Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Ocean Awareness Day

With another week behind us and one more week closer to Winter Break, it’s hard to think that an activity in the classroom could be exciting enough to even periodically take the student’s minds off their break from school and the anticipation of the holidays. While these thoughts were undoubtedly still circulating in their heads, during last week, every mind was focused on Ocean Awareness. It all started with a visit from speaker Lindsie Wallenfang, who is an active environmentalist in the Green Lake area. She often visits the Global & Environmental Academy to help with different projects and share her travel adventures. She has spent time abroad in places like the Galapagos Islands and Ecuador. and has seen first hand the effects of pollution on our oceans. “Being exposed to what is normally out of sight out of mind has been the driving factor in what I am doing right now with the Charter class. Sharing what I've learned with them sets the stage for them to become advocates of environmental awareness and awakens their roles as responsible stewards,she says.  While assisting the students with their IEarn Composting project, she mentioned that Friday, December 10th was National Ocean Awareness Day, where people around the United States wear blue to show their support of and to attract attention to the current state of Oceans. The students were instantly intrigued, and decided that they were going to take part in this special day by spending class and home time collecting recyclable materials to make posters, signs and displays to raise awareness around our school. They also wrote informational messages that they read during class announcements every morning. All of this, on top of their normal homework, school and extracurricular obligations. All over the school you could find posters painted on scraps of cardboard, or even painted on old shirts. Diorama's were made out of used boxes, recycled trash and bottles were formed into unusual pieces of art. “Our poster was made out of recycled cardboard, because we’re trying to save the oceans.,” says Max Linse, GEA student. “Right now there is a big vortex in the middle of the ocean, where a lot of trash accumulates. It kills the fish and ocean life, and we need those fish for biodiversity.” It was a huge success, and certainly accomplished the goal of raising awareness. Friday at school was a sea of blue shirts and hoodies as students showed their support for the state of the oceans. “It was really cool seeing everyone wearing blue,” says Max. “It’s fun to see how people get together.”

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