Plastic waste mixed in with seaweed on the beach

Project-Based Science

Grades 3–8
Ida Jew Academy
San Jose, CA

Major Objectives

  • Reduce the use of single-use plastic items on campus


Students at Ida Jew Academy campaigned to reduce single-use plastic on their school campus. They began by counting the number of spork packets used each day, then embarked on an educational campaign to advocate for decreasing spork usage. To achieve their goal, they created table tents for the cafeteria, made a bulletin board, presented to parents and community members at an Academic Fair and made campus-wide PA annoucments. Additionally, they partnered with the City of San Jose to conduct litter audits and with Vice Mayor Magdelana Carrasco, the City of San Jose and the San Jose Water Department to install a hydration station on campus to help reduce the number of plastic water bottles on campus.

  • Project Length:
    5 months
  • Outreach:
    20 students
  • Community Partners:
    City of San Jose, San Jose Water Department
  • Related Aquarium Teacher Program:
    Ocean Plastic Pollution Summit

Notes from the Field

“This project has helped me as an educator realize the power of engagement and empathy. Students and the community can and will still come together for a noble cause.”