1. Introductory video from Harvard University:

What is Machine Learning?

Isaac Kohane is a professor of biomedical informatics, Harvard Medical School. Which branches of medicine does he mention as those, where "learning ​machines" are/will be most useful?

2. Plastics and the Oceans 

Watch this video report by The Economist, write answers to following questions:

  1. What motivated Boyant Slat to start The Ocean Cleanup?    

  2. When did Boyant start the company? (Which year)

  3. What did they realize after two years?

  4. How can you find out how much plastic there is in the world's oceans?

  5. Where is plastic pollution worst? (Which parts of the world)

  6. What is the "Great Pacific Garbage Patch"?

  7. How much rubbish does each "Interceptor" boat collect on an average day?

  8. There are other organizations that try to solve the problem of plastic waste in oceans. What does Boyant say makes The Ocean Cleanup unique?

  9. An initiative like The Ocean Cleanup can help, but what is needed to really solve the plastic pollution of the world' oceans?      

3. Plastic Bags Ban in New York City

Plastic Bags.jpg

Plastic bags were to be "banned" in New York City in March. Then the ban was postponed  and went into effect yesterday (Monday, October 19, 2020).  Watch the video/read the article by New York One (Spectrum News):

  1. The report uses the term "ban". But is it really a ban? What does it mean in practice?

  2. What are the arguments of the businesses and people have who DO NOT WANT the ban? 

  3. See the chart below: what do other countries do in order to "phase-out" the use of plastics?

4. DW: COVID-19 and the environment (summary)

Deutsche Welle is a German public broadcaster in some 30 foreign languages. They prepared this 12–minute report about the known effects of COVID-19 on the environment.   

Watch the report, take notes, and write/formulate a brief summary. You can do so in writing, but I prefer your summary recorded in audio/video...

5. Topic for Essay

Write an essay of usual length on the following subject:

How plastics made our way of life possible. 

Possible approach - try answering the following questions:

When did people start using plastics and why? Look around yourself right now: where do you see plastics? Could you do what you are doing without the use of plastics? Do you think recycling can really solve the problem on a global scale? Which are the countries/regions that cause the most serious plastic pollution?

As always, you can send the essay in writing by Friday, October 23, 6 pm. 

But I would much welcome if you read and record your essay and send it in audio or video.