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Students research impact of waste on environment, clean up beach and find a use for what they collect Art from trash

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“There was ugly trash on a beautiful beach” was one of strongest impressions Whitney Institute M2 students came away with after their expeditionary learning experience on January 18.

Ten students and their art teacher, Tony DeSilva, supported by the Bermuda Education Network (BEN), engaged in a full day expedition on waste and its impact on the environment. The expedition began with a trip to John Smith’s Bay, where BEN educator, Karolyn Lack, and Keep Bermuda Beautiful executive director, Anne Hyde, led students in an oil tar and marine debris survey followed by a discussion of the issues surrounding waste and pollution.

The students did their part by cleaning up the marine debris on the beach before visiting the Material Recovery Facility (MRF) in Hamilton Parish. There Vanese Flood Gordon, the Waste Education and Enforcement Officer for the Department of the Environment, gave the students a tour of the facility and explained how Bermuda deals with tin, aluminium and glass and much more.

Following lunch in the Botanical Gardens, the students returned to Whitney to turn some of the trash they collected into treasure, making two- and three-dimensional art from plastic debris, some of which bore evidence of bite marks from marine animals.

Words like ‘cool’, ‘fun’, ‘amazing’, ‘educating’ used to describe their experience are evidence that the students learned a great deal while enjoying a day out of the classroom.

What stood out for Andrew Topliffe was “going to the beach and collecting all the trash ‘cos we found some really cool pieces of trash odd pieces that you wouldn’t think of, toothbrushes, rope like crazy and party string.”

“All the trash on the beach that you didn’t see from afar,” made an impression on Alexis Hurst. She recycles at home and would enjoy participating in another expedition, but to a different “dirtier” beach, like Shelly Bay.

For Sage Jackson, the highlight of the day was the visit to the MRF. “It was amazing to see how many things they recycle,” she noted, admitting, “I didn’t know that that many things are recycled in Bermuda, such as car batteries and diving tanks.”

“It was really educating,” Sage concluded. “I learned a lot of stuff I didn’t know before.”

The MRF tour was an eye-opener for Kiara Ray too. “I saw how much people recycle in Bermuda and I was surprised,” she said, “because I didn’t expect it to be that much recycling.” Her family doesn’t currently recycle, but, she declared, “I want to start, to help the planet go greener.”

Summing up the day, Jason Symonds declared, “It was a good experience. It was helping out the environment, and I enjoyed getting out of school.”

(Photo by Akil Simmons) Expedition: Whitney Institue students went on a full day expedition to collect waste that is impacting the environment. Andrew Topliffe is seen here creating works of art from debris collected from beach.
Art from trash: Whitney Institue students went on a full day expedition to collect waste that is impacting the environment. Students create works of art from debris collected from beach.
Art from trash: Whitney Institue students went on a full day expedition to collect waste that is impacting the environment. Students create works of art from debris collected from beach.
Sage Jackson works to create art from debris collected from beach.
Art from trash: Whitney Institue students went on a full day expedition to collect waste that is impacting the environment. Students create works of art from debris collected from beach.

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Published February 02, 2012 at 1:00 am (Updated February 02, 2012 at 7:03 am)

Students research impact of waste on environment, clean up beach and find a use for what they collect Art from trash

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