Trash to Treasure


Trash to Treasure

The trash to treasure program will occur throughout the months of May and June in 2019, and is available to grade 6 classes and other interested groups. The program is offered to grade 6 classes from SD68 free of charge as all fees are covered by the school district.

2020 registration is not yet available. If you have any questions about registration please contact the North Zone Community School Coordinator, Susan M’Gonigle (sm’

What to expect

With NS3’s Trash to Treasure program, grade 6 students throughout the Nanaimo/Ladysmith school district will participate in the clean-up of a local beach or park and then work with their class to create public art to be showcased in a digital form. Through this activity, students will learn about local ecology, conservation, and the effects of pollution.

The goals of this program are to raise awareness of littering and the impact of pollution on the local environment, to empower students by promoting environmental stewardship, to allow students to use their creativity to reflect on their experience, and to give students a forum to inform the public about what they have learned.

On-Site Beach/Park Clean (120mins)

Dates are available from April 29th – June 7th (morning or afternoon sign up depends on availability). The clean-up program is two hours total, which allows for 15-20min of travel time to the location. During this time all refuse will be collected, sorted, counted, and retained for use during the art challenge. NS3 will provide supplies to be used during the activity and a staff member will accompany the class.

In-Class Garbage Quantification and Art Brainstorming

NS3 will provide resources and guidance for quantifying garbage and structuring brainstorm session. This section should be completed from May 1st-June 7th prior to the art day.

Students will work with their homeroom teachers to quantify the type, amount, and sources of the trash collected during their clean up, and to research the effects of different trash on our local ecosystems. NS3 will provide teachers with research starter topics and quantification guideline sheets. Additional enrichment activities are also available with links to the grade 6 curriculum.

Students will work with their classmates and teachers to brainstorm and design an “environmentally” themed art project out of the garbage they collected. Art projects will involve the use of digital media to make a poster or video showcase of their work.

Art Day

Dates are available from May 1st- June 7th (morning or afternoon sign up depends on availability), but should be done after your class has completed the quantification and brainstorm session. The class should reserve a set of iPads if the school has them. This will be used for the digital media activity. The art program is done at your school and is one hour. During this time students will work as a school group to turn their trash into an artistic treasure. NS3 will provide art supplies to be used in addition to the collected trash. NS3 staff and local artists will be on hand the day of art creation to fine-tune designs and provide support. Students will use digital media to make a poster or video to showcase their artwork.

Curriculum Connections

As part of NS3’s trash to treasure program students will:

  • Observe, measure, and record data, using appropriate tools.
  • Construct and use a variety of methods to represent patterns or relationships in data.
  • Experience and interpret the local environment
  • Cooperatively design projects
  • Communicate ideas in a variety of ways.

SD68 Grade 6 Teachers

Teachers work with NS3 to organize two time periods for clean up and art creation. Dates, times, and locations are based on availability so register early!

For more information about how to register your grade 6 class check out our Trash to Treasure Flyer.

We have additional resources available such as handouts, data sheets, and a microplastics kit. Click the link provided or head over to our Resources tab to check them out!


Thanks to all the students and teachers who participated in our Trash to Treasure program this year. Students cleaned up over 100kg of trash this year! And a big thanks to John Barsby Secondary School for displaying the art students put together from their “best” trash at their Earth Day Celebration.

Many thanks to the students from Chase River, Departure Bay, Pleasant Valley, Uplands, Bayview, Rock City, Gabriola, Ladysmith Intermediate, Mountain View, Quarterway, and Hammond Bay for all their hard work!




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