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May 09, 2017

Where Does it Really Go?: Artists in the Classroom

Where Does it Really Go?: Artists in the Classroom

Today's guest blog comes from Lucerne Elementary Secondary School in New Denver, where Grade 4-6 students have been working on a creative inquiry project with filmmaker Isaac Carter. This project is supported by an Artists in the Classroom grant. Today, Isaac shares the first video blog about their creative process.

If this story resonates with you, why not start a creative project of your own? The next deadline to apply for Artists in the Classroom grants is May 26, 2017. Grants of up to $3,500 for small to medium scale projects and grants of up to $10,000 for large scale projects are available. Read on below for more details.


To produce a 40-minute film answering the question, "Where does it really go?" students will brainstorm and find their own questions about waste. From there they will develop a plan as to how they can be detectives and follow the waste in the Kootenays. Lessons on film making and interview technique will be taught by filmmaker Isaac Carter. Students will work using iPads and cameras while Isaac will film with his equipment. We plan to go to each site: New Denver Recycle Bins, Rosebery Transfer Station, Nakusp Transfer Station, Castlegar Recycling and Ootischenia Landfill site. If possible, we would like to extend the research to Spokane Washington where most recycling is taken. Each trip will be led by the artist and the classroom teacher. The artist will collaborate with the students and the teacher to edit and create a film that answers the question, "Where does it really go?"

Every good story starts with an excellent question. This is the opening lesson from Isaac Carter, a filmmaker and alumni of Lucerne Elementary Secondary School in New Denver, BC. Lucerne is for all intents and purposes a "green school", not only by the actions of the school board but by the diligent work of the students and the staff. The work is daily, and starts with sorting all recyclable materials from the school grounds. This includes bottles, papers, metals and food waste. This by itself should be a BC-wide program...

But where do these items actually go? As part of our first blog post I'm very excited to set the stage for the students. This is the foundation for filmmaking: have a good answer you want questioned. How are you going to go around doing that? And where is your evidence?

While we are waiting for the snow to melt, and planning our field trips to locations which will hold answers, the students are learning what it means to document their story and how to use the technology at their fingertips to do it. Competing in the Green Energy Diet—an online video competition—each group of students had already produced, filmed and edited a 60 second short-film with a "green message" behind it. Our films have been submitted and we are in the race!

We look forward to showing you the amazing system the school has developed to recycle and reuse compost for their own gardens, all the while getting to the bottom of particular recyclable materials and what happens to them. 

In this first video blog we bring you inside the classroom, I introduce you to our project, and pose the question which we have all decided on. Enjoy!


Feeling inspired?

Artists in the Classroom grants offer up to $3,500 for small to medium scale projects and grants of up to $10,000 for large scale projects are available. Kindergarten to Grade 12 educators, school administrators, PAC representatives and artists in British Columbia are eligible to apply. The next deadline to apply is May 26, 2017, for projects taking place in the 2017-18 school year. Activate learning in and through the arts for your students!

AIC grants are disbursed by ArtStarts in Schools and funded by BC Arts Council and the Government of British Columbia's Creative Futures program.

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