Plastic Paradise

4th and 5th Grade | Alcott Elementary | Student Teaching 2015

"Plastic Paradise" is a collaborative community structure made from 656 plastic containers. The entire school contributed by collecting and donating their plastic waste, while the 4th/5th grades designed and built this play fort and outdoor classroom. In the process, students learned about the Great Pacific Garbage Patch and the amount of micro-plastics and plastic chemicals polluting our oceans and our bodies. Students also discovered ways that people throughout the world have "up-cycled" by using plastic bottles to create homes and support plant life. Specifically, students studied the work of the non-profit, ECO-TEC that builds sustainable homes out of water bottles. Students had to use their collaborative skills to design the structure, drill holes in bottles, string them together, and create signs. The students considered their role in a plastic-dependent world and discovered a way they could reuse their waste by creating a lasting space for the Alcott community.