Up-cycling in Bali, Indonesia

Did you know there’s a school in Bali whose goal is to “empower and inspire…students to be creative, innovative, green leaders”? It’s called Greenschool (awarded “ 2012 Greenest School on Earth” by U.S. Green Building Council’s Center for Green Schools). Greenschool teacher Matt Shroads shares how he used Caine’s Arcade to help his 2nd-grade students explore sustainability, up-cycling and the life-cycle of trash. Very cool! Read more below.

Green School in Bali. Photo by Matt Shroads

Green School in Bali. Photo by Matt Shroads

The Basics:

“Matt From Greenschool here.  Last year during our 3R’s unit we came across the “Caine’s Arcade” video online and were inspired to culminate our unit by re-using / “up-cycling” all of our recyclables into an entire arcade (created and run by Grade 2).  All the proceeds went to support local good causes (Dr Ating Foundation and also the Begawan Foundation both of which support local sustainability efforts).  Grade 2 had an absolute blast and the whole school / community did too!”


“This 2nd grade unit lasted approximately 4 weeks (but I only see the kids for 2 hours per week).  We discussed the 3 R’s, identifying the distinction between each of them and focusing mainly on the “future of trash”… looking at the difference between recycling and throwing it into a rubbish pile or burning it, etc.  Towards the end of the unit we explored ways that we could help to give the trash a better future and one of them was re-using / up-cycling.  After watching the Caine’s Arcade video the kids were totally inspired to do something similar… so we did!”

“I gave the kids 3 whole hours (different days) to design, build and then fix or improve their arcade games.  The first day that had to draw on a white board their game idea and explain how someone could play their game… including how many turns they would get to play, how the game could be “won”, etc.  The last day was mostly letting the kids go around and play each-other’s games and tell each other what they liked best about the game.  Finally, we decided to charge money at our arcade in order to support a local NGO promoting sustainability!  We opened the arcade up a few different days at a few different times and only let a certain number of people in to play.  The kids ran their station or game.  It was truly a blast… we ended up having tons of student, teachers and parents fighting for their turn to play!”

~Matt Shroad