Non-Biodegradable Trash Design Challenge

Appropriate for grades:
Subject areas: Mathematics Science Visual and Performing Arts

Explore how artists and nature recycle. Utilize design thinking and engineering skills to address the abundance of non-biodegradable waste in your home, school and community. 

Teaching / Learning Goals:

Teachers and students will …


  • To understand the many ways nature recycles and how that natural process has inspired artists, scientists and engineers throughout the ages (historical and cultural understanding).
  • To observe designs, structure, form and function in folk art and in botany to make recycling connections between these two worlds (perceiving, analyzing and responding).
  • To design and repurpose discarded non-biodegradable materials that don’t decompose into a useful object that can bring awareness to the problem of too much trash by creating a solution to address a human need (creating and performing).

Download Lesson Plan