During the first semester, students in Mr. Beach's enrichment class engaged in a 100% student-led upcycling project. Together, they researched possible projects, compiled a list of the best ideas, and discussed the logistics of each before the students finally voted to implement a school-wide recycling program. Their project, they decided, would be twofold: to collect data in order to track the decrease in trash output, and to use the clean recycled/trashed materials they collect to create compositions--sculptures, mosaics, collages, etc.--to be shown at Massillon Museum.
To enrich the art-craft side of the project and to deepen MJHS's partnership with Kent State University at Stark, we reached out to KSU at Stark's 3D Composition students, who volunteered their time to work alongside our students as they brought their artistic ideas to fruition.
Everything from this project's conceptualization to assigning specific roles, managing recycle bins, contacting the museum, collecting trash output information from the waste management company, collecting their own data, reflecting in writing on what they had accomplished, and making---as one student put it---something beautiful out of something ugly was completely student-led.
This project melded skills from several disciplines and gave students the rare opportunity to showcase their collaborative efforts outside the walls of the school and into the community.