Curriculum Overview

Redford Center Stories asks students to explore a world where we adopt the three principles of a circular economy:

  1. Design out waste and pollution.
  2. Keep products and materials in use.
  3. Regenerate natural systems.

This means looking beyond recycling and the current take-make-waste extractive industrial model and finding innovative solutions for building a regenerative economic system. Instead of a ‘less bad’ approach, we should be aiming for approaches that can be deemed ‘good’. This entails gradually changing the way we use finite resources, to design waste out of the system entirely and change the pervasive paradigm of growth and development to one that yields a positive community and a global-wide benefit.


Learning Targets and Objectives

Redford Center Stories is a flexible project-based learning exercise—and storytelling contest—for students to creatively tell their own stories and imagine their future in new ways. The Contest and accompanying curriculum are designed to be incorporated into existing coursework or can be lifted as a “special-project” for students to get excited about designing their future. The project is fully aligned with Next Generation Science Standards and includes a recommended pacing guide.

Students will:

  • Identify ways to redesign products and services in line with the principles of a circular economy.
  • Define and understand the linear economy and the circular economy.
  • Learn about film-based documentary storytelling and the basics of creating a visual narrative to share what they have learned.
  • Work in small teams of three to no more than four to create a visual storyboard, an outline of their story and/or a script prior to filming.
  • Work in small teams of three and no more than four to produce a 30-90 second film using the Apple Clips video editing software.

Materials Required:

  • iPads with Apple Clips App and Internet access.


Recommended Pacing Guide

Day One and Two

  • Introduce Redford Center Stories contest theme—one 50-minute class period. 
  • Assign small groups and select roles, introduce the Apple Clips video editing software, identify story idea or topic and begin research—one 50-minute class period.

Extended Period

  • Over a three to eight-week period, allot 10-15 minutes of class time per week for continued research and story development, have small groups convene and take stock on progress, practice using Apple Clips, outline next steps and assign new tasks.
  • Two weeks before submitting, review each student team’s storyboard, story outline and/or script.
  • One week before submitting, have each group sign up for a designated 50-minute time slot to film, edit and polish their video. Filming location will vary depending upon the chosen topic, and we strongly recommend that filming occurs in a quiet location. Each team should have at least two rehearsals of their story before filming and be clear about, and aligned on, their film’s style and graphic elements.

Important Note: Some groups may need more than 50 minutes to film, edit and polish.


Aligned Curriculum Standards

Science & Engineering Practices

  • Developing and using models. 
  • Develop a model using an example to describe a scientific principle. 
  • Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions.
  • MS: Construct explanations and design solutions that are supported by multiple sources of evidence consistent with scientific ideas, principles and theories. 

Disciplinary Core Ideas

  • MS-ESS3.C: Human Impacts on Earth Systems: Human activities have significantly altered the biosphere, sometimes damaging or destroying natural habitats and causing the extinction of other species. But changes to Earth’s environments can have different impacts (negative and positive) for different living things. 
  • MS-ESS3-3 Earth and Human Activity: Apply scientific principles to design a method for monitoring and minimizing a human impact on the environment.

Crosscutting Concepts

  • Influence of Science, Engineering and Technology on Society and the Natural World.
  • MS: The uses of technologies and any limitations on their use are driven by individual or societal needs, desires and values; by the findings of scientific research; and by differences in such factors as climate, natural resources and economic conditions. Thus, technology use varies from region to region and over time. 

Related Performance Expectations

  • MS-ESS3-3 Apply scientific principles to design a method for monitoring and minimizing a human impact on the environment.