RALEIGH — A group of fourth-graders last week leaned over a lunch table at Brier Creek Elementary School, eagerly examining bags filled with materials of various colors in a search for what they had in common.
They held the bags up to the light and shook them to rattle the pieces inside.
“They’re all scraps of something,” said Reece Deaton, 9. He was right: The bags were filled with rubber from old tires, plastic from bottles and other recycled materials.
The students went on to identify each of the materials, just one of the activities during a presentation on reducing, reusing and recycling given by students of Panther Creek High School.
The fourth-graders also studied diagrams of a recycling plant, played recycling bingo and completed a relay race that required them to sort materials into recycling or trash bins.
Reece declared himself impressed by the high school students’ presentation.
“It taught us so much about recycling and that we shouldn’t throw recycling in the trash,” he said.
For the fourth-graders, the presentation built on the weekly recycling collection that some of them participate in and other lessons about the environment.
For the Panther Creek group, the presentation was a chance to teach younger students about a subject they care about and practice developing a campaign. The students who participated are part of DECA, a business and marketing club at the high school.
“It feels really good that they’re getting it,” said Jacqueline Xue, 17. She and fellow seniors Madison Barnes, 17, and Anna Heinen, 18, organized the presentation, which they also shared with other groups of students in Wake County.
The three filmed a video to share with the students; coordinated with the schools, the city of Cary and the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources; and came up with a slogan for their efforts, which they dubbed Project One: “One World. One Chance. Saving It One Mind At A Time.”
The students said they wanted to share their presentation with elementary school-age children, so that they would develop good habits early.
The presentation won over Kayla August, 9, who helps with the school’s weekly recycling collection.
“It was fun,” she said. “We learned a lot.”