Connections Public Charter School

Hilo, Hawaiʻi, United States

Project Team

K-3rd Grade Students


Pandi Weston


In this student-created mural, students share their thoughts on the importance of the ocean in their community, how it nourishes them, how it makes them happy, and how it is being affected by misuse and neglect.

Kindergarten through third grade at Connection PCS collaborated on a community project to promote culture, community, and environmental awareness through hands on cross curricular lessons. All the participating classes contributed to the final project by taking part in a beach cleanup at Coconut Island in Hilo, Hawaiʻi. Each class collected data while cleaning and took their findings back into the classroom to graph and discuss what types of rubbish were found and how they affect our local Hilo community. K-3rd grade teachers assembled and painted a 5 feet by 10 feet mural of a beach in Hilo Hawaiʻi. The mural was then cut into 78 pieces. Each student received a piece of the mural to decorate using rubbish collected on Coconut Island. Students also drew pictures of the local marine life that is being affected by pollution and how people in Hilo enjoy their ocean environment through healthy activities.


  1. sanmae l.
    September 10, 2016

    It is great to know that these young children are already exposed to environmental issues and are encouraged to showcase their awareness through the mural created, designed by the rubbish they gathered during the beach cleanup. It is one way to lessen garbage accumulation and a successful project for the environment.

    • Your School Name: Cebu International School
  2. chloe s.
    September 7, 2016

    As someone who has always loved the ocean, I find this project particularly meaningful. The mural itself is beautiful–I could honestly see it in a museum–But more importantly it reflects the collaborative spirit of a group of people who care so much about their community. I love that this work of art was paired with a service project that allowed the kids to make a positive impact on the environment.

    • Your School Name: Scarsdale High School
  3. emily
    September 7, 2016

    Awesome idea to turn a negative (garbage), into a positive: art!

    • Your School Name: Scarsdale High School
  4. katie k
    September 7, 2016

    I love it how you made garbage into a masterpiece! Great work!

    • Your School Name: Scarsdale High School
  5. lindsay g.
    September 7, 2016

    I think that this is a great way to raise awareness about keeping the environment clean! This project is so creative and it inspires children to clean up the environment in a fun way.

    • Your School Name: Scarsdale High School
  6. rex
    September 4, 2016

    Wow! That’s very creative foster! I think transform trash to art artifitial is good way to advertise. I’m sure your kid have positive attitude! I hope many people will follow their ways.

    • Your School Name: Kyeongbuk high school
  7. w. sohn
    August 31, 2016

    What a creative way to transform rubbish into beauty! Your project is sure to foster creativity in young children. Moreover, I love how your project is unique in encouraging scientific method to the children in determining how polluted their surrounding is. Hopefully, your project will encourage more nature-considerate scientists and engineers that the world will need in the future!

    • Your School Name: Cebu International School
  8. marci rothman
    August 31, 2016

    A great project that really helps students see the problem first-hand and then illustrating it in a wonderful collage. It was meaningful and memorable.

    • Your School Name: Scarsdale Middle School
  9. pippa k
    August 29, 2016

    I think it can be easy to take the where we live for granted, regardless of where we are from, and it is important to give back and care for our community, through activities like beach clean ups.

    • despina
      August 29, 2016

      I really like the mural, it’s a wonderful and creative idea, as well as a job well done! It is great that you were able to use the trash and give it a new life through art.

      • christian safar
        August 25, 2016


        I love hearing how the youth is making the world a better place through art and collaboration. A beach clean up is an excellent way to show the kids to respect the environment. Art is also a great way to come together to fight a world that is being polluted.

        • Your School Name: Cal Poly SLO
      • connor
        August 24, 2016

        What a great example you guys are setting by cleaning the beach and actually using the trash to create art as opposed to throwing it in a land fill. Talk about sustainable. Great job. The ocean is such a special place and if everyone contributed to protecting it like you did it will stay that way for generations to come. Also, lovely collaborative art piece. I love it.

        • anacapri neill
          August 24, 2016

          I think your beach project was inspiring, and a great way to raise awareness about the importance of making sure that our beaches are free of rubbish.

          • Your School Name: Brooklyn Friends School
        • breyten
          August 24, 2016

          Good job on the beach cleanup and using that trash to make something that had a meaning

          • Your School Name: Brooklyn friends school
        • garrett
          August 22, 2016

          Nice to see that everyone made their mark on the mural. Its nice to see that you guys actually did a beach cleanup to spread the word. Also, thats quite the party wave!

          • claire
            August 8, 2016

            What a creative way to foster environmental awareness! I can imagine that hands-on activities are an effective and engaging tool to use with younger students and children, and so I’m sure these children will have gotten a lot out of the beach cleanup, data collection and mural making. Also interesting to hear that the mural was decorated with the rubbish collected at the beach cleanup — a great way to reuse what used to be litter into art!

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