Seventh Graders Collaborate to Build Successful Recycling Drive Campaign

The Children’s School’s seventh-grade classes hosted a school-wide cord and cable recycling drive earlier this month in collaboration with The Center for Hard to Recycle Materials  (CHaRM). The student-run campaign for the drive helped students discover how they can use their unique skills to make a positive impact and to educate the TCS community about how several hard-to-recycle items can be reused for their metal, plastic, and/or rubber.

The recycling drive is an embedded project in their “Humans and Technology” project-based learning unit. In the unit, students explore the impact of technology on themselves as individuals and on society as a whole by studying technological improvements, pros and cons of technology in their lives, and the impact on global culture, our environment, and humanity as new projects emerge.

“When we started the unit back in August, we built the students a ‘Museum of Arcane Artifacts’ to help them define their understanding technology. Now, we could even pick through the stuff we find [in the drive] and build a ‘Museum of Technology’ to explore technological improvements,” said seventh grade teacher Lori London. 

The students learned about CHaRM’s benefits to the community, what they do to encourage reuse and divert thousands of pounds of waste from Metro-Atlanta landfills and water systems, and ways they can help improve our environmental health during their first visit in September. After the visit, the students asked the TCS community to help by organizing the cord and cable drive. The class built a marketing and communications campaign in less than two weeks by taking on different roles based on their individual skills.

Max and Josiah created a “how-to” animation using iPad software to demonstrate how members of the TCS community can find old cords and cables in their household and bring them to school. 

Emerson and Kymbree built a website, featuring the animation, with more information about why the students were hosting the drive, where the materials will end up, and why it is important for our community to be mindful of hard-to-recycle items like cords and cables. 

Hannah, Elizabeth, Taylor, Joseph, Ben, and more, crafted signs out of recycled paper and decorated cardboard drop-off boxes to place at different “hot spots” around campus that receive the most foot traffic. 

Graysen and Camille drafted the written communications to share with faculty members and post on our school website/newsletter, while other students designed digital posters using Canva. Additionally, the entire class met with the school’s communications office to review their messaging tactics and to brainstorm opportunities to expand their efforts.

At the conclusion of the drive, the class collected over 400 individual items including AV equipment, phone cables, routers, headphones, chargers, and more from TCS students, parents, teachers, and staff members. 

Their successful efforts not only helped our community save space in their homes but also made an impact in saving our planet’s important, yet limited resources.