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Bernshausen Students Place in National Recycling Contest

Bernshausen Students Place in National Recycling Contest

A group of Bernshausen Bengals ended this school year with exciting news – they placed in the Top 10 of a national recycling video and poster contest sponsored by the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI) and JASON Learning.

The innovative students participated in Operation Lifeline last fall and enjoyed it so much that they were ready to tackle another challenge. Instead of working through an imaginary natural disaster, this time they were presented with the very real-world challenge of recycling. 

Abraham Perez, James Garcia, Miranda Gomez, and Leila Flores joined forces as a creative team of fourth-graders and won runner-up for their edible water bottle idea. 

“We saw that there were a lot of water bottles on the ground so we wanted to do something to fix that,” Leila said. “We wanted to do something people would find interesting and want to do also, so when we thought about edible water bottles, we looked it up and tried to make our own.”

Their process included taste-testing at least five different water bottles that could be safely eaten before settling on one that was enjoyable! 

Additionally, third-grader Charlie Elder placed in the top 10 for his idea of melting plastic shopping bags with an iron (and a parent present!).

“When plastic bags are recycled, they can sometimes get wrapped around the machine that grinds up recyclables and break it,” Charlie said. “Instead of many thin pieces of plastic being recycled, it’s one thick one when it’s melted. This is a better solution because the thicker plastic can be processed easier.” 

The future of recycling is bright, thanks to months of dedicated research by these students to perfect their ideas. 

“Innovation challenges are a great way to get students to apply their mathematical and scientific knowledge to solving real-life problems,” Bernshausen teacher Kimberly Richards said. “They also encourage teamwork, presentation and public speaking skills, and creativity. When we started on this journey, I never fathomed the solutions that the students would come up with.” 

Way to think outside of the box, innovators!


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Klein ISD is a school district in Klein, Texas, located in northwestern Harris County. The district spans approximately 88 square miles and serves more than 53,000 students in 33 elementary schools, 10 intermediate campuses, one high school program of choice, and 5 high schools.

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