Green Matters

TMMI Earth Camp shows 1,000 third-graders how to make a difference
 

April 19, 2017
Digging In -- Students weren’t afraid to get their hands dirty at the flower planting station at TMMI's Earth Camp.
 

Teaching children how to be good stewards of the environment is a gift that keeps on giving.
 
And what better way to inspire green thinking than an inspiring Earth Camp for third-graders?
 
In recognition of Earth Day on Saturday, Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Indiana (TMMI) organized two camps to show 1,000 students that the choices they make matter. The Earth Camp, now in its 17th year, continues to grow, serving 400 more kids this year than last year.
 
TMMI’s camps took place last week at Wesselman Nature Center and Preserve in Vanderburgh County and at YMCA Camp Carson in Gibson County.
 
During the camps, students learned about Toyota’s commitment to the environment through presentations and hands-on activities such as a nature hike, interactive presentations on endangered species, planting take-home flower buds at a seedling station and an interactive demonstration on CO2 with Diet Coke volcanoes.
 

Race to the Finish -- Knowing the difference between trash and recyclables was the key to winning the Recycle Relay.
 

Toyota co-op students, alongside Princeton Mayor Brad Schmitt, organized a Recycle Relay Race where kids sorted through bins of “trash” and recyclables to see who could separate them the fastest.
 
“The Recycle Relay was a big hit,” says Tiffannie Hedin, external affairs analyst at TMMI. “The kids learned how to identify regular trash from recyclables and the hope is they will practice this at home.”
 
Everyone went home with swag, a reusable sandwich pouch and food container to use in their lunch box, making it easy to continue being green.
 
“Earth Camp connects what we've been learning in science and social studies — plant growth and development and communities,” says Susan Anderson, a third-grade teacher from Stockwell Elementary School. “Children love nature and enjoy being outside; it's up to us to encourage conservation and their love of the environment. It's also important for them to learn that companies like Toyota care enough about our environment to sponsor this trip.”
 
By Karen Nielsen


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