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Pedagogic content

  • marine pollution 
  • waste
  • micro plastics
  • plastic microbeads 
  • environmental sustainability


• Knowledge of notions relevant to marine pollution issues.

New competencies targeted


  • investigate this type of pollution in sea shores 
  • be familiar with scientific procedures
  • be familiar with the use of scientific equipment 
  • behave like a scientist 
  • help raise awareness and thus encourage behavioural change that reduces practices which cause microplastic input into the marine environment.



(In the classroom). Educator discuss with the students about the marine litter issues. What we mean when we refer to marine litter, how marine litter enters the sea, how marine litter items impact the marine ecosystems, what kind of plastics we observe etc. He / She asks the students to search for microplastics in the internet.


(in the beach). The students  go to different  areas of  the same beach or they go to different beaches and collect some sand samples.


(In the lab, or classroom). Students are divided into pairs or groups and each group takes a sample of sand and examines it for plastic items and micro plastics. They complete the worksheet below with information for the plastics they found in their sample. They use magnifying lenses for their observations, and tongs or tweezers, for removing the plastic items. They also take photos of the plastic items. 
It is possible that students could weigh the sand so they can calculate the number of microplastic items present per kg of sand.


(In the lab or classroom). Students remove from their sample all the plastic items (micro plastic, bigger plastics, or micro beads) and they put them in another plate.


(In the lab) Students observe the different sizes of micro plastics with the use of magnifying lenses or stereoscopes and they note this information.


(In the lab or classroom). Students calculate how many plastic items they have found in their samples.


Students create a microplastics photo guide (e.g. filaments, films, foam, fragments, pellets etc.)


Students make a poster with their results and discuss about them with the educator and the rest of the class.


Educator makes reference to the relevant legislation (local provisions, national laws, European laws for marine pollution)


Students make an exhibition with all the posters (results, comments, photos, etc.) to inform the rest of the school community about the major environmental problem from micro plastics.

Additional Info

Type of Activity: Experimental activities, Exhibition, Publication
Target Audience: From 12 years old
Place: Classroom, Laboratory
Material need: Magnifying lenses Stereoscopes, sand samples, plates, tongs, worksheets, pencils, cameras, glass petri dishes, teasing needles
Duration of Activity: PREPARATION:

1-2 hours


2-3 hours

Authorship and ressources conditions to use: HCMR (Education Unit) No authorization required
Note by Author:


Topic of this Experiences: Waste and Pollution
Additional resources: Pdf Version