MOUNT PLEASANT, SC (WCSC) - Trident Academy in Mt. Pleasant won a $3,000 grant to help incorporate environmental education and awareness in to school-wide curriculum.
Ten primary schools state wide received grant funding, provided by the Department of Health and Environmental Control. Interested schools had to appoint a faculty member to write a proposal who also oversees the distribution of funding.
"I'm always trying to plan hands-on things," said teacher Robin Grieg. Greig, who teaches middle school science, opted to let her students decide how to spend the money. "[Students] started coming to me and saying 'Can we start a garden? Can we do more recycling?' I just guide and help direct them."
The final decision, as made by a group of 20 students, was a compost pile. Students work as a team to manage the pile, contained in tupperware bins about twice the size of standard recycling bins, writing lesson plans and homework assignments around their findings and inquiries.
"[The project] is about letting them know they have and voice and that they can make a difference," said Grieg. "They often think, 'Oh, we're just kids', but now they realize they have a say in their world."
Greig says classroom participation in subjects across the board has grown by leaps and bounds. She notices students thinking more laterally in all areas of their classroom lives, empowered by a new found sense of confidence -- and science.
"They're excited about learning a subject that is often difficult," said Greig. "Now, they realize anything they put their minds to can be fun."
At the end of the academic year, the Department of Health and Environmental Control will award additional funding to the school they believe best followed through with their proposal. The amount of that award has yet to be determined.