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A girl models a bunny outfit with tin foil ears
Schools across AUSD participated in Earth Week activities this past week that benefited the environment and encouraged students to think about their role in protecting natural environment.
Those activities included coastal clean-ups and school garden maintenance, as well as “Go Green Shoe Drive” that was a joint project between the PTA Council and the local non-profit All Good Living.
Students at Bay Farm School held a “Trashion Fashion & Design Challenge” on April 25. Students created outfits crafted entirely from repurposed, reused, and recycled materials. Sometimes this took some trial and error; other times it took collaboration.
 "I made my outfit out of paper bags,”  4th grader Cyrine explained. “My first outfit was a trash bag with bags all over it but that didn’t work, so I searched up ideas, and I found out that we could cut strips of paper bags and put it on a belt.”
A girl models an outfit made of paper bag strips

Kindergartener Blayke took a different approach. ““First, I got two pieces of cardboard and then I decorated it

with marker and wrote some words,” she explained. “Then, my mom put this swing on me to attach the back and the front. And then she covered a headband with foil and wrapped some on the top to make bunny ears.”

A girl models a bunny outfit with tin foil ears

“The Trashion-Fashion Show has been held during Earth Week at Bay Farm School for at least 8 years now,” second grade teacher Michele Kuttner says. “ We find it a fun way to celebrate Earth Week and it builds an awareness of conserving our precious resources by looking around us and repurposing materials that might be otherwise viewed as ‘just trash.’ It’s also another way for our students who love art, engineering, and thinking outside the box to shine!”

Edison students also held a Trashion Fashion show. And for the first time, teacher Jennifer Howell organized a “Garbage Car” construction activity in her room during one lunch period. Students of all ages crowded in to create cars out of boxes, skewers, bottle caps and lids, balloons, straws, and other materials and worked to figure out how to attach objects of different materials in a way that would make the car actually move.
Second grader Smith was using a pencil box for the body of the car, skewers for the axles, and bottle caps for the wheels. His plan was to add some weights to the body to make it roll faster in a Garbage Car race planned for next week.
A girl shows how she is making a car out of a strawberry basket
Third grader Rona was using a plastic strawberry basket as the car’s body and pondering how to use a piece of pretty fabric she had brought from home. Second grader Zecharia struggled with how to push a thin bamboo skewer through a stiff tissue box; eventually an adult volunteer suggested a screwdriver, which turned out to be just the right tool.
A boy shows a car he is making out of a tissue box and scotch tape rolls
“This is a good way to learn not to just throw stuff out,” said Jasmine, a fourth grader. “It’s better for the earth to use something to make something you can play with.”
We thank AUSD teachers for their creativity with these projects, the many volunteers who show up to support the students, and the students themselves for their commitment!
A boy holding a car make of a box and lids