Ocean Plastic Community Project

The Ocean Plastic Project was originally conceived by Pioneer George Reynolds of Ashwaubenon High School and Ultimaker Education Strategist Lizabeth Arum. This project is open to all students at all levels and abilities.

Start date: January 8, 2018

End date: Construct3D October 5-8, 2018 in Atlanta Georgia with an exhibition of a collaborative student created ecosystem.

Project Description

We are inviting all students, at all levels and of all abilities to research plastic, recycling, and 3D printing, and then to design and 3D print real or imagined sea life, fish, marine plants, coral reefs, or anything that will draw attention to the beauty of our oceans, how we are treating them, and how we can make them healthier. All printed parts to be included in the public display should be sent to Ultimaker's NY office by September 2, 2018 (contact l.arum@ultimaker.com for details). We also ask that all models be uploaded to Youmagine where you can explain in the description how your file is part of the collaboration. All designs should be tagged appropriately, and also include the tag “#OceanPlastic.” If you want to share research projects, student films, etc., please include those links in your description.

How to Participate

Along with designing and uploading to Youmagine a 3D model of an existing or imagined fish, sea creature, marine plant or piece of coral (See information about exhibition below), there are several ways to contribute to and participate with this project:

  • Have students explore past and current recycling and design initiatives, research alternative materials, and consider what might be done to protect the ocean. Then have them share their work online with the community.
  • Have students use Design Thinking to propose solutions to how we can keep our oceans alive and healthy. Then have them share their proposals online with the community.
  • Have students research some of the topics listed below and share their work online with the community.
  • Share a resource, lesson or activity that is related to this topic that you have used with your students.
  • Incorporate a lesson from this project page and let us know how it goes.
  • For the exhibit in Atlanta we invite students to research plastic, recycling, and 3D printing, and then design and 3D print existing or invented sea life, fish, marine plants, coral reefs, or anything that will draw attention to the beauty of the ocean, how we are treating it, and how we can make it healthier. Send printed parts by September 2, 2018 to Ultimaker (contact the l.arum@ultimaker.com for details), upload  STL files to Youmagine and explain in the description how this file is part of the collaboration. Tag your designs accordingly, and don’t forget to add the tag “#OceanPlastic.” If you want to share research projects, student films, etc, include those links in your description.


Topics of study/research could include:

  • Artificial reefs
  • The Circular Economy
  • Benefits of 3D Printing: less waste than subtractive manufacturing, ability to eliminate shipping, ability to customize, etc.
  • Ecological impact of 3D printing (pros and cons).
  • Galleria mellonella (waxworms are able to breakdown plastic, transforming polyethylene into ethylene glycol).
  • Aspergillus tubingensis (a fungus which lives in the soil can grows on the surface of plastics. It secretes enzymes onto the surface of the plastic, and these break the chemical bonds between the plastic molecules or polymers)
  • Ultra-Chic 3D Printed Bikini Cleans the Ocean
  • Recycling
  • Life Cycle Assessment
  • The origin, usage and life cycle of plastic.
  • Where does our garbage go?
  • Plastic by numbers, what do the numbers on our plastic mean and where did they come from?
  • Social enterprises like:

  • AIR: avoid, intercept and redesign—Design strategy.
  • Ellen MacArthur Foundation—Established in 2010 with the aim of accelerating the transition to the circular economy. Since its creation the charity has emerged as a global thought leader, establishing the circular economy on the agenda of decision makers across business, government and academia.
  • Sustainable, changeable, digital – the packaging trends of the future.
  • Ambercycle—NSF supported initiative to develop chemical technology to produce conventional polymers, such as polyesters, from a variety of fibrous waste streams.
  • Aectual—Re-designing and digitizing the building industry by introducing technology connected to architectural products.
  • Think Beyond Plastic's Mesoamerican Reef (MAR) Project—supporting targeted and focused environmental education delivered through the local NGOs and advocacy organizations. The programs include environmental education classes, videos, art projects, story telling, and presentations.
  • WikiCell technology—an edible skin that takes the place of plastic packaging and protects the food or liquid within.

Add a resource, lesson or activity to the list.


Activities:

Waste Journal
Contributor: Lizabeth Arum
Level: All
Duration: 1-5 days
Have students keep track of a their plastic footprint over 1-5 days.
This activity allows students to understand the connections between actions and consequences. Once they identify their own behavior, they can come up with ways to change it and/or also look at technological solutions
Prerequisites: none

Stories
Contributor: Lizabeth Arum
Level: All
Duration: Dependent on depth
Bring an empty, but not cleaned, plastic soda bottle into class. Ask students to write or illustrates stories about what they think happens to the bottle after class. They can be creative.After students write or illustrate their stories, talk about where the garbage actually goes and the paths it take to get there.
Prerequisites: none

Research
Contributor: Lizabeth Arum
Level: All
Duration: Dependent on depth
Have students explore what plastic is, how it is made, what it is used for, the different types of plastic, which plastics can be recycled, which cannot.
Prerequisites: none

Discussion
Contributor: Lizabeth Arum
Level: All
Duration: 1 class period
Introduce AIR: avoid, intercept and redesign.
Prerequisites: none

Research
Contributor: Lizabeth Arum
Level: All
Duration: Dependent on depth
Explore the concept of a Linear economy.
Prerequisites: none

Research
Contributor: Lizabeth Arum
Level: All
Duration: Dependent on depth
Research alternatives:
  • Science solutions: CO2, artificial reefs.
  • Recycling solutions: why is recycling difficult.
  • Social enterprises including using sustainable plastics.
  • The Circular Economy
  • Discuss how might we use design to prevent ocean pollution.


Prerequisites: none

Field Trip
Contributor: Lizabeth Arum
Level: All
Duration: 1 day
Visit your local local Municipal Recycling center to see where the plastic goes and how it is processed.
NYC schools can visit SIMs Material Recovery Facility and Education Center in Sunset Park, Brooklyn
Prerequisites: none

Research
Contributor: Reflow
Level: All
Duration: Dependent on depth
Have students generate community solutions and collection systems for failed or used prints (e.g. downcycling)
Prerequisites: none
Research
Contributor: Reflow
Level: All
Duration: Dependent on depth
Have students explore methodologies to compare the sustainability of different materials in 3D printing and share the results with the community.
Prerequisites: none

Research
Contributor: Reflow
Level: All
Duration: Dependent on depth
Have students generate ideas within a three step framework to stop ocean pollution (unnecessary use of plastic vs. plastics ending up in ocean vs. extracting plastic from the ocean)
Prerequisites: none

Research
Contributor: Reflow
Level: All
Duration: Dependent on depth
Have students explore how 3D printing can be a sustainable tool for manufacturing within communities ( in line with the OSAT model by Joshua Pearce)
Prerequisites: none

Research
Contributor: Reflow
Level: All
Duration: Dependent on depth
Have students explore the potential for 3D printing for development in emerging regions in the absence of manufacturing infrastructure and abundance of plastic waste and share the results with the community.
Prerequisites: none

Project: Recyclebot
Contributor: Joshua Pearce
Level: Intermediate
Duration: 4 weeks
Design plans for a waste plastic recycler that turns post consumer plastic into 3D printing filament.
Prerequisites: none

Add a lesson or activity to the list.


Reading Corner

Upcycle
William McDonough and‎ Michael Braungart

Cradle to Cradle:Remaking the Way We Make Things
William McDonough and‎ Michael Braungart

The Great Disruption
Rick Smith and Mitch Free

Support