How It Works:
Art as the Catalyst
The Rakefish is a sculpture, an example of 3-D art. It represents a fish, but also represents ideas and feelings about ocean pollution that the students have expressed in a powerful way. The Rakefish communicates a set of ideas that are cohesive and meaningful on many levels. It is because many artists have spoken through this piece that gives it its power. The fact that it has traveled to so many far-away places and has a history of helping so many learn has truly given the Rakefish a life of its own.
Host schools participated in a collaborative
PowerPoint presentation, comprised mainly of 2 parts, or research tasks. The first part is the same for each school, which is to provide information about their local watershed, and how it connects their community with the ocean.
The second part deals with the idea of the "Great Pacific Garbage Patch", and the various ways this phenomenon affects our world.
This includes specific questions which are different for each host school.
Schools were given absolute flexibility in choosing how best to respond to their assigned tasks. To see the results click on the "Schools" tab under the "More" menu above.
Message in a Bottle
Perhaps the most important part of the Rakefish sculpture is the "Message in a Bottle" interactive component, located in the fish's mouth.
In a spontaneous act of amusement, one student shoved an empty plastic water bottle into the Rakefish's open mouth. This began the idea of the "Message in a Bottle" component of the sculpture.
This allows every student who participates in the project to ceremoniously add a personal contribution to the sculpture, in the form of a personal statement or plea to world leaders, written on a fortune cookie-sized paper, for students to insert directly into the bottle in the Rakefish's mouth.
In this way, the sculpture literally carries the message, from each student.
This symbolic act will provide students with a direct and permanent connection, representing a personal investment in the mission of the Rakefish. This, along with contributions to the research tasks at their host school, serves to give students an active role in their learning experience. This is further enhanced by the students' abilities to keep up with the entire journey of the sculpture through the use of technology.
The Pledge Scroll
An important activity for host schools during the Rakefish's visit is the signing of the scroll:
"Dear Leaders of the World,
We, the young students of the world believe we are all responsible for taking care of the environment. We want to live our lives in a clean environment and to leave behind a healthy Earth for all children of every generation to love and enjoy.
By signing this pledge we agree to try and make recycling and waste reduction a habit in our own life, at home, at school, and in our communities. We agree to lead by example and educate others about reducing waste. By signing this pledge we agree to come together as one force, to speak to the Leaders of the World about cleaning our environment, and especially about getting plastic trash out of our oceans and saving marine life.
The Future Leaders of the World"
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