Eighth grade students in Pottsville, Pennsylvania decided that after creating aluminum can tree last year as a recycling project, it was time to take the project to the next level.
Students in Miss Lisa Doyle’s science classes at D.H.H. Lengel Middle School in Pottsville, Pennsylvania were grouped and told to bring in one type of recycled item of their choice: soda cans, plastic bottles, clothes, shoes, etc. Once students gathered their recyclables, they were challenged with a project: “create a structure out of your recyclable items that sends a positive and dramatic recycling message.” Miss Doyle’s students, collaborating with art teacher, Ms. Jessica Harle, immediately began developing unique and creative structures to encourage others to recycle. The projects ranged from a t-shirt made from plastic bottles and flowers made from aluminum cans to a chandelier made from shampoo bottles and the word “GREEN” spelled from soda can tabs. “When kids see the trash from their home being taken away by a garbage collector, it can be hard for them to grasp that this garbage actually ends up somewhere else, like in a landfill, and doesn't just disappear.” Miss Doyle said. “I feel that one of the most important lessons I teach is to make my students aware of environmentally responsible practices. They need to know the small steps they can take to produce less garbage and protect the environment.”
The students were very proud of the structures they created and of the positive messages they were sending. The projects were displayed in the school lobby for all to see. “Our eighth graders really enjoyed collaborating two subjects (art and science) together to create their recycling sculptures. This was a great project to do with this age group.” said Ms. Harle. Eighth grade student, Katrina Whalen, feels as if the project was one she will always remember. “I learned that just because something is used doesn’t mean it has to be trash.” she said. “You can make amazing, eco-friendly creations with just about anything lying around your house!” The goal of the project was to help others realize that little things can make a difference. “Hopefully this small science and art lesson will turn into a life lesson for our kids.” Miss Doyle said.