They won $2,500 for their school and never had to make a sound.
Students of MS 158 Marie Curie Middle School’s all-volunteer recycling club won first place in the video portion of the Green Cup Challenge after submitting a student-produced silent film.
“The kids learned skills they’ll have the rest of their lives,” said Rebecca Mostel, a speech therapist and sustainability coordinator. “Some students wrote the script, others made costumes and did makeup and some acted, too. Everybody had a part.”
Mostel said the money would be used to further sustainability education in the school, which might include a community garden or a trip to Alley Pond Environmental Center.
The students were honored May 2 when members of the state Board of Regents visited the school with praise and encouragement.
The challenge, run in conjunction with the Green Schools Alliance, asks students to find innovative ways to conserve electricity, help the environment and engage in sustainable activities. The contest also includes a video portion in which schools present films on environmentally sustainable behavior.
MS 158’s recycling club won the video category in the New York City chapter. While the contest was mostly used by city high schools, MS 158 was the only middle school entered into the contest and still came out on top.
With some encouragement from school Principal Marie Nappi and custodian Bill Hall, the students stayed after school for several weeks to shoot a skit in which a wise Mr. Miyagi-type figure teaches the students about powering down and turning off electrical devices when not in use.
After hours of editing, the group submitted a black-and-white silent film, partially inspired by the silent film “The Artist.”
“It was a wonderful project to be a part of,” Mostel said. “It was very rewarding and a wonderful change of pace for everyone.”
The video can be found online at greencupchallenge.net/nyc/video2012.
Reach reporter Phil Corso by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 718-260-4573.
©2012 Community News Group
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