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We will create a hands on educational game where students will race against each other to throw away the most trash in the right bins. The student with the most distributed and correct will receive "spirit points' for their entire grade. We will do this by planning the game and having it during nutrition when everyone gathers around the lower quad stage.
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We will create a sanctuary in the wooded area just behind our school. Again our goal is to create habitat that will provide shelter, food, and water to the animals that inhabit this area. Our students will be assisting with habitat preparation, building of shelter, food/water stations for various animals, and create a viewing area a short distance from the sanctuary for viewing and studying local wildlife. We are using recycled wood for most of this project, along with recycled materials as much as possible.
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This year, one of the biggest shortcomings that the students of Roots&Shoots have noticed at Aptitud was the lack of a recycling program. In an effort to start a recycling program, we reached out to the City of San Jose to help get some free recycling supplies. After the City of San Jose provide us with the materials that we needed, including plastic and paper recycling bins, we were able to start a recycling program at Aptitud, and thus show the kids that making a tangible effect on their environment is a reality.
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We will be measuring the amount of compost that is produced every week and track the usage of compost over time. We also hope to survey students on whether they actually use the composting bins that we have implemented. Finally, as a last measure, we will do soil testing through our AP Environmental Science class to see whether the composting regions are more nutrient rich.
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Today, we are going to go to the lake with trash bags and slowly move across the area, picking up any litter we see on the way. We will spend hopefully about an hour, but we will make sure that we pick up as much trash as possible. Our hope is that there is a visible difference after we are finished, and that the area looks generally cleaner. We are hoping that we will inspire the community to stop littering and to clean up the beautiful nature around them. We also want to make this area more generally enjoyable for the public.
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My project is a simple sign with big bold letters. It is a reminder for people that there are people who care about the environment and maybe, just maybe, they will view the sign and change is made.
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Our students will begin by visiting each building and asking the building managers about the best recycling practices that would fit into each respective site. The students will then write a recycling and logistic proposal for each building. Once a plan is in place, we would like to purchase designated recycling receptacles for the buildings on site as well as for events. This would ensure that the recycling will get sorted properly and can easily be delivered to the recycling center. We plan to weigh the plastics, glass, paper, metal, light bulbs and batteries before delivering it to the recycling center. We plan to use the measurements as a teaching tool and to make comparisons from month to month and year to year.
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We will know that the program is successful when we actually start making the mulch and we can notice a decrease in the amount of uneaten food that is thrown away. We will be outside during lunch to ensure that excess food from students is acquired and not simply thrown away.
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Our project seeks to create a green space where students can tend a garden. The garden would have a variety of plants, most importantly including plants native to our Southern California ecosystem. Our students will also be learning about green architecture. They will have a large part in brainstorming ideas for design as they learn more about what architectural designs will help sustain this space. Our students will be specifically learning about greywater systems. As they learn more about this technology, they will contribute to the design by coming up with ideas on how we can collect greywater from our own school to sustain plant growth. Finally, we hope to build a mini amphitheater within the green space. The green space's main function would support learning. The space would be open to the whole school for classes to take place in. It would be a zone for interdisciplinary learning to take place. A history teacher might bring their students to come learn about the history of the landscape of our very own neighborhood, while a math teacher might bring their students to learn more about ratios and the importance of keeping track of the ratios between various plant species in order to keep the native garden healthy and diverse.
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Students have already started to "take action" for the Earthbench project. The Kids for Positive Change presentations about Sharks & Sea Turtles and Parrots & Backyard Birds, taught students about the problems these species are facing, with a focus on plastic bags, bottles, pieces and straws. Students chose creating and building an Earthbench for their Classroom-Community Action Assignment! Last school year (2016/2017), 85, 4th grade students, from the Kids for Positive Change Flagship Project, started making bottle bricks (plastic bottles stuffed with plastic pieces and plastic bags). Now, 5th graders, these students, along with all of the 4th grade classes and remaining 5th grade classes (572 total) have started working on the Earthbench Project by collecting materials and bottle bricking in the classroom, in art classes, at home...even while waiting for the bus! Step by Step Action: 1.) Kids for Positive Change has been working with the school Art Teacher to design the bench. The bench will be made in the shape and likeness of a dragon, the school system's mascot (Lakeside Dragons). 2.) With the design in place, Kids for Positive Change has reached out to Earthbench.org organizers, seeking guidance on how best to construct the bench, using bottlebricks, straw, clay, sand and cement. 3.) Teachers, students and community members and the Founder of LEADERship Ashtabula County, have started to collect plastic bags, plastic pieces and bottles for the bottle bricks. 4.) Collection bins for plastics will be established in both Superior and Erie Intermediate Schools by Sept. 30th, if not sooner 5.) Students have started and will continue to make bottle bricks (the foundation of the bench) from Sept. 2017-March 2018. 6.) 4th & 5th grade students will build the bench, using the bottle bricks as a foundation, staring April 2018, with the help from an experienced builder. 7.) 6th grade students will contribute to the Earthbench, by making the teeth and spin of the dragon, out of recycled materials 8.) The Earthbench will be "unveiled" on Earth Day 2018, or in May 2018, on our Kids for Positive Change Celebration Day! 9.) The Earthbench creating, building and unveiling will be documented for the school newsletter, website and local paper, ensuring community involvement and sharing of knowledge!

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