Turning Trash into Awareness Campaign

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As part of an effort to incorporate STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics) into everyday classroom lessons, as well as to bring awareness to marine pollution, sixth-graders sculpted a large leatherback sea turtle from garbage collected along local beaches.

As part of their lesson on local sea life, the sixth-graders visited the Peconic Bay, Shinnecock Bay and ocean beaches, where they collected plastic garbage. Upon returning to the classroom, the students sorted and weighed the trash by type before using it to create the garbage art.

The students created the garbage turtle, which they nicknamed “gurtle,” with the assistance of local artist Carolyn Munaco and teachers Rick Nydegger, Pam Renna and Jim Waring.

“The students chose the leatherback turtle as their ambassador to help bring awareness to marine pollution, in particular plastics,” said Mr. Waring.