Evergreen Middle School – Cottonwood, CA
7th grade students at Evergreen Middle School reached for the stars with two service-learning projects. Their student-led NASA Research Team members and teachers are passionate about studying Mars. In 2010, the school received national attention for discovering a new cave by closely examining images of the planet’s surface. Last year, they looked at sites ideal for establishing a human presence on the surface of the Red Planet.
To support their work on the Mars Student Imaging Project and their yearly trip to the NASA AMES Facility in Mountain View, CA, the team came up with a plan to raise funding. They initiated a school-wide recycling program for which they received a PLT GreenWorks! grant to help them get started. Students distributed recycling bins and collected paper, cardboard, plastic bottles, and aluminum cans in their classrooms, the district offices, and at school-community events. Each week they took all of the materials to local recycling facilities and the money earned from recycling efforts supported the Research Team’s expenses.
“The most rewarding (and most successful) part of the project has been the buy-in of the students on the team. The students [were] relentless in their pursuit to collect the materials. They often came in on their own time before school and at lunch to collect the materials,” said Dennis Mitchell, 7th grade Math, Science, Technology, and Service Learning Coordinator at Evergreen Middle School, and a 1999 National PLT Outstanding Educator.
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By Kyle Cooper.