A new club has been formed in the Upper School at Harrells Christian Academy with the dual purpose of learning more about the science behind environmental issues and of practicing environmental stewardship at school.
Activities like recycling, statistically analyzing trash, and celebrating Earth Day have the 30 members of this new club excited and energized, says chemistry teacher and club advisor Leslie Darden.
The first project the club tackled was an afternoon of educational activities for the lower school’s kindergarten, first, and second grade classes. Senior Joseph Lee led off with a lesson on the basic why’s and how’s of recycling, then students rotated between stations offering a recycling relay game, a seed-planting activity, and a mural-painting activity celebrating Earth Day. First grade teacher Noel Blue said, “The hands-on activities were so concrete that my kids will be able to keep these practices in mind for the long term.”
The club’s second project involves the whole school. Thanks to the efforts of freshman Matthew Darden of Clinton, plastic and aluminum recycling bins have been purchased and set up in multiple areas of the Harrells campus. Conceived as the focus of Matt’s Eagle Scout project, the recycling bins hold 48 gallons of empty bottles and cans.
Soliciting donations to fund the purchase of the bins was step one of the project. Now, the new club can take it further. Using posters and word of mouth, they are inviting and encouraging people to put their empty bottles and cans in the bins rather than in the trash. Next, the club counts and analyzes how much recyclable trash is being put in the bins each week. In the first week of the project, 18 pounds of plastic and aluminum cans were deposited! The club makes sure that after it’s counted, all of that recyclable plastic and aluminum gets collected and recycled by Waste Industries. And finally, the club plans to use the data gathered from analyzing recyclables to educate the HCA community about how much trash it produces, and promote individual efforts to reduce their use.
HCA’s new Environmental Science Club manifests the school’s Christian values and mission in exciting ways. The club hopes to make an impact on the whole school’s awareness of the need to reduce and recycle its trash.