Eliot-Hine’s Junk Art Club: Wins Storm Drain Contest with Michael Jackson Design!

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A few members of the Junk Art Club (7th graders) with their completed storm drain design!

The storm drains around Eliot-Hine and Eastern High School recently got a face lift! Last fall, the Anacostia Watershed Society put out a call for designs to paint storm drains around the city. Eliot-Hine’s Junk Art Club was one of 20 winners chosen from more than 140 designs submitted! Come check out their winning piece directly across the street from the front doors of Eliot-Hine on Constitution Avenue. There are seven other winning designs on storm drains near Eliot-Hine MS and Eastern HS. All 20 winning designs can be seen here.

The mural designs were chosen based on their connection to the Anacostia River, the local community, and watershed protection issues. The Junk Art Club’s design was based on the Michael Jackson song Man in the Mirror. The design is painted on a blue background that represents the Anacostia River.  A black silhouette of Michael Jackson looks down on the storm drain manhole cover that is painted a metallic silver. The words “I’m starting with the man in the mirror.  I’m asking him to change his ways.  Michael Jackson,” are written in black.

Closer look at the Michael Jackson inspired storm drain, encouraging others to “change his ways” from the Man in the Mirror

The Junk Art Club chose their design because virtually all of the litter that finds its way into the Anacostia River comes from people littering.  Preventing littering from entering storm sewers is one of the most effective ways to reduce the trash found in the Anacostia River.  The Michael Jackson song Man in the Mirror asks people to look “in the mirror” at what they do with waste once they have finished using, e.g., a bottle or a candy wrapper, and if they do litter it encourages them to “change their ways.” Will you join Eliot-Hine in changing your ways and creating a #trashfreedc?

The Junk Art Club received a $750 stipend from the Anacostia Watershed Society for their artwork, and donated the stipend to the Eliot-Hine Parent Teacher Organization at their December 2017 meeting. Thank you to Eliot-Hine’s environmentally conscious and community service driven students paving the way to a better place for all of us!

Junk Art Club donates stipend to Eliot-Hine’s PTO. Heather Schoell, PTO President, pictured here with Elizabeth, 7th grader from the Junk Art Club.



Eliot-Hine’s Award-winning Junk Art Club!


Eliot-Hine is full of fun and innovative extracurriculars. Recently the Junk Art Club was selected as a winner of the Office of the State Superintendent for Education (OSSE) Health and Wellness Award. The Junk Art Club won this $500 award for their efforts to create art out of materials that would normally be considered trash. The club members have created a map of the United States out of cereal boxes and are currently working on a project to recreate one of the panels from the Jacob Lawrence Migration Series out of bottle caps.


Below is an update from their recent adventure with the Anacostia Watershed Society:

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Members of the Junk Art Club spent a day with the Anacostia Watershed Society collecting and sorting trash from the River Terrace Trash Trap. Trash traps are set up along the Anacostia River to prevent trash in storm water sewer outflows from entering the river. In addition to keeping trash out of the river, the students learned the trash traps provide valuable information to policy makers. Data gathered from the trash traps were important pieces of information that led to the five-cent fee on plastic bags, and the recent ban on Styrofoam containers in the District.  The students learned that the five-cent fee on plastic bags led to a significant reduction in plastic bags found in the river. Today the trash traps along the river are collecting primarily plastic and glass beverage containers.

Looking forward to more things the Junk Art Club creates and positive impact they have on the environment!