“I liked doing this and learning about the product and how it’s made and materials,” wrote Hayden after completing the “Lifecycle of Stuff” research project. Hayden and his classmates are part of the Beyond Recycling program in Ms. Murphy’s Grade 6/7 class at Martin Morigeau school in Canal Flats, traditional territory of the Ktunaxa & Secwepemc peoples and chosen lands of the Metis.
Students recently shared with their classmates how their product (pencil, jeans, glass bottle, aluminum can, batteries, and a soccer ball) was made. This process doesn’t just include one step, but includes extraction of raw materials, production of the actual product, distribution across the world, consumption and use, and finally disposal.
Through their research, students learned a variety of interesting facts, practiced public speaking skills, and changed their viewpoints. For example, one student remembered that “over a million pencils are made a year,” and another committed to “stop wasting pencils and sharpen them until they break.” Avery was excited to share that “if you drop a battery and it bounces, it won’t work.”
Through the research and presentation process, students learned about connections between objects and developed empathy. “It made me realize you need wood for lots of things,” said one student. When asked how this project impacted them, one student shared “It changed my thinking of how Ms. Murphy [the classroom teacher] feels to go up and talk to the whole class because when I was doing my presentation I was nervous.”
In the future, students requested researching their own topics which will hopefully lead to many more passion projects and students excited to share their new knowledge. I look forward to learning from and with the students as we continue the program!