Subject: Power of the 'Net
Three months ago I posted a notice about a project to two listserves,
Ednet and Kidsphere. What followed was to me a remarkable series of
events.... well over 10,000 school children across the U.S. and Canada
participated in an Earth Day activity...I received over 100 pieces of
mail... the project was picked up by local media... 43 schools
participated....my third graders learned where Ohio is...my class
started a keypal exchange with a school in Richmond, Virginia....
I am sending this note in the hope that some of you may find the
outcome of this project appropriate to pass on to someone who may be
skeptical of the potential power and value of the Internet in education.
What follows is a brief description of the project, my own analysis of
why it succeeded, and a couple more (very typical) reports from schools
The project was called "Earth Day Groceries". Schools obtained paper
grocery bags from a local grocer and decorated them with Earth Day
pictures, slogans, school name, etc. The bags were then returned to the
stores and distributed to shoppers on Earth Day. Often a bag was made by
each student in the school.
Success: Two reasons, I think...
1. It was a neat idea (not my own).
2. It required a minimum amount of time spent sending/receiving email.
Participants were simply asked to send in their totals. I compiled those
into two fairly lengthy messages and sent the results and anecdotal
stories to those involved (about 30K total).
Here are the last two messages I received, which pushed the bag total to
I do not know if the total from my school was sent in or not. I am the
tech coordinator at Lakeview Middle School in Winter Garden, FL. I passed
along the kidsphere activity you designed to the science teachers at my
school. They had EVERY student (that's 800) design a bag for our local
Publix supermarket. The kids loved it and the store manager thought it was
Kelly V. Pounds Technology Coordinator
Lakeview Middle School
Winter Garden, FL 34787
Thanks for giving the information about the Earth Day Grocery Bag project
on Kidsphere. I read most of the responses and would be glad to inform
you that I include my 2 classes of 9th grade Health students in the
project. We decorated 211 grocery bags with recycling, stop smoking,
drugs, violence, and other safety public service messages. We also
decorated about 400 small lunch sacks that were distributed to our
students at the "Express" line for lunch! It was interesting watching my
students react to working with crayons and markers once again, but
overall I would say the majority of them had a good time and can be
proud. I know the local grocery customers will like the decorated bags.
Thanks again for sharing your idea. I think we may have been one of the
few High Schools involved this time. I plan to tell others during a
workshop this summer! Could you send me a tally of numbers and places
where students did this project.
Joyce Perkins firstname.lastname@example.org
Hardin-Jefferson High School
Sour Lake, TX 77659
If you would like a copy of the initial project description, the "how
to" note, or the reports from those who participated, let me know, and
I'll send them on to you. Please write to the address below, not the
whole list. Have a great summer!
Mark Ahlness - email@example.com
Arbor Heights Elementary School - Seattle, Washington