After students in Mrs. Erin Baumann's 3rd grade class at Roy DeShane School noticed litter consistently on and near their playground, they decided to do something about it. They ultimately presented their ideas for a solution to the CCSD93 Board of Education at last night's meeting.
With school and district efforts focused on sustainability, Mrs. Baumann's students would regularly pick up bits of trash unprompted during recess to help the cause. When a concerned citizen sent a note to Principal Pete La Chance about the presence of litter, he knew the class would be able to find a solution to address it. They brainstormed and determined that a trash receptacle was needed, but they realized it wouldn't be that simple. They'd need to determine who would empty it, how to ensure it wouldn't be knocked over, where it should be placed, where they would acquire it, and who would pay for it.
The class met with Mr. Tom Wadman, Roy DeShane Head Custodian, and asked if he would have time to empty it along with all of his other duties. He obliged, and then the class determined that they could anchor the receptacle to keep it upright, and created a map of where to place it based on existing structures and where the waste was often found. Ultimately, this led them to the School Board last night, where students from the class presented their work while tying it to CCSD93's new Strategic Plan and requested the Board to provide the trash receptacle. The Board voted unanimously to provide one, and CCSD93 Director of Buildings and Grounds Sean Gordon will arrange the students to choose from several models to ensure it will meet their needs.
I'm incredibly proud of the work these students did, thinking thoroughly through the issue, being persistent, and finding solutions each step of the way. This was a terrific problem-based learning opportunity for the class, and just the kind of real world problem solving we need to ensure CCSD93 students are exposed to so that they'll be prepared as they eventually seek to enter colleges and the workforce.