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Green in Action U.S. Winner

Grassy Waters Elementary School

West Palm Beach, FL


As a GREEN School of Excellence, Grassy Waters Elementary School is consistently developing and implementing creative ways to reinforce the message of sustainability through hands-on learning and creative application.  This includes the incorporation of our GREEN initiative within our Fine Arts classroom settings.  Our sustainable theme is "Art Education: Reuse and Repurpose". 

This year during National Green Week, our Art Teacher, Steve Miller, developed and implemented engaging art lessons that included the use of materials that would have otherwise been discarded.  The first lesson implemented was entitled "Create-A-Bot: Recycled Robots!"  Students worked independently to create a robot from found objects/junk/scrap materials.


Students then developed background stories about their robots and presented them to their student peers.

The second lesson entitled "Van Gogh Cityscapes" again used bits of discarded material, including broken, used classroom crayons to mirror the life's work of infamous artist Vincent Van Gogh!  Students learned that everyday materials and things that may be "garbage" can actually be reused and repurposed!


Upon the completion of this project, Mr. Miller led a discussion about where trash ends up and students brainstormed and listed actions that they could take to create less waste in their own lives and communities.  This application includes photos of the lesson process as well as completed art projects.  By teaching sustainability through art, students were afforded the opportunity of implementing sustainable practices through creative, real-life application.  The idea that even the smallest, most seemingly insignificant items can be reused, most certainly resonated with them, encouraging them to "think twice" before throwing something in the trash can.