This post is sponsored by The Home Depot.
“Water and air, the two essentials fluids on which all life depends, have become global garbage cans.” Jacques Cousteau
I teamed up with Home Depot to complete one of their activities from the Maker Corner. Home Depot has partnered with Discovery Education and provides tons of hands on activities at www.sciencefaircentral.com. I chose “Trash Fishing” as my activity, since we’ve been talking about conservation and the importance of conserving our natural resources. My students and I loved this activity because it gave a real-life solution to a real-life problem!
I started by showing my students pictures of trash all over beaches and trash-filled oceans. We talked about how the trash got there in the first place and the effects of us not taking care of our resources. Then I showed my students the videos and quote provided from the Maker Corner.”In 2010, a California grey whale washed up dead on the shores of the Puget Sound. Autopsies indicated that its stomach contained a pair of pants and a golf ball, more than 20 plastic bags, small towels, duct tape and surgical glove.” We had a discussion about the need for something to be done, and I told them they had the opportunity to be a part of the solution!
I divided each of my four classes into five groups of about 5-6 students. Their task was to design and create a tool that could fish trash out of local waterways. The materials provided to them were dowel rods, twine, wire, duct tape, wood glue, netting, “S” hooks, thread hooks, and paint sticks (all purchased from Home Depot). I gave each group a couple minutes to write down the materials they wanted to use and to draw a picture of their design. Then they gathered the supplies they wanted and got to work! One thing I loved about this activity was the freedom it gave to my students. I showed a couple pictures of fishing nets to give them some ideas, but then told them they could do whatever they wanted with the materials they had. In each class I saw a new design; it was the coolest!
After every group finished their tool, we tested them! I had a tub filled with water, and I placed plastic bags, bottles, paper plates, and plastic cups in the water. We all gathered around the tub, and each group had an opportunity to test their creation. It was so fun to see their faces when their tool picked up all the trash! As other groups were testing their product, students were reviewing their product. At the end, we discussed what worked well and what needed improvement. The kids were so proud of their creations and were so eager to take them home! I have 65 minute periods, so I was able to complete this activity in one day. If you want to take more time with discussions and not feel rushed, I would advise completing this activity over the course of 2 days.
This was such a fun activity for my students, and they loved how relatable it was to a world-wide problem. They all wanted to take pictures and videos of their tool, so of course, I allowed it! It’s such an awesome feeling when your students are excited about learning. I was so impressed by their creativity and engagement! They inspired me! It’s a must to try one of these hands-on activities!
I acknowledge that The Home Depot is partnering with me to participate in the promotional program described above (the “Program”). As a part of the Program, I am receiving compensation in the form of products and services, for the purpose of promoting The Home Depot. All expressed opinions and experiences are my own words. My post complies with the Word Of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA) Ethics Code and applicable Federal Trade Commission guidelines.