Thursday, February 6, 2014

Deep Creek Middle School: School Without Walls-Plastic Unit Part 1 (Pics Inside)

If anyone knows me they know that I love me some Deep Creek Middle School! So when the opportunity came about for me to co-advise the eighth grade school without walls plastic unit I was all over it. The Deep Creek Middle School (DCMS) is an independent school for Bahamian students in grades seven through ninth and is located on the southern end of the island of Eleuthera. DCMS offers an experiential approach to the Bahamian curriculum.  As much as I love all of the students of this school, often times I find myself a tad bit jealous of the awesome experiences they have.  When I was in middle school I didn’t have a quarter of the opportunities and experiences they have. From marine ecology class to learning how to scuba dive, these kids have it made in the shade. In addition to the exciting courses offered, these students are empowered to become young activists. When I was that age I was totally oblivious to global issues and was never challenged to think outside of the box. 

The School Without Walls (SWW) Unit at DCMS is 21st century learning at its best.  It’s an intensive interdisciplinary instructional unit that gets kids out in the community finding real solutions to real problems. This year for SWW, the eighth grade class at DCMS is tackling Plastic Pollution in South Eleuthera.   This six week course challenges students to investigate the ‘what’, ‘so what’ and ‘now what’ of the issue and propose and implement solutions to solve the problem. For our first class we left the bland walls of the classroom and headed to the beach to take a closer look at plastic that was washing in. Students were split into groups based on plastic debris categories, i.e food wrapping, household items, packaging, etc. Each group conducted surveys to determine the amount of plastic items found within their category while simultaneously performing a beach clean-up. The amount of debris that we came across was staggering! There were beverage bottles, plastic film, countless bottle caps, car tires, you name it –we found it. There was even a rusty refrigerator door laying on the beach. Seeing the first hand effects of our plastic consumption got our students fired up to raise awareness and promote change. Our young activists are on a mission. Stay tuned to see what they do next!


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