The Story of Stuff

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School:  Hume Elementary

For much of November Mr. Chirico’s grade five class at Hume School was thinking about stuff. Often we slip on a pair of pants or crack open a jar of pickles without a second thought as to the origins and story of our everyday items. Teams of students investigated the Life Cycles of aluminum cans, glass bottles, pencils and jeans starting with the extraction of raw materials and ending with disposal of the used product.

With dynamic presentations to the class, each group used props, diagrams, photos and team cooperation to illustrate where and which raw materials were extracted to then be used in manufacturing. They also investigated how these goods were distributed, consumed and finally disposed of while considering environmental impacts at each step in the story. Great job!!

The life cycle of stuff often ends with disposal in a landfill. By throwing away used items, we also throw away the raw materials they are made of. Luckily, we can move from the linear model of “take, make and throw away” and get “loopy” by recycling! This keeps raw materials “cycling” to be reused again and again- changing the beginning and end to our Story of Stuff.

Look forward to getting loopy when we recycle the classroom paper waste to make homemade paper in 2017!