Fifth-grade students at Haine Middle School put their knowledge of recycling to good use to win the 6th annual Professional Recyclers of Pennsylvania (PROP) Film Festival.
The students, who are all a part of the gifted PURPOSE program, created a music video as part of their Green Team project.
The video, entitled "Recycle Time," was a spoof on the popular song "Gangham Style" by Korean pop artist Psy.
"One of my students brought in that song that she wrote for me," said PURPOSE teacher Allison Stebbins. "She dedicated it to me and our Green Team. So then I went and looked for an instrumental version and we just worked as the Green Team putting it together as a music video."
The video was completely put together by students. They wrote, directed, produced and edited the clip, with the final version being put together by Stebbins.
"My students who are now 6th graders were truly just an exceptional group of Green Team members," Stebbins said. "They went above and beyond; their creativity and enthusiasm allowed us to do things here at Haine Middle School that I've never done before."
Through the 2012 school year, the Green Team completed several recycling initiatives. They held a Recycle Bowl 2013 in which the fifth and sixth grade competed to see who could recycle the most. They also made several recycling commercials to inspire and educate their fellow students.
It was with the help of Lorin Meeder, the environmental programs coordinator at Cranberry Township, that the Green Team entered the contest. Meeder saw the students' commercial videos back in October, and recommended the contest to Stebbins.
"We're very proud of Haine Middle School, not only for winning that, but also for winning an Earth day contest a few years ago," said Meeder. "They have a great recycling program and we're very proud."
The music video was presented at the PROP Annual Recycling & Organics Conference in Wilkes-Barre, PA on July 25th, 2013. The Green Team's video was chosen as the top selection from 15 entrees by over 70 conference attendees. The second and third place winners came from schools in Ohio.
For winning, the Green Team got $300 for their school, which Hebbins said will be put to good use.
"We'll use it for recycling supplies," she said. "We'll put it directly back into the Green Team and use it some way. We're always looking for stuff, whether it be gloves or bags or anything."
This was the first time the Green Team ever entered a contest because they've never created videos before. Luckily, it worked out in their favor.
"It was a first and I can't think of a more rewarding group to receive that award," Hebbins said. "They really worked hard and deserved it."