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Earth and Space Science

Recycling projects - plastic caps and "trash fashion" show

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Carla Brown Carla Brown 70 Points

My daughter's grade three science class is undertaking lessons around recycling for their earth sciences project. We have started to collect two new items at the school - plastic caps and juice pouches. We found great resources on plastic cap recycling - particularly a mural project designed by Michelle Stitzlein's work (http://www.artgrange.com/michelleworkshop.html). Has anyone on this list tried to make plastic cap murals and can offer tips on their experience? Also we are thinking about doing a "trash fashion" show and if anyone has undertaken that, I'd love to hear your ideas. Thank you!

Tonya VanDerlinde Tonya VanDerlinde 2040 Points

A trash fashion show... that sounds fantastic! I'd love to hear some feedback as well :)

Nancy Iaukea Nancy Iaukea 2690 Points

Along the same lines, but slightly different. Our home-ec teacher used the incandescent bulbs we collected in a CFL exchange to make the most creative Christmas tree ornaments! You can get really cute ideas online by googling Light bulb christmas tree ornaments or ideas and have fun! The penguin was my favorite!

Rena Roybal Rena Roybal 1810 Points

Recycling provides many opportunities for teaching children how to reduce their footprint. For Hawaii teachers, Hawaiian Electric is sponsoring a Sustainable Gift contest to encourage gifts for graduates that are made from recycled products rather than giving mylar balloons that create problems when they get tangled in overhead electric lines. For non-Hawaii teachers this could still be a good idea for your students. Also, my daughter's elementary school had a fun luncheon for families that focused on the three R's - reduce, reuse, recycle. Students performed songs and plays, showcased recycled products, and invited families to join their students for lunch - no throwaway items! It was a great way to get families involved!

Maureen Stover Maureen Stover 41070 Points

A cute book that I like to use with my students is Our Class is Going Green ISBN: 978-0-545-11966-5. It is a "Kids are Authors" award winner book that is full of cute and practical recycling ideas, written by a kinder class from Bartlesville, OK. To help kids learn about creative reuse, there is a company called Terracycle that collects "trash" and turns it into "treasures". I've also seen several PTAs that collect items, like used juice pouches, and turn them into purses, lunch bags, etc. There are many ways that we can help educate our students about the practical ways to reduce, reuse, and recycle. What are some other ways that educators are teaching your students about this very important endeavor?


Dawn Burgess Dawn Nishimoto 3015 Points

I found some cool ideas on recycling craft projects for kids. Recycling Projects for kids http://familyfun.go.com/crafts/crafts-by-material/recyclable-projects/ Earth Day Crafts http://crafts.kaboose.com/holidays/earth-day/earth_day_crafts.html Lesson Idea (Environmental Science) Composting with Worms- This is a project our 4th and 5th graders do for environmental science. A classroom composting experiment demonstrates why worms are called "nature's recyclers." Objectives Students will • predict what will happen in two (control and experiment) containers -- one with soil and trash, the other with soil, trash, and worms. • learn why some people call worms "nature's recyclers." • discuss how worms can help solve environmental problems. Check out the full lesson at: http://www.educationworld.com/a_lesson/03/lp308-03.shtml Here’s more information about composting in Hawaii (my location). http://www.hawaiirainbowworms.com/

Maria Nogueron Maria Nogueron 1555 Points

My students, high school, are organizing a "green prom". It will have recycled fashions, bracelets, ring, earrings, dresses AND a bicycle powered sound system. The kids have to take turns pedaling so everybody can dance. They are really excited. We invited a speaker from ACE, Alliance for Climate Education (check the web site http://www.acespace.org/) They are great, unfortunately they work only with middle and high school students and not in all the states but if you have the opportunity to watch their presentation, take it! We will start working at the end of April with the designs. I will try to post some pictures of the designs.

Deborah Clevenger Deborah Clevenger 1350 Points

Dawn I like your web sites re. the things we can recycle around the house to reuse our materials; especially the cereal box magazine holder, the plastic milk jug watering can, and the cardboard milk carton bird feeder. Engaging elementary students in the stewardship of our natural resources is a great idea - perk their interest while they are young. I think my middle school students would also like to make some of these items.

Saba Polakovic Saba Polakovic 1330 Points

Hi, I realize this thread is from quite a while ago but the topic is very interesting. I've done a number of recycling projects over the years with my 2nd graders and, as everyone knows, the web is a great resource for ideas. I was looking for that article about the girl who made her prom dress from juice pouches to share with you all but - alas, couldn't find it again. I would love to do this with my 2nd graders but sad to say they don't know how to sew :) and it would require so much adult supervision/involvement that it in the end would it really be THEIR project? So we make various kinds of containers from milk cartons, plant holders & pots from aluminum cans, etc., even a backpack shirt from old t-shirts...I love this topic of recycling and arts/crafts and am always on the look out for fresh ideas. Regarding the original question of the mural, I don't have any direct experience with that but it sounds fascinating and I wonder how it turned out in the end. I guess a certain kind of surface and glue need to be used for optimum results and longevity? But what? Please let me know if you know, I would love to try it too :)

Nancy Iaukea Nancy Iaukea 2690 Points

Saba, Here are two websites that show your "recycled" dresses. Is this what you were looking for? http://www.digtriad.com/news/local/story.aspx?storyid=141456 http://www.facebook.com/notes/green-diary/10-recycled-dresses-which-one-will-you-wear-for-the-prom-nite/10150267082167183?ref=nf

Saba Polakovic Saba Polakovic 1330 Points

Hi Nancy, Wow, thank you for the quick reply and the links! Those weren't the prom dress articles I saw but they are just as good - I guess it's a popular idea. Using tape and glue (on juice pouches) is definitely something 2nd graders could do and I'm going to give it some serious thought... Thank you so much. Saba

Arleen Bourcier Arleen Bourcier 1570 Points

The plastic cap mural sounds interesting - I'd like to see how it turns out. A couple of other ideas for recycled items is using "film canisters" as planters and using paper towel centers to create three dimensions art projects. I've also see egg cartons turned into the most amazing easter egg baskets.

Denise Karratti Denise Karratti 820 Points

I think it is great that there is such interest in recycling. A recycle fashion show and art mural are wonderful ways of not creating new trash and using what we already have. I don't want to discredit the importance of recycling, however when it comes to the 3Rs (reduce, reuse, recycle) I often feel the one that gets most neglected is REDUCE. Reduce would make the largest impact to saving the environment. If we use less, there is less to reuse, less to recycle. Reuse and recycle are reactions to trash being produced. I always try to get my students to look for ways they can reduce their impact on the environment. It is harder than recycling or reusing because it requires more of a behavioral change. Using a reusable water bottle takes a little more prep and time than grabbing bottled water.

Jillian Rose Jillian Rose 3585 Points

It is extremely important to recycle and doing these fun activities with the children is a great idea. I believe the more they are engaged and involved the more the will remember with out the old "drill and kill" method. These are great ideas for children of all ages with slight modifications for age and grade levels. Thank you all for sharing. http://www.kinderart.com/recycle/ This has some additional neat projects using recycled materials.

Melelani Dycus Melelani Dycus 790 Points

I get a lot of ideas from Pinterest. I have seen the plastic cap art their also, as well as other great recycling art ideas. Maybe there is a link to actually help in the process. Good luck!

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