Gemini, University Elementary School and Melbourne High Earn City of Melbourne’s Annual ECO Award
By Space Coast Daily // March 24, 2022
All three schools earning this year’s awards focused on environmental sustainability
BREVARD COUNTY • MELBOURNE, FLORIDA – Gemini and University Park Elementary Schools, along with Melbourne High School, earned the 2021/2022 ECO School Awards. Melbourne’s Environmental Community Outreach Division presents the annual ECO awards to recognize the efforts made by local schools toward environmental care and ownership.
All three schools earning this year’s awards had hands-on activities for students that focused on environmental sustainability.
Gemini Elementary used recycled tires as planters in their garden, while the physical education program used old tires for exercises.
Classes also repurposed old boxes to make Valentine’s Day card holders, cardboard to create 3-D sculptures, and repurposed old wood for bird feeders.
First-graders learned to identify native sea turtles, protect them, and completed a rehabilitation project. Fifth-grade students brought in recycled material from home to create their Ruth Goldberg machine projects.
Meanwhile, University Park Elementary School started a 4H Club. Students in this program maintained a compost ball. Some of the composted material came from shredded food trays. The school also hosted beautification days at the school where students, parents, and staff weeded, planted flowers, and spread mulch in their various native plant areas.
The compost from the 4H Club was used to fertilize the gardens. The students also used plastic water bottles to make potted plant hangers.
They have developed an adopt-a-hallway program where grade levels maintain the trash in their areas and monthly certificates are given to the cleanest hallways.
Students created assemblages of recycled material, where they glued them to a mat board, inspired by the art of Louise Nevelson and local artist David Burton.
At Melbourne High School, the Indian River Lagoon Club and the Environmental Awareness Club performed various service projects including beach cleanups, sea oat plantings and kayaking for lagoon cleanups. A science class recently used old recycled paper to make new paper. Art classes repurpose material to make 2D art and recycled painting projects.