Bead-lieve it or Not…Microbeads are Everywhere!

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The following posts were written by three EarthTeam interns about their most recent event.


Recently, we had a very successful event at our school called Bead-Lieve it or Not. Since our main theme this year is reducing the impact of microplastics in our waterways, we decided to use this event to educate our peers on just that.

As teenagers, we often struggle with acne and varying amounts of skin problems. this leads us to be one of the biggest demographic groups consuming face and body scrubs. Often times, these exfoliating miracle products are harming the earth and its ecosystems in drastic ways. Even though these products give us silky smooth skin, many contain microbeads.

I noted this. I also noted the rise in popularity of DIY face and body scrubs. This made for the perfect plan. Why not encourage my friends and peers to use organic scrubs?

When asked if we had any ideas for an event, I presented my idea and was pleasantly surprised to get so much positive feedback. We started prepping for the event immediately.

Although it took a little while, we got everything planned out. We first started with the time and location. When doing this, we took into consideration how we could impact the most people. We couldn’t do it after school because many kids leave right away and we couldn’t do it in the hallway because it could get in the way of foot traffic. The library pit was our best shot. By picking this location, we were able to have a place with tables, a projector, good flow of passersby, and places for people to sit. Lunch time also seemed like our best bet. This was because people like to sit during this time, perfect so that we could talk to them.

Next, we came up with other activities. While I spearheaded the skin scrub activity, a few other of my group members decided to make arts and crafts out of recycled materials which was way cool. Another group ran a game of jeopardy and a raffle. Just like I learned in my economics class, we used incentives to our benefit. We raffled off new water bottles and gave out the scrubs for free!

I have two favorite things about this project. First, was making the face and body scrubs. My group members and I had so much fun doing this. It was a really good bonding experience as well because I had conversations with some members I hadn’t talked to as much as others. By the end of it, we were all joking and laughing. Since the scrub is all natural, it was edible! A few of us were able to try some and it actually tasted really good, like a brownie almost. I loved naming the scrubs too, it made me feel like we were actually in a sincere company.

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My second favorite thing about this project was the actual implementation of it. I consider myself a pretty social person and I just loved talking to all my fellow students about a topic I am very passionate about. This experience helped me with my people skills and made me feel like I could make a big impact on others. I loved seeing their changed opinions on store bought skin scrubs.

At first this was just a simple idea, but I’m so glad it became so much more. – Quincy T.


Perspective #2

The event we planned on February 25th I think was very well thought out in general, and the team did a spectacular job in getting everything ready for the event. Although in my opinion, if we contacted each other outside the internship, and planned to get things done off our internship time, we could have gotten things done quicker and the event could have gone more smoothly. We had a good agenda set, with the face scrubs, the pledge cards, and the jeopardy game, but the participants of the event did not really know what to do, even though it was clear with us saying where everything was and with the signs directing people, we could have made them larger and directed people before the event actually started to do their pledge cards and get their face scrubs BEFORE we started the main activity (in this case it was jeopardy).

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I think the main flaw that we did foresee but did not actually fix was estimating how long the jeopardy game would take. I think if we had a person try out the game before hand and see what could go wrong first and how long the game would take, it would allow us to plan our time better. In our event this time, we did net have enough time at the end for people to make last minute pledges and look at the face scrubs. I also think we should have designated a speaker and organizer of the actual event, and then people to speak about each individual part of the event when prompted telling the participants what the goal of each is, as I think it could have been more effective. It seemed that participants were generally interested in what the face scrubs were for, but they didn’t really see the reason for them, which was to address the problem of micro beads. But I also think we will definitely learn from this as a team, and make better judgments in the future.

The positives did outweigh the negatives however, I think we did a great job in creating this event from scratch. The pledge cards were a great incentive in getting people to reconsider trash, even if they might not go out of their way to pick it up, I think they will look at their own habits considering littering. The jeopardy game, although it did not exactly pertain to trash, it did a great job at making people realize how little we actually know about how we influence the environment; I was surprised myself, even though I had seen some of the facts before hand. The face scrubs were also a very interesting and unique part of the event that is so different from other events people go to at school, it definitely caught them off guard when they got this weird yet aesthetically pleasing free sample, hopefully showing how easy yet effective micro bead free products are. I think the participants had a fun time themselves, even if the jeopardy game was a little rushed, everyone got at least a little something at the end, and learned a little something about how we effect our local environment. – Kyle A.


Perspective #3

As Alameda High Earth Team Interns’ first self-directed on-campus event, it was a great success!

All interns had worked hard throughout the planning and implementation of the Bead-lieve it or not event. The interns were distributed into three different teams to work on separate projects to educate the public about the environment. The Jeopardy team made a Jeopardy game, consisting of different levels of environmental science questions to educate the students about energy conservation, the environment of Alameda, water conservation, etc. Since most students in the event participated in the jeopardy game, it attracted a lot of students’ attention and became the highlight of the event. The planning part of the Jeopardy game was mainly to research on the questions and to make the jeopardy game. Using the convenient online Jeopardy generator, the Jeopardy team successfully created a fun game for students to learn. The implementation of the game was mainly to facilitate throughout the event, which included separating the students into different teams, adding up points for each team, guiding teams throughout the game, announcing the winner, and giving out the prizes for the final winning team. Because of the unexpected technological issue and lack of good preparation, the jeopardy game did not turn out exactly as expected, but the goals were definitely accomplished. A good solution for that problem would be to run through the event at least once prior to event day so that all teams can be more prepared.

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The face scrub team was mainly in charge of preparing and making organic face scrub without microbeads. By providing free scrubs in small containers, this team successfully attracted a lot of students to come and take a few home to try. Afterwards, we also heard great feedbacks from the users. The planning of the face scrubs team involves researching reliable and safe recipes, buying materials, making samples, and preparing to explain why this is useful and important to our environmental, and why should we all care about. The face scrub team had a great success because their “products” benefited a lot of students and attracted a lot of students, who came for the free face scrubs. To name one improvement, the team could have explained more to the students what microbeads are and other related contents and statistics so that the students can have a better understanding of environmental science. Other than that, the face scrub team did a great job planning and implementing the event.

The Raffle team did their most work planning the event because there was not enough time on Thursday to let them draw the raffles during lunch. The lack of time management was the main factor. However, it was great to have Dr. Griffith to draw the raffles on Tuesday and send out the gifts to the two lucky environmental science students. The planning of the Raffle team mainly involves researching on the environmental-friendly prizes, preparing the raffle tickets and making a clear box for the tickets. Unfortunately, there was not enough time to draw the tickets on the day of the event, which would have been even more surprising and satisfying for the students.

Our first event was not perfect, but it was really good as our first self-directed event. The high attendance turnout was also a success. We will do better and better in our future events. – Haiwen C.