What’s in that junk food?

Thematic units of work with driving questions… this unit is aligned to Year 9 Biological Sciences in the Australian Curriculum.

Multi-cellular organisms rely on coordinated and interdependent internal systems to respond to changes to their environment

Ecosystems consist of communities of interdependent organisms and abiotic components of the environment; matter and energy flow through these systems

Driving Question: What’s in that junk food?

Hook: Empty a school bin and collect (with gloves) all the junk food wrappers that are inside. Sort the wrappers by classification (e.g. chips, sugarary, chocolates, biscuits) and graph the results. Write down some of the common ingredients sounds in these items that are being eaten by the school community.

Challenge One (SUGAR): Many of the junk food items contain sugar. Is this a good thing tbe eating?

Learn about the nervous system and hormones in multi-cellular organisms.

Use this base knowledge to inquiry further with a research task into the impact of sugar and other ingredients on homeostasis in the body e.g. diabetes and other hormonal diseases.

Challenge Two (PALM OIL): Palm Oil goes by many names, but is a cheap and key ingredient in many chips, biscuits and other junk foods.

Learn about ecosystems and environments through direct instruction and prac-activities.

Use this knowledge to design, perform and report on a practical field investigation into the use of palm oil on orangutan habitat. This might include designing a suitable enclosure for conservation of an endangered species that mimics its natural habitat.

Challenge Two (PLASTIC WRAPPERS): Most of the rubbish bin was probably plastic waste. Single use plastics end up in our oceans, and creates havoc for marine ecosystems.

Learn about ecosystems and environments through discovering the impact plastic wrappers from school has on the environment around it.

Use this knowledge to design, prototype, test, iterate and present on a possible solution to plastic waste in the school.

Closure/reflection: Present ideas to an authentic audience – pitch rubbish solutions to school council, talk to a zoo about enclosure design.

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