Local elementary students are helping keep Howell City Park clean this summer.

Brochures that encourage making pollution-free choices were created by third-grade students at Southeast Elementary. The brochures are just one of the outcomes of a Project Based Learning unit that taught students about community service and the cause of land and water pollution. The students created a sign discouraging littering that is displayed at the park as well as a litter collecting tools that were donated to the City to help keep Howell City Park litter free. Finally, students worked with the Howell Beautification Committee to tend to a flower garden that needed some tender loving care.

Project Based Learning combines various core academic areas into one project where students work to solve a problem. For their project, the students used science to learn about pollution and its impact on the environment and social studies to learn about the core democratic value of the common good. The students also used English Language Arts skills to write letters, researching the effects of pollution and giving presentations on their project. The project also required students to use their math skills to plan for materials needed to create litter collecting tools and creating a budget for their project. Technology was used in many ways throughout the project including creating a website, video and to collaborate with one another using Google Classroom.

During the project, the students worked with the Livingston County Department of Environmental Health and the City of Howell Department of Public Works to learn about some of the concerns and issues facing the environment in the area. Officials said that insight made the project even more meaningful to students because they could see how what they’re learning in the classroom is used in everyday life.

To help educate the public on pollution, the students created a video explaining how pollution impacts wildlife and a website to help increase awareness of water pollution and its causes.

Photo: two Southeast students and their teacher presenting an anti-littering sign and litter collecting tool to a City of Howell employee. (JM)