Hingham High School Goes Green With America Recycles Day 'Teach In'
Hingham High School Students mixed garden compost, planted garlic, pretended to be fishermen and learned how keep the environment safe on Thursday as part of their day-long celebration of "America Recycles Day."
It was not difficult to remember the lesson plan at Hingham High School on Thursday. In fact, it was written in chalk on the school’s front entrance: “Go Green or Go Home.”
That was the attitude every teacher and their students had at Hingham High School on Thursday as they participated in the fifth annual America Recycles Day "Teach in." Assistant Principal Rick Swanson said the day is designed to raise awareness about environmental issues.
The faculty members from every department educated students about recycling with about 150 separate presentations throughout the school day.
In the gymnasium, physical education teacher John Rice explained the ways to go green in the world of sports. He advised his students to stay away from plastic water bottles, to use stairs instead of an elevator and to get outside more often instead of playing video games.
In the school’s courtyard, education specialists John Belber and Janis McPhillips from Holly Hill Farm in Cohasset had students from Dr. Paul Pawlowski’s Woodworking II class plant garlic. The students used compost made from disposed fruits and vegetable collected at the school lunches to add nutrients to the garden’s soil. Even the garden bed was made from recycled lumber which was once used to hold up the Hingham Middle School’s collapsing roof.
In the cafeteria , Social Studies teacher Ron Woolley designed a lesson plan that had his students pretending to be fishermen. The 20 plus students had to find a way to catch enough food to eat while not disrupting the ecosystem.
Outside the cafeteria and in the school’s main lobby, students lined up at the hydration stations which filters the school’s tap water and makes it cold and refreshing. Assistant Principal Swanson said the stations encourage students to drink from reusable water bottle instead of plastic bottles, which can be unfriendly to the environment.
Throughout the school day, every single faculty member participated in the Teach In. It was only the second time that 100 percent of the HHS teachers agreed to participate and for that they were awarded with coffee from the Starbucks in Hingham. Some had guest speakers or showed films on subjects such as pollution, alternative energy, climate change, renewable energy or anything tying into America Recycles Day.
HHS Principal Dr. Paula Girouard McCann said devoting a day to environmental issues was well worth it.
“Our goal as teachers is to prepare students to function in the environment that we have created and that we are going to leave to them,” McCann said. “So if they can do something to improve the environment, it’s just going to benefit not only the current generation, but the generations of the future. I think we’re teaching them a life long skill that they can use long after they graduate from high school.”