with an overview of the harmful plastics industry, together with an insight on how the circular economy concept can design out waste and positively redefine the life cycle of plastic packaging.

In the main part of the lesson, students are guided by a student portfolio and video tutorial to develop a prototype for a packaging product that uses circular economy principles. Ideas are transferred to CAD software before being 3D printed and presented to the rest of the class.

Included Resources

Curriculum alignment documents (ISTE, NGSS, CCSS and UK National Curriculum Standards)

Example 3D model of a 'zero-waste bottle' (STL file)

Plastic waste and circular economy animation videos (YouTube - Courtesy of The Ellen MacArthur Foundation)

Plastic life cycle challenge cards (PDF)

Circular economy case study presentation (PDF)

Student design workbooks & assessment rubric (PDF & Google Docs)

Tinkercad and Fusion 360 tutorial videos showing students how to design screw-cap bottles (hosted on PrintLab's student portal)