A team of fifth grade students and teachers at Woodstock Elementary created the winning entry in this year’s Rain Barrel Decoration Contest sponsored by the Virginia Beach Master Gardeners Water Stewards.
The interest in rain barrels began earlier in the year when two Master Gardeners visited the school to talk to fifth grade classes about water conservation. The Master Gardeners presented the program, “Be Water Wise,” which included information about watersheds, water pollution, and water conservation—science topics studied at the elementary level.
Soon thereafter, the fifth grade teachers heard about the Rain Barrel Decoration Contest and decided to create an entry.
Students in all six fifth-grade classes worked in teams to develop designs for the rain barrel. The designs were reviewed by the teachers and two were selected for the rain barrel. Fifth grade teachers Lauren Russell and Stephanie Wyman worked with the selected groups to combine their work into one design, which featured a contrast between an industrial, polluted environment and a home with rain barrels, healthy plants and a clean water environment populated with fish.
The final design was turned over to Susan Richardson, the school’s art teacher. Richardson worked with the students on the design teams and the fifth grade art club to paint the 55 gallon rain barrel. Photographs of the finished barrel were submitted to the Virginia Beach Master Gardeners for the contest, and students were notified their rain barrel design was selected as this year’s winning entry.
Photographs of the Woodstock Elementary rain barrel design and barrel placement at the school where it is connected to a rain downspout will be featured in promotional materials for the Virginia Beach Master Gardeners Water Stewards.