Lesson Plan: Mount Everest
Identify the geographic area in which Mount Everest is located.
Give examples of the environmental problem on Everest's summit.
Illustrate knowledge of the possible consequences of continued littering on Mount Everest.
Construct an alternative proposal to alleviate environmental problems facing Mount Everest.
National Science Standards
High school students recognize that materials from human societies affect both physical and chemical cycles of the Earth.
National Council of Social Studies
High school students learn by experience how to participate in community service and political activities.
1-2 class periods
CNNfyi.com article, "Sky-high dump"
Map or globe
Paper, markers, scissors
1. Ask students if they know the location of Mount Everest. Discuss Everest's location and show it on a map or globe briefly.
2. Have students read the CNNfyi.com article, "Sky-high dump."
3. To review the article, ask the following questions: How high is Mount Everest? In what year did the first ascent of the mountain occur? What are the environmental problems facing the summit of Everest? Why are the sponsors funding expeditions? What is the most popular route to the top of Everest?
4. Discuss the expeditions to the top of Mount Everest. Discuss the efforts that are being made by the Inventa, Everest 2000 Environmental Expedition, Alpine Ascents International and others. Ask students: What would happen if all the climbers left behind their trash/waste each time they made the trip? What do you think a trip would be like if you had to come into contact with previous climbers' trash? Why do you think groups are taking trips to bring down the trash that others have left on the mountain? Do you believe that these expeditions are worthwhile efforts: Why or why not?
5. Chris Naumann, a team member of the Sagarmatha Environmental Expedition, said, "Environmental issues have become the popular media draw." Ask the class to draw conclusions about what Naumann meant by this statement. What motive is there for groups to sponsor cleanup expeditions? What problems do you think these groups may have with the heavy loads of trash they will retrieve? What has Nepal's government done to make climbers more accountable? Do you think that this will make an impact?
6. Place students in groups of four or five and direct them to research related sites to construct an alternative proposal for the cleanup campaign. Challenge them to brainstorm a list of suggestions to improve upon the cleanup project and establish some guidelines to ensure a cleaner Mount Everest summit.
After the groups have created lists of alternatives, allow them time to decide on their most effective alternative. They should include the following in their plan: the problem, solution, implementation of the solution and resources needed (people, money, etc.). Upon completion of proposals, students should present them to the class.
Extension: Students may create bumper sticker statements to reflect their proposed solution and/or opinion about the Mount Everest article. Have students jot down statements that reflect their feelings. They may use the Internet to research sites for more information before forming an opinion. Students may use paper and markers or other materials to create bumper stickers. Examples could include a statement such as "Your mother doesn't live here. Clean up after yourself! -- Mount Everest." Students may use graphic programs as well to create visuals for their bumper stickers.