Michael Wing

Sir Francis Drake High School
San Anselmo, CA

Project Description:

Wing’s winning program idea, “Plastic Debris on Land and Sea” is inspired by the school’s mission statement, which focuses on developing “global citizens” who can “critically analyze information, pose substantive questions, and communicate effectively.” The 112 ninth and tenth-grade students will make regular patrols collecting, counting, weighing and photographing plastic debris from the 10-mile beach at the Point Reyes National Seashore. Through the collection of various items, they will not only be categorized in a spreadsheet according to type and probable origin, but the collection also will be compared to the results with the database from the California Coastal Cleanup Day. Because local and global trash washes up on the nearby shores, students will understand the interconnectedness with others and their actions. Geography, environmental science, oceanography, marine biology, data analysis and the scientific method, and global awareness will be taught through this program. Wing, who lives in Kentfield, will have his students write letters to corporations whose addresses are found on the plastic debris and kindly suggest that the manufacturers find alternatives to plastic.