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WAYNE, Neb. (KCAU) – Earth Day may have been Monday, but on Tuesday, one Siouxland elementary class learned about the importance of recycling, all while having fun. 

A second grade class at Wayne Elementary School recycled more than 1,000 plastic jugs Tuesday morning as the final part of their igloo project. For the 14th year, Mike Jaixen’s second grade class was home to an igloo made of plastic jugs, a project the entire school looks forward to. 

“Even the kindergartners,” Jaixen said. “When they start bringing jugs in as kindergartners, they always ask about the igloo, and every year [they ask] ‘Mr. Jaixen, are you building the igloo next year? Are you building the igloo this year?’” 

The project started out as a way to teach the students about Alaska and its native peoples, but the structure has taught the kids more than social studies. 

“So much learning,” Jaixen said. “A lot of math. We do a lot of social studies with recycling, and yesterday was Earth Day, so we talked about how keeping the jugs out of the landfill helps Earth.” 

“We got to count by 25 and tens,” second grader Connor Prince said.

“We got to do our spelling in it,” second grader Brynn Virgil said. “We got to read in it.”

Although the igloo is gone now, the kids will always remember the fun it brought to the classroom.     

“I really liked it,” second grader Maddux Eriksen said. “It was really fun. We got to do some really cool things in it.” 

“School is just a fun place to be, and learning happens a lot better when it’s fun,” Jaixen said, “so this makes learning a little more enjoyable for them.”

Jaixen estimated that they have recycled over 14,000 plastic jugs since starting the igloo project in 2010. 

  • Wayne second graders learn about recycling with plastic jug igloo

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