Administrator’s – speak to your teachers. Teacher’s – speak to your administrators. Develop a whole-school project promoting a clean and healthy environment on the school grounds, in the community and around the world. Set aside a portion of the main entrance for a trash sculpture. Build a platform to give the sculpture prime viewing and center stage for all to see.
What is a trash sculpture? A trash sculpture is created from the trash that is collected from all home games and extracurricular activities held at the school. All non-smelling trash is collected and saved until there is enough to begin making a sculpture. Any items such as discarded food and dirty diapers need to be thrown away. The sculpture will be in the school for the entire year so it is important that all cans are washed out prior to putting them in the sculpture. There will be no odor from the sculpture as it is built.
Again, ask the art teacher to be in charge of this project. The collection of trash should be done by students. Choose either a specific group or task each classroom to collect the trash after each activity. This can be done immediately after the activity or wait until the next day and designate one class period or a part of a class period to pick up the items.
The trash items are then built into a sculpture. As more items are collected, the sculpture will grow. By the end of the designated time period, and this works well for an entire school year, a very large sculpture is created. The significance of the sculpture is the amount of trash that students and parents do not throw away proper and causes the custodians extra work. It is also showing the disregard to the environment.
All subject areas can use the trash sculpture for many good school lesson plans. Examples include the English students writing papers or doing speeches on the environment and waste; journalism students doing several articles for the school newspaper on the growth of the sculpture; math classes doing computations on how long it would take to fill one room of the school with trash if it continued to be found in the same manner; the science class looking at the environmental damages trash causes to the earth; and so on.
The potential of this project not only educates the students but is a startling realization for the teachers and visitors that came through the front door of the school. Make an impact on the community and make them aware of even the smallest piece of litter or trash left on the ground can mount up quickly over a short period of time. Don’t be afraid to draw the local newspaper into the project. Get as much publicity for the school as possible and how the kids are doing the right thing and becoming aware of their environment through picking up the trash of others.