Conserve: Reduce - Reuse - Recycle!
- Every students in grades first through fifth participate in our school wide recycling. Each grade class brings their entire grade level recycling bins to science lab each week. As a class the students sort the recycling bins and carry the sorted items to the recycling dumpster. Students also collect cafeteria cans for recycling. Soda cans are collected and sold to a recycling center.
- Students collect a variety of items, that are not normally recyclable, for Terra Cycle. Terra Cycle pays the school one penny for every item collected. Students can win prizes for bringing in full bags of Terra Cycle. The items that we collect change based on the company’s needs. Currently we collect squeeze pouches, cereal bags, personal care packaging and toothpaste tubes. Since the opening of the school in 2011 we received well over $ 2,500.
- Students save all of their broken crayons and bring them to science lab. Students peel crayons when they have time. The crayons are melted and poured into molds. Students even made pizza box solar ovens to melt the crayons. The “new” crayons are sold to students and the money is used to purchase wild bird seed, feeders and other supplies for our wildlife and vegetable gardens.
- Students entered the Carton to Garden contest. After brainstorming, students chose to create a zoo by building animal themed plant holders and garden art out of milk cartons. Students used milk cartons as seed starters for the garden.
- Catawba trail has participated in the Trex Plastic Bag Challenge for the last four years. Our school has won the contest in South Carolina every time and received a Trex bench every year. This year we collected over 1,700 pounds of plastic bags
- Mint Vinegar Cleaner bottled by our 5th Graders.
- We have purchased drones fore the students to use. Before they can use them they are learning about many of the environmental and agriculture applications of drones as well as retail, film and military.
Protect! Water and Litter Prevention
- We recruited parents to bring coffee grounds from Starbucks to the composters. We are getting about 25-50 ponds a month.
- Students built and maintain a garden pond.
- Fourth grade students learn about aquatic environments through the raising of rainbow trout. Our Kindergartners released the trout.
- Students test bodies of water throughout our state, with the results being reported on World Water Monitoring day.
- All grade levels participate in a school grounds litter pick-up during Earth Day Week. Students also pick up trash during the year as needed.
- Three 55 gallon rain barrels collect runoff from the roof above the science lab. The water is used by the students to water plants and wash hands
- Our school has one vermicomposter and a set of three beautiful, wooden composters with removable fronts. Perfect for a years worth of compost. We collect two five gallon bucket of leftover fruits and vegetables to put in the composters daily. The soil from the composters and leachate are used to enrich our garden soil.
- All students in third through fifth grade learn out erosion and runoff (polluted or not) by using a set of flumes. The flume lab consists of six, 8 foot open PVC tubes that are packed with a variety of soils which depict different scenarios that humans can create in the environment. Students then run water down the tubes measuring the speed of the water and the amount of erosion that occurs.
- The woods of the school grounds had been used a dumping ground for many years. After two Eagle Scout projects it is now a functional nature trail complete with a journaling bench around our treasured Sycamore tree. There is still a mound of trash that we are slowly covering with mulch and sticks. Trash continually comes up out of the ground and is cleaned up a couple of times a year by students.
- Students designed and built a wildlife garden complete with a fish pond. A vegetable garden surrounds the wildlife habitat, strawberry and blueberry patches are also cared for by students. This year we enlarged the vegetable garden and planted 4 pecan trees. Students then built a vegetable garden around the wildlife habitat.
- A bluebird trail was built with the addition of five bluebird houses on school ground, all of which were occupied.
- All of 3rd Grade spend three month learning about dendrology. Each class entered an Arbor Day contest through RCSWCD and won 1st place in their respective categories.
- Students have built a 10x10 garden plot and planted 67 milkweed plants to restore Monarch habitat. Students harvested milkweed seeds and send them to Monarch Watch.
- 3rd through 5th Grade students researched soils and entered the Richland County Soil and Water Conservation District's Healthy Soils Are Full Of Life poster contest.
- 4th Grade Quest students build and utilized a hydroponics system to grow plant and used the leftover water to water our plants school wide.