Bagstreet Boys earn $10,000 prize in Eco Challenge
A group of eighth-graders from SCAPA at Bluegrass, The Bagstreet Boys, have won a $10,000 prize in the Land/Water middle school division of the 2018-19 Lexus Eco Challenge. Jayden Young, Nora Mack, Violet Ferguson, Marianne Gebb, Shayda Alsalihi, Sofia Wu, and Jamie Cook will go on to compete this spring against other Land/Water and Air/Climate winners in the Final Challenge of this national contest, which encourages students to develop and implement environmental programs that benefit their communities. (SCAPA also has a team in the Air/Climate division, where results are pending.)
When the Bagstreet Boys heard the stats on how many plastic bags end up in landfills, they zeroed in on their topic. Every minute, 1 million bags are used and then discarded after 15 minutes, according to Plastic Oceans. Then after seeing a video on how to make a reusable bag, the team found a means and a goal. Supported by teacher/adviser Ashlie Arkwright, the Bagstreet Boys collected some 1,325 discarded plastic bags, which they creatively turned into reusable bags to sell. More than $100 in proceeds went to Bluegrass Greensource, a local environmental organization. The SCAPA team also used interactive polls and surveys to engage and educate fellow students on the environmental impact of disposable plastic bags. Instagram and a website expanded their outreach, and subsequent surveys indicated a strong decrease in people using plastic bags.