This lesson has been adapted from the warm-up to "Captain Trash Wheel is Coming" and from an exhibit activity focused on the benefit to wildlife of reducing dangerous aquatic debris. The lesson focuses on positive environmental stewardship, innovating new solutions to face current environmental threats (such as marine debris), and protecting wildlife.
The activity contains sections on the component parts of trash wheels, reviews how those parts fit together to create an effective trash-gobbling machine, discusses how wildlife can be impacted by litter and debris, and provides an interactive trash wheel quiz.
The lesson also includes optional extension activities ("Try an Official Captain Challenge!") that help students take their trash wheel learning a step further. This includes a STEM activity asking students to design a trash wheel for a given scenario; an environmental science extension focused on local waterways; and ideas for becoming proactive in protecting the land, water, and wildlife in our own communities.