April 24, 2019
Wakulla Middle School science teachers Melissa Martin and Katrina Roddenberry are always looking for ways to make science relevant for their students.
The two teachers even attended a summer Sustainability Workshop in Arizona together that inspired them to
sponsor a "Green Team" at Wakulla Middle School with the support of WMS Principal Tolar Griffin. This program encourages students, teachers, and staff to recycle materials that would otherwise be thrown into landfills.
The Walton National Sustainability Teachers’ Academy is an intensive, five-day professional development workshop for K-12 teachers held every summer. Teachers of any subject and grade can apply with another teacher from their school or district.
These teacher teams receive an introduction to sustainability science through hands-on activities and lectures by experts in the field.
“Engaging fieldtrips highlight sustainability in action at local business and other organizations. Through ample networking opportunities, teachers become part of a dedicated community of sustainability activists, scientists, entrepreneurs, and other educators,” states the Walton National Sustainability Teacher’s Academy information.
“It was not a school sponsored trip, so there was no cost to our local school district. However, the Arizona State University paid for our hotel, airline tickets, meals, and workshop fees. They also gave us a stipend for implementing a program at our school,” added Martin.
Two more WMS teachers, Mallory Harrison and Amanda Hofheinz, were just selected for the academy and they will travel to Montana this summer.
The local initiative began at WMS during the first week of school in August, 2018 with the WMS student media crew sharing facts about pollution, recycling, and its consequences during the morning announcements.
Students learned about what was recyclable and began participating by separating all trash materials in their classrooms. A team of students then began collecting the bins twice a week for pickup.
Marpan brought a large recycle bin to WMS and has made two collections of the recycled materials. As of the 4th nine weeks, the Wildcats had recycled over one ton of materials.
Marpan Recycling is a material recovery facility - not a landfill. “Five plastic bottles recycled provides enough fiber to create one square feet of carpet or enough fiber fill to fill one ski jacket,” states a Marpan representative.
“Thanks to the efforts of all the students, teachers, and staff at Wakulla Middle School, we have become more sustainable in our habits and continue to educate ourselves on keeping Wakulla County beautiful!” says Martin.