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Science and Technology in Society (STS)

You are chemist working for the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection on improving recycling within Connecticut’s towns. You have been assigned to investigate different aspects of recycling the several materials you have been studying in your laboratory (glass, plastics such as PET, HDPE, LDPE, aluminum, iron, paper, and wood). You will be presenting the results of your research at a Recycling Symposium next week.

Your assignment:

  1. Each group must report on one aspect such as 1) the chemical and physical properties of the materials; 2) the source and initial method of manufacturing each material; 3) the recycling process for each material; 4) the cost to recycle; 5) the current and historical levels of recycling in the U.S.; 6) the impact of these materials on landfills; 7) the hurdles to recycling these materials; or 8) the environmental benefits of recycling these materials.
  2. Each group member must choose at least two (2) of the materials to report on for their group’s aspect. For example: the chemical and physical properties of aluminum and PET.
  3. Each group member must research their area, gather notes and references, and prepare a visual aid (poster, powerpoint slides, etc.) to enhance their presentation.
  4. Prepare a group oral report where each individual will discuss their research results. The group is also responsible for the introduction and conclusion of the report, tying pieces of information together. Include any detailed information pertaining to your topic.
  5. Your note cards and references will be handed in.
  6. There will be four parts to the grade on this project:

Oral Report (group) 10 points

Oral Report (individual) 40 points

Notes and References (individual) 25 points

Visual Aid (individual) 25 points


Oral Report

Your group presentation will be no longer than 10 minutes. It will be graded on content, organization, and clearness of presentation.

Notes and References

Your prepared note cards which you use for your presentation will be graded on completeness, organization and neatness. They must be referenced.

The references will be graded on accuracy and variety of sources. The method for doing references is attached. Please note that this methods may be different from methods you have used in liberal arts.

Visual Aid

This will be graded on neatness, relevance to the topic and originality.

Science and Technology in Society

Different aspects of recycling glass, PET, HDPE, LDPE, Al, Fe, paper, and wood.

Group #

Focus Members

Per. 2 – 2 per group; Per. 4 – 2 to 3 per group




Chemical and physical properties








Source and initial method of manufacture









Recycling process







Cost to recycle versus replace with virgin material – efficiency of recycling  









Current and historical level of recycling these materials in U.S.






Current and historical level of impact these materials have on municipal solid waste in U.S.






Hurdles to recycling these materials



Environmental benefit of recycling these materials




Science and Technology in Society – Scoring Rubric

Environmental and Economic Implications of Recycling Various Materials

Name Date
Focus Material/Aspect
ORAL REPORT: (50 points total)
Group introduction and conclusion (group) 10  
Individual knowledge of subject matter (individual) 10  
Completeness and organization (individual) 10  
Ability to answer questions from the floor (individual) 10  
Assessment of amount of energy put into report (individual) 10  
NOTES AND REFERENCES: (25 points total)    


Notes (completeness, organization, neatness) 15  
References (variety, number, format) 10  
VISUAL AID: (25 points total)    
Relevance to topic 10  
Originality 10  
Neatness 5