H2001: A Waste Odyssey

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MAIN TOPIC OF VIDEO: This video is about a man who comes home to find that his water-saving computer is rebelling against his wasteful habits. It is a warning about what could happen if we do not use water wisely!

wasteodyssey_playpic

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

Frame:

  1. Is it important to monitor your water use? Why or why not?
  2. What is going on with water usage in your city/state?
  3. List how you use water throughout a normal school day.

Focus:

  1. Look for the ways that the man wastes water.
  2. What does the computer do?
  3. What is the big message at the end of this nightmare?

Follow-up:

  1. What could the man have done differently to avoid this nightmare?
  2. Do you think this video could ever happen in real life? Will we ever have a computer that limits our water usage?
  3. Do you think you waste water or use too much? What water saving methods do you use in your household? In school?
  4. How do we get the water we use?

DISCUSSION QUESTION ANSWERS

Frame:

  1. Is it important to monitor your water use? Why or why not?
    • Water is not free or unlimited, so we need to control and monitor our water usage
    • There is only a small amount of fresh water available for our use
  2. What is going on with water usage in your city/state?
    • In the west there is an ongoing draught
    • Many locations have mandated limited water
  3. List how you use water throughout a normal school day.
    • Answers will include: taking a shower, brushing teeth, eating, drinking, lunch, dinner, using the toilet, washing hands, food preparation, washing clothes and dishes, taking care of pets…

Focus:

  1. Look for the ways that the man wastes water.
    • When he walks into the house, his lawn sprinkler starts automatically.
    • He avoids listening to the computer’s message about the updated state-compliant water policy
    • He tells the computer to start warming the shower, that is, to turn on the water and the water heater before he goes into the shower.
    • He tells the computer to make him a jumbo iced tea.
    • The hot shower starts running, but the man takes his time and drinks his jumbo tea.
    • The man changes his mind, pours out his jumbo tea, and asks for the fridge to make him a fruit punch. (This is all while the hot shower is running—without him).
    • The man leaves the kitchen, goes to the laundry room, smells his shirt, and puts it into the washing machine to wash it.
    • Finally he gets into the shower and sings while he takes his shower.
  2. What does the computer do?
    • The computer warns the man that singing in the shower is not allowed according to the state ordinance because water will be wasted.
    • The computer misinterprets what the man says –“I can’t believe it!”– As song lyrics and then turns off the shower.
    • When the man complains, the computer explains that the man’s water usage has exceeded the state sanctioned limit.
    • The computer detects that the man is ignoring the law, and must watch a mandatory instruction video. The video will overlap with the ball game that the man wants to watch.
    • The man still wants to escape responsibility for water usage, and when he wants to go to his friend’s house to watch the game instead, the computer announces that the man’s lawn is a water waste violation, and then torches the lawn.
  3. What is the big message at the end of this nightmare?
    • Don’t let this be our future! Teach your children to conserve water!

Follow-up:

  1. What could the man have done differently to avoid this nightmare?
    • He could watered his lawn at the right times, i.e., generally in the early morning or evening when there is less evaporation.
    • He could have asked for a small tea instead of a jumbo, and if he didn’t like it, he could have used it to water his lawn!
    • He could have warmed his shower just before he got in.
    • He could have set a timer for taking a short shower, and not have started singing.
    • He could have waited until he had a full load to wash his clothes.
    • He could have watched the video about water conservation.
  2. Do you think this video could ever happen in real life? Will we ever have a computer that limits our water usage?
    • There is mandatory water rationing when amounts of water are very limited
    • Many locations have water limits, and if you exceed those, the utility will impose a penalty
    • Many locations do not allow watering lawns or washing cars.
    • Computers track our usage now, and the water department can impose financial penalties and limits
    • No, computers will not be programmed to destroy our property— that’s science fiction.
  3. Do you think you waste water or use too much?
    • Most people do waste water. Even small amounts add up very quickly.
    • After the video, there are activities for students to check their own knowledge of water usage and how they can save water What water saving methods do you use in your household? In school?
    • Ways to save water at home:
      • Put up a waterproof timer/sand clock. Limit showers to 5 minutes.
      • Turn off the faucet when you brush your teeth.
      • Wash only full loads of clothes and dishes
      • Do not have a lawn that requires watering
      • Recycle water from a shower for watering your plants
    • What other changes can you make?
  4. How do we get the water we use?
    • Most water is transported from reservoirs far away from population centers.
    • Transporting the water can require vast amounts of energy
    • Purifying water is also energy-intensive

Activities:

  1. You may want to have students research your local water and energy resources
  2. Explore these excellent Water Usage online activities. Have students present their findings and what they learned

FURTHER ACTION

  1. Write your own story or video to teach about water conservation as a global and local problem. Resources for writing are available at https://www.readwritethink.org/classroom-resources/lesson-plans/story-writing-from-object-30917.html and many others. Suggestions might include rivers, oceans, or the atmosphere
  2. Start a schoolwide campaign to save water. Using posters, assemblies, etc., get students to take pledges to conserve water. Calculate how much you have saved.
  3. Draw a cartoon, make a comic, poster, create a website or other multi-media presentation etc. to illustrate this video (or another important global problem)
    • Easy-to-use technical resources for students:
      • Google Apps for Education
      • Quizlet, Cahoots
      • Cartooning, drawing
  4. Locate books and movies that help us understand water conservation and drought.
  5. Watch the other Green Ninja videos about water conservation:

 

 

Credit: This teacher resource has been adapted from content originally developed by Elizabeth Brooking.

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