Burnhamthorpe Water Bottle Project
"Our School has a big water bottle problem."
It all started with a question. In early October, a grade 2 class at Burnhamthorpe Public School posed the question, "Are plastic disposable water bottles a good thing or a bad thing to bring to school?" What started out as a simple discussion question has evolved into an amazing project that has and will have an impact all over the globe.
After discovering that there are many negative environmental effects from the use of these water bottles, our students ventured around the school to determine how many disposable water bottles were in the school. We found 198 in one day. Ms. Emmett's Grade 5's jumped on board to help our Grade Two's project that number out over a week, month, and a year. We discovered that our school is responsible for 40,000 disposable bottles in a school year!
We then asked our students how we could solve that problem. They came up with the idea of replacing each one of those bottles with a reusable one that our class would choose, and which would also have a logo on it that we designed. We decided we could sell them in our school and use the proceeds to purchase one water bottle refilling station for our school. This would help us reach two goals... getting the plastic water bottles out of the school and providing a tangible alternative with the appropriate resources to make it sustainable.
Our students were given the task of researching a company that could accommodate our requirements. We came up with a list of criteria and our students found a company called 4imprint. They perused the list of bottles and chose 5 that they felt best fit our needs (quality, cost, resellability, colour choice, shipping time, and more). We settled on a bottle and designed a logo that encapsulated our school spirit and a positive message.
Our grade 5's used some business math and formed a plan on how many bottles to purchase and what to price them at. Mr. Pitman and a grade 2 student did a presentation to our parent council to ask for money to fund our purchase.
We did a big conference call with 4imprint, involving all 60 students, and placed an order for 600 customized bottles!
That's not all... the focus changed. We had someone on the board of directors at water charity do a Skype call with our classes to talk about the need and importance of clean water all around the world. We drilled down on the fact that in Africa there are schools that have no clean water and that there are kids their age who literally can't go and get a drink or wash themselves when they need to. It broke our classes' hearts and they suggested that we shift our focus to finding out how we can help with that (bigger) problem. Our class is researching charities, and making presentations around the school to try and drum up a buzz to put some wells and sanitation systems in schools in Africa. They are learning about the 5 p's of marketing, social media marketing, and other foundational business concepts, at such an early age.
This week, 600 bottles arrived at our school. Our students are going around today to present our project and our vision to students around the school. What we need now is your support. These bottles are not just bottles. They represent the vision and dream of 60 students at our school. They represent clean water for children in Africa. They represent a new water bottle refilling station in our school that will hopefully help to reduce our water footprint and the amount of pollution we create.
Our kids are gaining an understanding that even at 7 years old... they can change the world. The best part is is they are going to get to actually SEE THEIR WORLD CHANGE - both in the school and in schools in Africa. Most importantly, students in Africa are going to get clean water.
Our vision is that we hopefully have to re-order some bottles. Selling 600 bottles is a tall order, but we believe in these kids.
For $4.00 a bottle, you too can make a difference in the lives of children both at home and across the world.
Will you join us?
Thank you for your support,
Ms. Emmett and Mr. Pitman, and all of our students