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|Project Title: ||Dump No Waste, Drains to Stream|
|School Year: ||2007|
|School - District:||Academy of Strategic Learning Charter School - Academy of Strategic Learning Charter (District)|
|Contact Name:||Carol Grosky|
|Contact Phone:||(978) 388-8037|
|Content-Area(s):||English Language Arts, History & Social Sciences, Mathematics, Science & Technology|
|Grades:||7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12|
|Brief Description of SL Project: |
Faculty at the Academy of Strategic Learning developed and implemented an integrated environmental education project that included all students at the Academy. The service-learning project incorporated science, math, and humanities into the study of local environmental issues. Our goals were to inspire students to take responsibility for the environment and to see that they have the power to affect positive change. The service project included analyzing and mapping waterways and identifying and stenciling 350 storm drains in Amesbury. The intended beneficiaries are the 18,000 residents of Amesbury. The intended results are to reduce dumping and waste disposal down storm drains
|The Community Need the Project is Meeting:|
The students became concerned about the issue of global warming due to media coverage. They watched An Inconvenient Truth in a day-long symposium, and discussed the issues of global warming and stewardship. They decided to work from the theme, “Think Globally, Act Locally,” and brainstormed ways to educate local residents about the problems of global warming and pollution. They watched documentaries, conducted experiments, visited the local water treatment plant, and toured local waterways for evidence of pollution. They interviewed town engineer Rob Desmaries and used the internet to research the state of local flora, fauna, and water quality. They also participated in a river clean up.
|Service Component: |
The students mapped the system of 2000 storm drains in Amesbury, MA and developed a plan and a timeline to stencil them all with the warning, “Dump No Waste, Drains to Waterway.” Students applied epoxy to stickers and attached them to the curb which read, “Only Rain Down the Storm Drain,” in an effort to convince residents to refrain from dumping waste into the storm drains, and to properly dispose of hazards. This year students stenciled 350 storm drains with plans to maintain those next year and stencil 350 more drains. Students intend that all 2000 drains will be stenciled in the next five years. On average, the students who participated in the stenciling project logged approximately 40 hours each in direct service.
|Connections with Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks: |
Science and Technology- Earth Processes and Cycles, Ecology, and Scientific Inquiry
History and Social Science-USG Strands 5.1, 5.2, 5.3, 5.6
English Language Arts- Strand 1: Discussion; Strand 2: Questioning, Listening, Contributing; Strand 20: Consideration of Audience and Purpose; Strand 23: Organizing Ideas in Writing; Strand 24: Research; Strand 26: Media
Math-Data Analysis, Statistics, and Probability
|How Youth Voice Helps Shape Project:|
Throughout the semester, students, both in-class and during service days, learned about the earth and the problems of pollution and global warming. After a day-long, intensive symposium on global warming and the status of the earth’s environment, during which the students watched, An Inconvenient Truth, the students discussed what they could do to help. Students brainstormed ways they could make a difference, both individually and as a group. They thought about ideas in terms of their own skills and interests, and made a list of potential projects they might work on. Students then narrowed the projects down to those they believed were feasible, and the students chose which projects they would join. Although these first-year projects were led by teachers, the students had input each step of the way, and created all of the project products and services.
|Student Reflection Component: |
Students participated in several class activities which challenged them to think about their roles in the problems of and solutions to global warming. They participated in debates, discussions, and Socratic seminars to discuss what their roles and responsibilities were as citizens of the planet. They created posters, wrote reflections, and had informal debates and intense discussions about global warming.
|Community Partners Involved: |
The students worked with the town engineer, Rob Desmarais, to map the storm drains for stenciling. The students sent him a proposal for the project, and he met with the students to map out the specifics. He provided supplies and training for the stenciling project.
|Demonstration/Celebration of Students' Work: |
The students celebrated their successes at an end of the year event, Step Up Day. Students and their families gathered to celebrate the year, view student work, and receive academic and character awards.
|Evaluation of Project's Impact:|
The students discussed (as a whole school and in smaller focus groups) the effects that this project had on them and the potential impacts of this project in reducing pollution and protecting the waterway. For the most part, the students were pleased with their successes and are looking forward to continuing the project next year. They are convinced that the stencils will make a difference. People around town have noticed the stencils, and have mentioned to the principal that they have seen the stencils. The town engineer told the project participants that the stenciling would not have happened if it were not for the students, because they had neither the funds nor the manpower to accomplish what the students have done.
|Challenges/Solutions Identified by District:|
Challenges included working with a relatively new teaching staff. Teachers were supported through service-learning workshops and training, common planning time, provided lessons that had been developed by environmental science organizations, and provided a flexible schedule to allow for day-long investigations, field trips, and stenciling trips.
Another challenge the Acadmey faced was designing curricula that inspired their population of at-risk youth. Using hands-on activities, field trips, and service projects faculty and administrators inspired students to participate enthusiastically in this project.
* NOTE: This project summary was written by the district/community. Any text in italics was added or modified by the Department (ESE). Most of these projects were supported with Learn & Serve America funds distributed through the ESE.