Eighth-grade life science students at the middle school prepared for Earth Day last month by participating in the school’s annual on-campus cleanup of Orowoc Lake. Equipped with waders, nets and buckets, students braved cool weather and chilly waters as they removed plastic bottles and plastic bags from the lake.
“They were amazed by the amount of plastic trash that collected in the very waters that they had grown to love and appreciate this year,” said teacher AnnMarie Mills. “This outdoor activity supported the lessons taught inside the classroom that focused on the harmful effects that these plastics have on our environment, especially plastic bags.”
The Seatuck Environmental Association enlisted the help of the life science students for their ninth annual Eco-Carnival by requesting that the eighth-graders design a “plastic bag garland” that would spur interest and curiosity in the event’s visitors.
“Our students were eager to help support the organization and immediately went to work,” said Mills. “They were so enthusiastic that the garland grew to a whopping 400 feet. Fellow students and educators gasped as they walked past room 105 and their response inspired the idea of displaying this seemingly never-ending garland on Main Street for all to see.”
On April 20, the school erected a plastic bag art instillation along the fence that lines Main Street with the hopes of generating awareness of society’s dependence on plastic. Multiple classes had the opportunity to walk through the fluttering bags on the windy day.
“The students described the experience as powerful, saddening and amazing,” said Mills. “The honking response of community members as they drove by generated as sense of validation, that this war on single-use plastics is supported by many and once again, the opinions and voices of our generation are being heard.”