Four eighth graders at Sanford Junior High School in Sanford were selected as national finalists in the Siemen’s We Can Change the World Challenge for their campaign to reduce the use of disposable plastic bags.
The students – Brianna Doyal, Alexandra Kruscek, Mariah Anderson and Seth Sprague – call themselves the “Plastiks.” Their service learning project took off last year in seventh and eighth grade teacher Barbara Perry’s social studies class. These four students were chosen to continue their work with Perry and Deb Rosa, Sanford technology integrator, this year. The Plastiks were named state champions for Maine.
The challenge required students to identify an environmental issue in their community and come up with a green solution. After in-depth research, the students created reusable products by knitting the single-use plastic bags into items that could be used repeatedly, such as lanyards, pencil cups and tote bags. They aimed to raise awareness of the environmental problems caused by our reliance on single-use plastic bags and to encourage people in the school and community to use an environmentally friendly alternative.