Students from grade 6 and 8 social studies classes have been tasked with addressing global issues through innovative solutions. Working together in inter-age groups, they have inquired into a broad range of potentially marketable solutions.
For example, eighth grade student Andres M. has partnered with Vinya I. and Andres P. from grade 6 to create a green initiative called Clapstic. This project "uses artistic designs made out of recycled plastic, clay and paint to fabricate things used in students' daily lives - like pencil cases. Our price point is $2 for personalized designs and we plan to use our profits towards charitable contributions."
Joshua G. and Isabella J. have partnered together to form another entrepreneurial venture. Isabella shared that they will "use a bacteria - ideonella sakaiensis - to decompose PET plastics." Joshua added that "PET plastic is the most common type of plastic used in everything from plastic bottles to garbage bags. We believe that commercializing the use of this bacteria will help people get rid of waste and reduce their carbon footprints."
Samah P. and Nicolas B. have formed another collaborative partnership. Samah, from grade 6, described their entrepreneurial venture as "a strategy for cleaning up garbage from the ocean, including from the Great Pacific Garbage Patch...our strategy for doing this is to convert used plastic into "Shoe Hickies" which are no tie elastic shoelaces. These are cool and fun products because they can be colorful and they secure your shoelaces so you don't have to bend down and tie them."
These are just three of many engaging collaborations happening between grade levels in our social studies classrooms. We are looking forward to their further development and presentation. Who knows, our next million dollar sustainable idea might be coming into the world just down the hallway!