During the months of March, April, and May, Beth Stump’s Kutztown Elementary class was actively involved in an inquiry-based project.

Christopher Simmons, instructional coach and Stump led this inquiry-based Earth Day project. Students wanted to answer the essential question, “How can we raise awareness about recycling, reusing, and reducing to help our community?”

Students chose the topic they were most interested in researching and the fun began! The six groups began reading books, analyzing critical information from various websites and spoke to some “experts”.

Brian Bailey and Gina Wiand from Kutztown Borough visited the classroom to answer questions about what Kutztown Borough currently does to raise awareness in our community. Karen George, Environmental Affairs Manager at East Penn Manufacturing, also came to share what East Penn does to make sure their manufacturing process does not pollute the environment.

After weeks of research, students utilized the design thinking process to develop a plan to raise awareness. They brainstormed ideas, developed prototypes, asked for feedback, adjusted their plans, and ultimately presented their final ideas.

The audience for their presentation included Kutztown Superintendent George Fiore, Kutztown Elementary Principal Deborah Barnes, KASD Director Educational Technology Scott Hand, Brian Bailey, Gina Wiand and Jeri Sievert from the Kutztown Borough.

The results were as follows:

Group 1: Ronan, Will, Mallory, and Chase – Their initial idea was to create a sign with a slogan about Earth Day and have an airplane pull the sign over a busy beach. They realized the airplane caused pollution, so they modified their plan. They have decided to fly a drone instead and will fly a sign attached to the drone that says “Make EARTH Day Every Day” at Kutztown Elementary school.

Group 2: Jude, Liam, Kayla – Create T-shirts that says “Make Earth Day Every Day!” They teamed up with group one and made a sign that will be flown behind the drone.

Group 3: Daniel, Gabe, and Maria – Organized a clothing drive at Kutztown Elementary School. The clothes will be donated to local agency. and some of the T-Shirts will be given to another group to make reusable bags.

Group 4: Lucas, Sharon, Jordan - Create signs with pictures of sea animals tangled in plastic. These signs will be placed above the clothing bins to create awareness about what happens when you use plastic.

Group 5: Leo, Finn, Ryder – Create reusable bags out of old T-Shirts. These students will travel to the Middle School to help the 7th graders teach 5th graders how to make these reusable bags.

Group 6: Makada, Mackayla and Zoey – This group wanted to set up a mini shop to sell items to raise money to help reduce the number of landfills. They have created a video to introduce a fundraiser for next school year.

Congratulations to these 2nd grade students for their inquiry-based project implementations!

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