A short while back, second grade went on our first field trip. We went to the Kokrobite Chiltern Centre, an organization that’s building local school classrooms out of plastic bottles.
They got the idea from an organization in Guatemala doing similar work. We showed the students the video below to get them excited and they immediately wanted to know how they could help.
We spent the next few weeks collecting plastic bottles and were able to donate hundreds by the time of our visit.
The organization in Kokrobite collects the bottles, but instead of filling them with trash, fills them with sand, something we have an abundance of here in Ghana.
The bottles are then held together with a clay-like substance that is created by mixing a certain kind of sand with water and then stomping around in it – easily the students’ favorite activity. Once the clay is made and the bottles are filled, the laying begins.
This was just a small example, the beginnings of a playhouse for the center’s after-school activities space. But after learning the process and getting to play a small role in it, we took the children to the town school where a classroom had already been built.
The students were amazed that an entire building could be made using these simple materials. Even the school in Guatemala used concrete to fill the walls in – here it’s just bottles, clay, and some string.
Concrete was used to create windows & floors and timber & sheet metal were used for the ceiling, but the rest of the material is simple enough that even children can make/stack/build with it.
The center is now working to collect more bottles and materials to start building more classrooms for the school.
Weeks later and the students are still talking about ways to help. Once we’re back from the holiday break they plan on creating a donation bin for plastic bottles on campus that can be sent to help support the center. It really was an amazing field trip and it reminded me how amazing my students are : )