In the middle of planning this year’s South Kuiu Cleanup, while prepping for the Tacoma Shoreline Survey and training for the Seventy48, I’ve been spending a lot of time in school. Several different schools, actually. I’ve been taking the microplastic curriculum that I’ve been experimenting with for the past few years into area middle schools, giving students the chance to analyze the samples that they have collected, seeing first-hand the quantities of microplastic in the waters around them.
I have one or two more sessions to do this school year and I already have plans for the fall, not only to grow the program to other schools, but to scale it for elementary and high school students as well. It’s a great introduction to the issue and it’s interesting to see how the students react to their findings.
Beyond the actual science, it is also motivating to hear how the students process the information, how they see the facts as they affect their own lives. I hear talk that gives me hope that maybe this rising generation will actually do something to reverse the damage that has been done before they got here, if we can just teach them.
And then, get out of the way.