June 26Last week we began our Sex Ed unit. We discussed the need to speak openly about our bodies, about pregnancy, and sexually transmitted diseases. This week we’ll be talking about what it means to be in a healthy relationship. Start by taking this quiz: Healthy relationships begin with trust: you need to trust that the person really cares for you, you need to trust that the person won’t hurt you physically or emotionally, and you need to trust that the person will be there for you when times get rough. Below is a quick video that summarizes what NOT to do in a relationship. You can learn more by visiting Disrespect Nobody. https://youtu.be/V9GjpheIMro The opposite of a “healthy” relationship is a “toxic” relationship. The videos below do a great job of showing what toxic relationships can look like and decisions you can make to avoid them. Toxic relationships, don’t have to be just about boyfriends and girlfriends. It can also be about friendships. Click on the cards below to see some more toxic behaviors in friendships and romantic relationships and some humorous responses to them: In a romantic relationship, deciding to have sex is a big deal. Only you can decide what the right age is, but no matter the age, you need to wear protection NO MATTER WHAT. But how do you know if your partner is ready? The word for being ready is “consent”. This video does a good job of explaining consent: As a social activist, YOU need to get other teens to know what consent means and why it’s the only way you can go all the way.
June 10Penis. Vagina. Anus. Sex. These are some of the most exPLOSive words you can use in the human language. Why is that? Why is talking about these body parts and this natural act so scary, embarrassing, and inappropriate? Welp, in my opinion, it is important to talk about them. In fact, according to the NYC Department of Education, it is a requirement to teach sexual education (SexEd) in middle school! Here are a few reasons why:
- Talking about how your body develops when you reach puberty helps pre-teens and teens feel more comfortable with the changes they are going through.
- EVERYONE has questions surrounding sex. What is a wet dream? Can girls get pregnant when they are on their period? How old do I have to be to buy condoms? Is my penis a normal size? What’s the difference between HIV and AIDS?
- If we don’t talk about how to have safe sex, people are more likely to get pregnant and/or catch a sexually transmitted disease (STD). Would you rather be a little embarrassed talking about this stuff or be pregnant or get an STD? Hmm?
June 3Even though it’s a short week, there’s a lot going on in The Tech Café and in the news. We’ve been doing a lot of arts, crafts, and filmmaking surrounding Catcalling. For those who haven’t seen it, here’s Josh and William’s documentary: I’d still love to hear someone make a song that talks about what it feels like to be catcalled and why it’s not OK. Here’s a song that doesn’t perfectly capture the anger, shame, fear, or ignorance of it all, but at least shows that catcalling exists: In other news, many states have been trying to pass laws that ban or limit abortions. These include Louisiana, Missouri, Georgia, Ohio, Mississippi, Kentucky, Iowa, and North Dakota. Some of these state laws have been blocked by courts, but others still may pass. The law in Georgia is called the “heartbeat bill” because once the sound of a heartbeat is detected at 6 weeks, an abortion is no longer allowed. The problem is most women do not know they are pregnant until they miss their period after 4 weeks. This gives them only a small amount of time to figure things out, get the money, transportation, and location for an abortion. Here’s the point of today’s lesson:
Whether you believe abortions are right or wrong, millions of women have them each year. When abortions are illegal, women often have them done in unsafe ways-- leaving them injured or dead.You can learn more about what an abortion is by watching the video below: So where do you stand with this issue? Do you believe that we should ban abortions even if it means women are going to get them illegally and put their lives in danger (pro-life)? Do women have a right to control their own body (pro-choice) or should the rights of an embryo or fetus be considered first (pro-life)? 2 out of 3 abortions take place in the first 8 weeks of pregnancy. Click HERE to see the stages of growth during pregnancy to get a sense of what is being aborted.
May 20Man, we have been making some amazing art for people with visual impairments using screws, drills, nails, and canvas. Moving forward, there are so many ways we can enhance our art by adding textures like string, clay, sandpaper, and feathers. It would also be great if you added a description of your art written in braille placed on your art so that with visual impairment can further understand what they’re feeling. For viewers who are not visually impaired, consider adding colors to your screws and canvas as well. In other news, I’ve been reading this incredible book called The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo. It’s a deep book about life as a Dominican girl named Xiomara living in Harlem with a very religious mom and a twin brother who is gay. She is a poet and writes the whole book in verse (poetry). Early in the book, she is talking about walking down the street and getting harassed in the summer:
Shake my head as even the drug dealers posted up near the building smile more in the summer, their hard scowls softening into glue-eyed stares in the direction of the girls in summer dresses and shorts: “Ayo, Xiomara, you need to start wearing dresses like that!” “sh&%, you’d be wifed up bore going back to school.” Especially knowing you church girls are all freaks.” But I ignore their taunts, enjoy this last bit of freedom, and wait for the long shadows to tell me when Mami is almost home from work, when it’s time to sneak upstairs.
May 13Last week was jam-packed with activities including learning Braille and continuing our work on prosthetic arms. We also spoke about the importance of “People First” language when talking about disabilities: People have disabilities, but they are not disabled. I mean, would you call Marcus handicapped or a boxer with a disability? This week we are going to talk about art & accessibility. The word “accessible” means being able to physically reach something or understand it. So, here’s a question: how can we make visual ART accessible to people who are blind or visually impaired? Here’s one solution: So, what do you think? Are you ready to grab a drill, some screws, and create an accessible piece of art?
May 6Last week we saw the amazing skateboarding feats performed by Dan Mancina who happens to be blind. What if we stopped looking at someone like Dan as disabled and start looking at him as a person with a disability? What’s the difference? It’s called “people-first”. When you use the word “person” first and their disability second, it helps everyone focus on what’s important: that we’re all the same: people– some of whom have disabilities.
|Positive Phrases||Negative Phrases|
|Person who is blind Person who is visually impaired||The blind|
|Person who is deaf||The Deaf Deaf and dumb|
|Person who uses a wheelchair||Wheelchair-bound Confined to a wheelchair|
|Person with a disability||The disabled Handicapped|
|Person with an intellectual, cognitive, developmental disability||Retarded Mentally defective|
|Person who is hard of hearing||Suffers a hearing loss|
|Person with a physical disability||Crippled Lame Deformed|
|Person who is unable to speak Person who uses synthetic speech||Dumb Mute|
|Person with a psychiatric disability||Crazy Nuts|
|Person who is successful, productive||Has overcome his/her disability Is courageous (when it implies the person has courage because of having a disability)|
|Person who is in recovery from a substance abuse disorder||Addict|
- Choose a partner.
- Take a braille tablet, stylus, and a piece of paper.
- Study the chart HERE.
- Place a piece of paper in the tablet and write a single letter (Your partner should NOT be watching you).
- Take the paper out of the tablet and have your partner close their eyes. Pass the paper to your partner and have them read the braille.
- Have your partner try to identify the letter.
- Repeat, but this time switch who writes the letter in braille
- BONUS! Try to do the same thing, but with words instead of letters!
April 15The last few weeks have been spent finding better ways to express ourselves than using the same old boring curse words. We also spoke about the horrible history and present-day pain brought about by slurs like the N-word and homophobic name-calling. While we will be moving on to a new topic, please continue to make posters, art pieces, songs, and films about more creative ways to curse. This week, we’re going to switch gears and talk about empathy and how it can help us create art and inventions to help others. Let’s begin by learning what Empathy looks like: As you can see in the film, empathy means feeling someone’s pain by putting yourself in their shoes. It means thinking about a time you’ve felt something similar. Sympathy means feeling bad for someone, but not making it too personal. You care about someone’s suffering, but don’t feel it. Having empathy for people with different abilities can help us to design art and inventions to better their lives. (The following ideas and activities are borrowed heavily from Mouse’s Design with Purpose Course) Except, what if the person you are designing for is very different from you? What if they have totally different abilities? Let’s take a look at a video of someone with a very different set of challenges than most students at this school: Now, because we are trying to EMPATHIZE with humans with different abilities, let’s do a couple of activities to experience their world.
Activity 11- Click on the maze below and print it out:
- What was it like to try to complete the maze?
- How would it have gone if you didn’t have to wear the goggles?
- How do you think being visually impaired changes the way you live?
Activity 2For your next empathy activity: Get a sheet of paper and a pen. 1- Take a roll of masking or duct tape and use it to tape up your hand and thumb together. 2- Using just your taped hand, try to sign your name on the paper 3 times.
- What was it like to have limited mobility?
- What changes would you have to make to your daily activities if your arm was like this permanently?
April 1Last week, we talked about cursing (AKA profanity). We learned that profanity comes in 3 forms: (1) cursing God and spirits, (2) having to do with sex or excrement (poo or pee), and (3) slurs. Using the first two types of profanity at the right time and place– out of school with friends and certain family members– is OK. However, Slurs are NEVER ok. Slurs include talking negatively about someone’s gender, sexual orientation (LGBTQ+IA), culture, religion, and, of course, race. This week, we’ll be talking about the most notorious slur: the N-Word. The N-Word is used quite a lot at The Island School– and I know we’re not alone. So here’s the first question: Is it ever OK to use it? Some people argue that it is OK for black people to call other black people the N-Word. They say: “we are taking the power away from white people and making the word our own”. Some people believe it’s ok for anyone to say it— it’s just a word. But many people, including myself, believe that you can’t separate a word from it’s history. The history of the N-word is all about hate, violence, disgust, and discrimination. It was (and is!) a stereotype of black people saying they are lazy, stupid, dangerous, dirty, worthless nobodies. YOU might not find it offensive, but saying it around others reminds them of these stereotypes. It’s like smoking: you may think it’s ok, but you are damaging others with your second-hand smoke. So, what do you think? Are there times when it’s ok to use the N-word? If not, what can you create to help people say “NO” to using this ugly word?
- GODD@MN1T! Ones against God, Spirits, or demons.
- F-U YOU POS! Ones about Sex or poop.
- Slurs. These are saying something hateful about someone’s race, religion, culture, class, gender, or sexual orientation. To be clear, this type of curse is NEVER ok.
February 27So, you’ve heard of racism and sexism, but have you heard about Speciesism? This is when we, as humans, feel we are superior to non-human animals. In fact, we are so supremely better than other animals that we can kill trillions of them, use them as entertainment (think: circuses, bullfighting, rodeos), experiment on them, and use their skin and fur to clothe and decorate us. Ok, so now that you’ve seen what we do to other animals, do you see how this is Speciesism? How about creating an art piece that persuades others that animals should have rights and that we need to end cruelty to them? A foil cow covered in human skin (brown fabric)? A clay sculpture of a lamb covered in gems with the words “she is not worthless…”. Jewelry stamped with a reminder to take a “meatless monday”?
February 14So, we’ve been talking about stereotypes and how they can lead you to judge people negatively. Sometimes people can even see themselves negatively because of stereotypes that we see in movies, commercials, video games, music videos, and social media. To battle these stereotypes, we’ve begun creating anti-stereotypes– individuals that don’t match what you see in the Media. By making a lot of anti-stereotypes it can teach others that judging someone by how they look, leads to a lot of mistakes. Today, we’re turning to the subject of hair. In the past, I’ve shown a fantastic Sesame Street music video called “I Love my Hair“. Why was it necessary to create this video? Well, many people of color feel like they need to change their hair from how it grows naturally into being straight. In fact, many men and women have been discriminated against because of wearing their hair naturally. In NYC, it’s now illegal for employers to do this.
February 7Close your eyes. What’s the first type of person you think of when I say the following words:
I AM by (Your Name)
I am (2 special characteristics you have) I wonder (something your curious about) I hear (an imaginary sound) I see (an imaginary sight) I want (an actual desire) I am (the first line of the poem repeated)I pretend (something you actually pretend to do) I feel (a feeling about something imaginary) I touch (an imaginary touch) I worry (something that bothers you) I cry (something that makes you sad) I am (the first line of the poem repeated) I understand (something that is true) I say (something you believe in) I dream (something you dream about) I try (something you really make an effort about) I hope (something you actually hope for) I am (the first line of the poem )
JANUARY 20Who do we see when we look in the mirror? It’s both an easy question and a hard one. On the one hand- it’s just you! On the other hand, the way you see yourself comes from how your friends, family, and neighborhood see you. It also comes from what you show others on Instagram, Facebook, Snap, and so on… Finally, what you see in the mirror comes from what the media (music videos, advertisements, movies, TV shows…) tell you should look and act like. That’s what we’re going to talk about this week. Let’s start by looking at a set of images and a Drake Video. You probably recognize some of the people and places. As you look at at the images and video, enter into the Padlet what you should look like and act like to be part of each world shown. Imagine if you had a 5-year-old. First off, congratulations– although it would have been nice had you waited a little longer to be a parent. Anyhow, for your sweet child, which words would you want them to hold in their minds as they grew up? What would you want them to see in the mirror? Here’s are a couple videos that may give you ideas on what you could tell your child as they grow up. https://youtu.be/toH4GcPQXpc For your next project, how about creating something that helps people see and feel positive things when they look in the mirror? How about jewelry with positive messages to keep people’s spirits up? How about a Scratch Game about a compliment shooter that saves people who feel bad about themselves? How about creating a poster in Canva to tell others they can be themselves without having to be tough, skinny, or anything else from the Padlet images. Last idea: print or draw one of the mirrors below. Inside of it, draw your your son or daughter’s face. Next, add ONLY 5 WORDS that you want to describe their life. These can include the same ones from our Padlet.
-JANUARY 18-Today I’m throwing out a couple of things that I hope to interest you. First off, some of you are interested in making serious games that talk about social issues like THIS ONE from an 8th grader a few years back. I came across a really powerful game about escaping war-torn Syria. Here’s the preview: Second, I’ve been learning a lot about “implicit bias” this month– it means secretly believing stereotypes about people. For example, because black men are often portrayed as “criminals” on TV, games, and movies, many people are scared of them (even though they hide it from themselves). To test whether you have that bias, you can click on the link below: Finally, I found a few new resources for learning about the dangers of E-Cigarettes. Click below to visit them:
-DECEMBER 17-I had a challenging conversation with the eighth grade on Friday. They insisted that nothing they did would make a difference in preventing climate change. “Even if the whole entire school stopped using plastic, how would that change anything?” They have a point. A small group changing their behavior won’t stop climate change. But, if each one of the 327 Million people in the United States decided to make small changes, like not using straws, turning off our lights in rooms we aren’t in, freezing the food we aren’t using (rotting garbage creates greenhouse gasses), or riding buses and bikes instead of cars for short trips, it would add up to a big change. Island Schoolers: through our art and crafts that we post on Twitter, songs on SoundCloud, and documentaries on Youtube we should be pushing other teens and adults to make these small changes. And, of course, we need to keep pressuring big companies to stop burning coal to make the stuff we buy and instead use non-polluting renewable energy like solar and wind power. Watch, as a teen like you, spoke to leaders from around the world this week: Donald Trump doesn’t believe Climate Change is happening— even though 97% of scientists do. He withdrew the United States from the Paris Agreement— a plan by most countries on earth to stop climate change. Thankfully, this week, the other countries decided not to end it. Lastly, imagine if you had the chance to start this world all over again. Play this game to see if you have what it takes to make a better world. Warning: the game takes a few minutes to get the hang of— stick with it!
Climate Change has been in the news this month even more than usual. It’s getting worse each year and one day, very soon, your life will be affected by it. Let’s begin by learning what Climate Change is. I included a Brainpop video (ask for Password) and a more grown-up video that explains it– you choose. Now click HERE to take a quiz to see what you’ve learned: To learn more about the craziness that Climate Change can wreak, you can play Stop Disasters!:
-DECEMBER 3-This week marks the end of our discussions about Trash and Waste. I feel like NONE of you watched this incredible video about where garbage goes after we throw it away. I’ll post it one more time just in case (you know the password): There’s some really cool art you can create about trash based on infographics like this: Here’s a cool art piece that shows people laying with the trash they’ve created in a week. Click HERE to see more:
-NOVEMBER 26-Today we are going to talk about a new way to do social activism. It’s called Craftivism. Craftivism is when you use crafts like sewing, knitting, and embroidery to get important messages out into the world. Today we’ll be learning embroidery. Below are a couple of tutorials to get you started: Embroidery is so much fun, BUT it’s important that the message you embroider shows your passion for one of the social issues we’ve discussed in the Tech Café. That message should be powerful and memorable. Creating a message like this is called a “slogan”. Click HERE for my guide on creating Slogans.
-november 2-In September, when we were talking about Straws, I came across this site called There is No Away. This idea really stuck to my brain: we throw things “away”, but they really don’t go “away”. They have to go somewhere–but rarely do we think about or care where that place is. There’s a great TV episode that talks about garbage. you can watch it here (ask for password). There are so many social issues surrounding garbage. This week we’ll be discussing Food Waste. Did you know that 40% of food produced in the U.S. is wasted— that equals 133 billion pounds! In fact, 20% of our landfills are filled with food waste. Every second, 3000 pounds of food is wasted in the U.S. Meanwhile, 1 in 6 Americans are hungry. 3000 pounds of food would feed 650 Americans for the entire day. The video below shows just how much food is thrown out in NYC: So what can you do?
Change your behavior: (1) Freeze food you're not using. (2) Learn how to compost your uneaten food. (3) Don't just throw away food because it's passed the expiration date-- smell it and look for mold. (4) Donate your uneaten food to the homeless.
Change others behavior: Create projects that show people how much food we waste on The Lower East Side and and why it matters. For example (1) take photos of food waste in our school and in the community and create art with it. (2) Make a documentary investigating how much food we waste or how much other students know about food waste. (3) Create a Scratch game that shows people how to avoid food waste. (4) Create "reminder jewelry" that gives food waste tips like "freeze it", "smell test", or "compost king".
-october 29-Two weeks ago, we spoke about the power and importance of telling your personal story like THIS ONE. Below are a couple of examples of what it looks like to tell your story through song: As you listen, ask yourself the following question:
What steps would it take to create a song out of my personal story?https://youtu.be/MwqkmfFJ6LU?t=18 Lyrics can be found HERE
This is a song called Scowling Crackhead Ian. I don’t like the word “crackhead” and it does not belong in school. However, I think it’s a powerful example of a personal story through song, so I included it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KXtXGMbPmY4&list=RDKXtXGMbPmY4&start_radio=1 Lyrics can be found HERE
Like Scowling Crackhead Ian, your song does not have to be a rap. But, for those who would like to do that, I created a rap guide last year that helps you to create one:
Here are a few free instrumentals that you can use for your Personal Story song:
-october 26-Our work in The Tech Café is all about making the world a better place.
The problem is, we often don’t care that much about people who are struggling. To understand and share the feelings of others is called “empathy” and it’s not always easy to do.
Yep, it’s hard to put ourselves in the shoes of someone begging for money on the street, someone whose boyfriend is beating them, someone addicted to smoking, or someone trying to enter the
Step 1: Realize that everyone has a struggle. Sure, some are dealing with more pain than others-- but no one has it easy. Once you take that outlook, your job is to find out their struggle and imagine what it would feel like if it was you dealing with it.
Step 2: Once you realize what a person is struggling with, do an act of kindness that lets them know the world is not a dark place.
So, what are you going to do or create this week to make someone’s world better?
-OCTOBER 22-It’s storytime, my friends. Read it below and then let’s discuss:
Imagine that one day you wake up as a robot that cannot talk, dress, or move itself around. You, the robot, are wearing a simple white t-shirt and simple white pants. Your eyes are open, but you realize that someone is now controlling you. The man that is controlling you stands behind a curtain. You cannot see his face. He has never spent time with someone like you or your family...although they have seen TV shows with someone who kind of looked like you in it. This stranger goes to the mall and buys clothes for you that match ones he'd seen in a rap video. The stranger has no idea what you like to wear, but they dress you up anyway. The stranger than presses a special remote and you walk down the hall to your kitchen. The stranger swears "!@#$", realizing that the fridge is empty. You stand there, unable to move. He returns 20 minutes later with bags of stuff they think you might like-- food that he'd seen in the same TV show with that kid who kind of looked like you. The stranger than presses the button that controls you to go to school. On the way out of your apartment, your mom stands smiling at the doorway. The stranger has no idea what to have you say to your mom, so he has you say, "later bruh!"....something you'd never say. When you get to school, the stranger has you give a random handshake to your friend. Your fingers are flying, making shooting noises, and banging around like a pigeon stuck indoors. Your friend shakes her head and walks away....OK, so that might have seemed a bit random, but let’s push forward.
Why did the stranger dress you, feed you, and have you behave in such odd ways?It’s because he didn’t know you, right? Well, here’s the thing: the people who create most media (TV, movies, video games, commercials) don’t know you either. They often do not look like you, live in your neighborhood, or have life experiences like yours. But, because they are the ones telling the stories, it doesn’t matter! They can make you say or do anything, whether or not it makes you look foolish, scary, or crazy. And that is why you need to tell your own story– through media like podcasting, art, game design, music, and filmmaking. Tell your story; because if you let strangers tell it, they won’t get it right. Worse, when they get it wrong, they will miss out on how amazing your are. How, even though there are moments of drama in your life, you still manage to make your friends laugh, have the courage to learn something brand new, be there for a friend who is super upset, and never, ever, call your mom “bruh”.
Click on “Show More” below to see more student films that tell their story. As you watch them, think about what yours is and how you will tell it better than The Stranger:
-october 15-Last week I overheard a conversation between two 7th graders. One said, “I can’t wait, after school, I’m going to buy one of those vape pens, I heard they’re mad good.” She’s not the only teen excited by e-cigarettes. Put together, 14% of middle and high school students smoke them. Bubblegum, Mango, and Cucumber. Who doesn’t love those delicious flavors? One reason that kids are so into e-cigarettes is that they are attracted to the flavors added to the “pods” or liquids used to create the smoke. The e-cigarette companies KNOW this and are marketing it to you on purpose, even though you’re supposed to be 18 to buy their products. There are two big problems with e-cigarettes:
- They contain dangerous things like propylene glycol and metal particles. Propylene glycol has been linked to “popcorn lung” which is a disease where your lungs crackle when you breathe, makes you cough and feel short of breath. The heated coils in e-cigarettes release small metal particles into your lungs that can cause cancer and problems with your body’s ability to fight off diseases (AKA your immune system).
- E-cigarettes contain Nicotine. Nicotine is E X T R E M E L Y addictive and ruins the tunnels (veins) that feed your body blood. One pod contains the same nicotine as 20 cigarettes. Kids who start smoking e-cigarettes find it nearly impossible to quit and often end up smoking regular cigarettes.
-october 9-Once again, I am so proud of what Island Schoolers have done to get rid of single-use plastic straws. Here’s Marilyn’s documentary on some of your experiences doing the Strawless Challenge: This week will be devoted to engineering for social action. Let’s begin by watching the video below about a special suit: “Engineering” has a ton of definitions. Here’s the way we’ll be using it in this class: imagining, designing, and building things that solve problems and make our lives better. Click HERE for a bunch of videos I gathered on different inventions engineered to improve people’s lives like these: Here in the Tech Café there’s no easier way to start engineering than to build with Legos. Below are some models you can make and then improve upon to better our world.
-OCTOBER 1-Last week, we spoke about the power of personal stories. Many students came to me privately and spoke about intense events that happened in their lives– stories about drugs, relationships, and violence. I told everyone the same thing: TELL YOUR STORY. But, if your story reveals details that embarrass you too intensely or gets anyone in trouble, change the names in your story and ask me not to reveal you as the author. If you’re creating a film, choose actors to play the characters from your life. Here are a few more examples of personal stories:
Gabriela reveals to her mother that she's been molested.
Kapone talks about the struggles he's facing after his uncle commits suicide and his sister is out of control. Click HERE for the lyrics.
A family struggles to survive after the father is incarcerated.
-september 24-This week we’re talking about YOU- yes you. Whether you believe it or not, each of you has an incredibly powerful story inside of you (probably more than one). No one’s life is boring. We all struggle with family drama, have weird issues with friends, and do random stuff that we regret. We all have secrets that we hold inside, gross memories, and times we laughed so hard our bellies hurt. We have all loved deeply and cried when we lost something important. Yep, each of you has a story. So, you might be wondering what does this have to do with Social Action? Well, think about it this way: have you ever felt like no one has understood what you are going through– felt alone in your struggle? When you tell your story, you are offering up the chance for a bunch of people to relate and not feel so alone. That is Social Action! Of course, your story doesn’t have to be serious, just super personal and have a lot of details. Let’s check a few out:
If you are interested in filmmaking, begin by making a storyboard for each scene in the movie. Show it to me and borrow a camera to get started!
Alize's song tells the story of her parents relationship. Click HERE to read the words.The last animation is from a site called Storybooth. Spend some time checking out more stories by clicking HERE. If you’re interested in creating your own, check out the tutorials below for the animation software Powtoon (use email@example.com and the usual password).
-september 17-Wow, so many of you have taken the Straw-Free Challenge and even convinced your friends to do the same. I’d love someone to borrow a camera, write some interview questions and get students’ thoughts on going straw-free. Like, why did they take the pledge? What has been the most challenging part? Will they go straw-free forever?
Another interesting straw-related issue popped up today: Students were upset because the cafeteria was sending up breakfast to the classrooms with lots of straws. How do we get them to stop that?!? I’d love to know your thoughts.
How about taking cool pictures like this?
*****For those brave souls who have committed to be #straw-free and want to take it a step further, it’s time to think about other forms of single-use plastic we want to get rid of: Here are a few ways to reduce single-use plastic in your life:
- Bring or make your own shopping bags like this one from old t-shirts to use instead of plastic bags.
- Buy a reusable water bottle (if you can’t afford it, ask me in private and we’ll work it out.)
- Bring your own forks and knives whenever you’re planning to eat fast food.