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3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th


Science, Social Studies, English Language Arts

Resource Types

  • Game
  • Interactive Media

Regional Focus


EPA Recycle City Challenge

Ask a Question

  • In this interactive game, students visit 5 different locations in an online city and answer questions related to recycling.
  • Learners stop at city hall, a household, a school, a café, and a grocery store to explore ways to reduce, reuse, and recycle at each site.
  • Learners earn three tokens for every correct answer and can put their initials on a leaderboard at the end of the game.  
Teaching Tips


  • Students can complete the questions multiple times to ensure they get the correct answer and learn waste-reduction strategies.
  • Reputable resources for further research on topics such as fuel efficiency, Energy Star products, biking, and waste reduction are linked throughout the answer summaries.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Internet access is required.
  • A few of the links for further research do not work, but the majority do.


  • Learners could work in pairs or groups and each group could be assigned a different linked resource to research further.
  • Consider having students take notes on what they learn to write an individual or classroom recycling action plan.
  • Students may enjoy the game-like setup of the quiz questions. This game could be played at any point during a unit on recycling and waste management to assess what students already know and to provide opportunities for further exploration.
  • Additional resources on recycling are this lesson on making reusable bags and this video on the difficulties of recycling.
Scientist Notes
This resource is a question game where students “visit” different areas around town and answer sustainability questions at each place. Each location has three questions, and each question has three answers worth 0- 3 points. Each answer has more information attached to it when you click the magnifying glass. Words highlighted in green can be clicked to give a definition. Links, in blue, mostly lead to other resources (activities, short novel, infographics) and articles on the EPA website. These have all been assessed as well. There are some links to Energy Star products and website that do not work, and a few of the answers are supported by them. However, this does not impact the usefulness and accuracy of the resource. On that account, this is recommended for teaching.

This resource addresses the listed standards. To fully meet standards, search for more related resources.

  • English Language Arts
    • Reading: Informational Text (K-12)
      • RI.4.4 Determine the meaning of general academic and domain-specific words or phrases in a text relevant to a grade 4 topic or subject area.
    • Reading: Science & Technical Subjects (6-12)
      • RST.6-8.4 Determine the meaning of symbols, key terms, and other domain-specific words and phrases as they are used in a specific scientific or technical context relevant to grades 6-8 texts and topics.
  • Science
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • 5-ESS3-1. Obtain and combine information about ways individual communities use science ideas to protect the Earth’s resources and environment.
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