MILTON, Ga. — All 130 third-grade students at Crabapple Crossing Elementary recently took part in the city of Milton’s stormwater education program. This involved some new vocabulary words like non-point pollution, non-pervious surface, watershed and point source pollution, but plenty of hands-on learning too. In the hour-long session, students donned blue capes and pretended to be raindrops sliding through a storm drain, and identified kinds of pollution that can be found in a community like Milton with a model called an enviroscape.
Milton’s sustainability coordinator, Cindy Eade, taught the class with Kathy Johnson, the education chair of the Milton Grows Green committee and a community volunteer. Some of the program is a review of what the students already learn in third grade science.
“We [already] learned about water and air pollution and noise pollution,” explained Neena Damodaran, a student in Kathy Devine’s class.
Noise pollution, said Devine’s student Esha Sringeri, is “when the sound is loud and it distracts people.”
The workshop by Eade and Johnson purposely ties in to what the third-graders have already learned.
“It fits in so nicely with third grade and its curriculum,” said Eade. “We really can do just about anything depending on the grade level and what they’re studying.”
Other programs have included recycling, landfills and waste reduction.
Crabapple Crossing Elementary is part of Milton’s EverGreen Schools program, and Devine is the program liaison.
“As an EverGreen School, we develop three goals each year that extend our school’s involvement in local environmental issues and community concerns,” said Devine. “One of the Crabapple Crossing 2012-2013 goals this year was to educate out third-graders on non-point pollution and solutions.”
Devine said the stormwater pollution program helps students “see how their school learning applies to the outside world around them.”
Devine’s class and Crabapple Crossing Elementary’s other third-graders can apply what they learned in the program to their everyday life.
“I learned about pollution and how pollution in storm drains can hurt the environment and how the animals can get hurt,” reported Brock Freiberger. “[Animal] waste can harm the water too.”
Keeping animals safe was also important to Sringeri, whose favorite subject is science.
“I’ll try to be careful because I don’t want to harm the animals,” she said.
Joshua Nover summed up the program.
He said simply, “…you should clean up and shouldn’t pollute [or] throw trash on the street.”