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Database Provider


World Resources Institute


1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th


Science, Social Studies

Resource Types

  • Lesson Plans, 60 minutes
  • Presentation Slides
  • Videos
  • Activity - Classroom

Regional Focus

Global, North America, United States, USA - Midwest, Europe, Missouri



Think Outside the Bus Mini Lesson

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  • In this lesson, students learn about circular economies using the example of electric school buses in the United States, inspired by an example of a repurposed school bus in Knox County, Missouri.
  • Students watch videos, discuss the topics with their peers, create a product that reuses old diesel school buses, and finish with a short quiz.
Teaching Tips


  • This resource introduces students to the concept of circular economies in an engaging and student-friendly way.
  • There are multiple opportunities for students to share their opinions and ideas.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Students should understand climate change and how transportation contributes to pollution and climate change.
  • To download the lesson, teachers must create a Lego account and answer questions about the number of students participating, their age, and their language.
  • Detailed speaker notes with scripted language accompany the slideshow.
  • All videos are in both English and Spanish. The lesson plan, slides, and speaker notes are only in English.
  • The resource provides background information for teachers about circular economies, facilitation tips, and links to learn more about related topics.
  • Teachers should encourage students to use reused materials for their creations. Students can also use Lego bricks if they are available.


  • Upload student creations to the Think Outside the Bus gallery on Lego's website using the link or QR code in the lesson plan. Students can also browse other student work and get inspiration from their creations.
  • Slide 34 of the accompanying slideshow and page 9 of the lesson plan outline numerous ways to make sustainable changes in your community. Students can take one or more actions from this list or brainstorm new ideas.
  • The lesson ends with a few short assessment questions that teachers can use to gauge student learning.
  • The lesson highlights two case studies from the Netherlands and Missouri to demonstrate examples of reuse in a circular economy. Challenge students to research how their community is already reusing materials and identify other possible opportunities for reuse.
  • Teachers can use this lesson in social studies to learn about circular economies and in science classes to learn about reusing to reduce waste and better care for the environment.
  • Teachers can make language arts connections by having students write proposals or advertisements for their ideas, explaining the beneficial features of their designs.
Scientist Notes
This resource from LEGO introduces students to the circular economy by replacing diesel school buses with clean electric buses and then reusing the old buses in a novel way. The slide show features colorful images and is well-sourced, with source links provided for all facts. Several engaging videos feature LEGO figures, and the included speaker notes define all key terms. This resource is recommended for teaching.

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

  • Social Studies
    • U.S. History: America in the World - Economics, Innovation, and Technology
      • 6.1.5.EconGE.2: Illustrate how production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services are interrelated and are affected by the global market and events in the world community.
  • Science
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • 4-ESS3-1. Obtain and combine information to describe that energy and fuels are derived from natural resources and that their uses affect the environment.
      • MS-ESS3-3. Apply scientific principles to design a method for monitoring and minimizing a human impact on the environment.
    • ETS1: Engineering Design
      • K-2-ETS1-2. Develop a simple sketch, drawing, or physical model to illustrate how the shape of an object helps it function as needed to solve a given problem.
      • 3-5-ETS1-1. Define a simple design problem reflecting a need or a want that includes specified criteria for success and constraints on materials, time, or cost.
    • LS2: Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics
      • 5-LS2-1. Develop a model to describe the movement of matter among plants, animals, decomposers, and the environment.
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