Blue Goes G.R.E.E.N.

Teacher(s): Jessica Priem
Main Contact: Jessica Priem Email:
Date:  1/28/2011 Building: Forest Hills Northern Middle School Grade Level: 7th
First Trimester:  __________    Second Trimester:  __________    Third Trimester:  __________
First Semester:  Partial Second Semester:  ALL

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Project Overview

Give a brief overview of the project you are planning.

Blue Goes G.R.E.E.N. (Green Initiatives, Recycling Programs, Energy Conservation, Education of Peers at Northern Hills Middle School)  This project would consist of a student led recycling program, energy conservation campaign, and most importantly, peer education in the areas of pollution reduction that we have direct control over.


Effective Practice:  MEANINGFUL SERVICE

Service learning actively engages participants in meaningful and personally relevant service activities.

What community need will you address and how did you determine the need?

Student research found that only 77% of the public currently recycles. Our projects would give simple ways for community members to help us raise funds by recycling items that they would usually throw out in the trash, causing harm to the environment.

What service will you provide to address the need?

We will provide education and resources to reduce the amount of trash in the lunchroom. We will provide a way for candy bar wrappers, and other household trash to be reused rather than recycled, but also to provide funding for our school to keep our recycling program going. We will also educate peers so that they become interested and invested in recycling at school and home. We will provide a convenient way for the public to recycle batteries. We hope to provide convenient ways for the students and teachers to recycle in the classroom.


Effective Practice:  LINK TO CURRICULUM

Service learning is intentionally used as an instructional strategy to meet learning goals and/or content standards.

How is this project related to your curriculum?

One of the units that we teach in 7th grade science is a pollution unit. The goals of this unit are to showcase the effects that humans and other organisms have on the balance of the natural world. Another goal is to explain how human activities change the surface of the Earth and affect the survival of organisms.

What are the educational goals?

  1. Students will identify a cause that they would like to research and develop a service project around.
  2. Students will create a peer education piece. This can be a poster, bulletin board, video, or public service announcement.
  3. Students will learn and then educate their classmates and other peers in the building about a specific environmental pollution concern.
  4. Students will learn to write formal letters, and make phone calls in a professional manner.
  5. Students may have to collaborate with one another if their projects overlap.
  6. Students will learn how to plan a project, and work through any challenges that arise in the process.


Curriculum Crafter Connections

Strand: 03 ELA (Speaking and Listening)
TLW: Design and deliver a presentation on a selected topic to influence an audience, using appropriate speaking strategies.

Strand: Writing Standards for Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects 6-12

Text Types and Purposes:

  1. Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or text using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence.

Research to Build and Present Knowledge

7. Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects based on focused questions, demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation.

*** Science does not have Common Core yet, so this area is not developed for science. ***

Additional State Standards and Benchmarks

List standards and benchmarks met by this project.

GLCE          Description

S.IP.07.11 Generate scientific questions based on observations, investigations, and research.
S.IP.07.15 Construct charts and graphs from data and observations.
S.IA.07.13 Communicate and defend findings of observations and investigations.
S.RS.07.17 Describe the effect humans and other organisms have on the balance of the natural world.
E.ES.07.41 Explain how human activities (surface mining, deforestation, overpopulation, construction and urban development, farming, dams, landfills, and restoring natural areas) change the surface of the Earth and affect the survival of organisms.
E.ES.07.42 Describe the origins of pollution in the atmosphere, geosphere, and hydrosphere, (car exhaust, industrial emissions, acid rain, and natural sources), and how pollution impacts habitats, climatic change, threatens or endangers species.


Effective Practice:  REFLECTION

Service learning incorporates multiple challenging reflection activities that are ongoing and that prompt deep thinking and analysis about oneself and one’s relationship to society.

What form(s) of reflection will you use with the students to help them identify what they have learned and accomplished?

At the end of the initial implementation of this project, students will have to take the same paper pencil test as the students who learned this concept in the “traditional” format. At the end of this assessment, students will be asked to write an essay that outlines what skills they have learned, and what new experiences they were able to participate in.


Effective Practice:  DIVERSITY

Service learning promotes understanding of diversity and mutual respect among all participants.

What types of diverse perspectives and experiences will be explored as part of your project?

(i.e.:  cultural, generational, abilities/disabilities, learning styles, etc)

Based on our research, kids were 5-7 times more likely to recycle than adults. We hope to educated students to further educate the adults in their life about the ease of recycling, and the benefits that it can create now, and for future generations.


Effective Practice:  YOUTH VOICE

Service learning provides youth with a strong voice in planning, implementing, and evaluating service learning experiences with guidance from adults.

How will students gain ownership of the project?

Students had the choice of coming up with their own “cause” under the umbrella of “Pollution.” The research was self-driven. All of the ideas in this project were 100% student created, and the ideas to implement were also theirs. With teacher support, they are sending emails so that their safety is held in high regard. Students are responsible for making contacts, and coordinating with guest speakers.



Service learning partnerships are collaborative, mutually beneficial, and address community needs.

Who will you partner with for this project?

Since there are several sub groups of our project, we will be partnering with several groups. Preserve Products, and Duncan Disposal, inc. will be used to coordinate our plastic recycling, depending on the type of plastic that is to be recycled. RecycleBoxBin will be looked into to provide recycling bins for each classroom that will recycle paper, plastic, and aluminum. Terracycle will be used to recycle candy bar and chip wrappers, and other household wrappers, and will also be used as a fundraiser to continue to support our efforts. We will also partner with our school’s Lead the Way class to help with the collection and sorting of these items to insure that they are recycled in the proper way.

How will students benefit from this partnership?

Students will learn how to make positive connections in the community with businesses that can assist them with this project. They will learn and then educate peers about how to reduce, reuse, and recycle items instead of throwing them away. They will also learn and educate about our impact on the environment, and how to reduce it. Lastly, they will learn about the cost of implementing such a program in the school.

How will the partner benefit from this collaboration?

Terracycle uses the money they make from selling recycled items to make donations to charities.

RecycleBoxBin is a local company, and this will help them spread the word about their products in local schools.

Preserve Products uses the plastic that is sent to them to make new products that they sell in stores nationwide.

Effective Practice:  PROGRESS MONITORING

Service learning engages participants in an ongoing process to assess the quality of implementation and progress toward meeting specified goals, and uses results for improvement and sustainability.

How will you assess the student learning goals?

This service learning project is replacing “traditional” instruction in our Pollution Unit. Since this is the first time a project like this has been used in our school, at the end of the project, my students will be taking the same paper assessment that the rest of their peers are taking so that we can compare the results. I will also be adding an essay question to the end of the test that asks students to explain all of the new skills and experiences that they were exposed to during this assignment.

How will you assess your service goals?

Students will distribute a pre and post survey. Their goals are to get the majority of people in the building on board with school recycling, and many of them participating by bringing items from home that would otherwise not be properly recycled.

They have set a goal to collect 1,000 pieces of #5 plastic, and earn $100 through Terracycle by the end of the school year.



Service learning has sufficient duration and intensity to address community needs and meet specified outcomes.

How will you prepare students for this experience?

Prior to beginning our study, I showed students videos of oils spills, and other forms of pollution to get them hooked into finding a solution to the problem. The following day, I challenged them to research and find a cause that they would like to explore further based on the idea of pollution. I did not give them any more direction than that at first, and the following day I was blow away with the ideas that they came up with on their own.

What are some sample possible activities students might do as part of this project?

Some possible ideas are: Battery recycling, paper recycling, general plastic recycling (water bottles, plastic silverware, etc.), #5 plastic recycling, beach clean up initiative, classroom and lunchroom recycling bins to help make recycling an easy choice. We would like to create a mini recycling center right in the school so that people can easily recycle their items.



The three arms of sustainability are environmental stewardship, economic growth, and social progress. Think planet, profit, and people.

Describe how your project addresses the issue of sustainability?

The Terracycle portion of our service project will provide funds to keep this project going. This will pay for the plastic bags that will be needed to gather the recycled materials. It will also pay for additional recycling bins to be located around the building. Our school has a class that runs for most of the year called Lead the Way. It currently takes care of the paper recycling in the building, but would have the man power to collect the other recycled items as well.

Additionally, the funds from this grant will be used to purchase recycling bins, and other materials needed to collect and recycle the materials. Funds raised from Terracycle will assist in continuing these efforts in future years.