Shortly after the new reality of covid hit, somewhere back in March, it became obvious that the changes being made in each of our lives meant a profoundly different approach was going to be needed for some of the Ikkatsu Project’s most important programs. Once the schools closed – it seems like so long ago now – the microplastics workshops for Middle School and elementary students dropped off the calendar. Other programs were affected as well, but this one is a critical component of the whole Ikkatsu picture, and not continuing to monitor plastic in the Puyallup watershed, not helping kids develop their sense of place and understanding of their natural environment, is not really an option.
Fairly quickly, work began on making the program accessible to classroom teachers in a new way. Since it will likely be a long time before outside instructors, guest teachers or adjuncts are welcomed back into classrooms anywhere, this year has seen the development of program curriculum and the packaging of lab supplies, putting the studies together in a way that classroom teachers should be able to fold the topic into their regular schedules, without requiring in-class help from Ikkatsu staff or volunteers.
It’s about safety, but it’s also about continuity. Continuing this program, especially during the coming year when the focus will return to the three main rivers that make up the watershed, is valuable not only for the data that it provides, but also for the connections that it makes. The first attempt will come next spring, and the finishing touches are being put on the kits over the winter.
Change. Adapt. Succeed.
(This program still needs critical funding to make the 2021 studies a reality. Please consider a donation to the Ikkatsu Project on Giving Tuesday, December 1st. or simply click on the donation link here on the web site. Every contribution helps and is greatly appreciated.)