Service Learning: Geode Bath Bombs

Last Friday, our Year 9 girls participated in a grade wide service learning day where they design posters, create games or interactive activities or a saleable item to raise money and create awareness about this disease in the school community. As part of the NSW syllabus (Stage 5 Living World), students are to recognise how society influences the focus of scientific research.

According to the Cancer Australia, Breast Cancer was the most commonly diagnosed cancer in Australia last year. Hence, my class chose to make geode bath bombs to raise money for the National Breast Cancer Foundation. With Mother’s Day coming up in the following weekend, the girls packaged the bath bombs in the iconic pink ribbon to be sold for a ranging price of $1-$5. The project ran 2 weeks long in class, where students researched about the disease and created geode bath bombs according to the Buzzfeed video recipe. A couple of ingredient/tool substitutes were used including rock salt (instead of epsom salt) and paper cupcake trays (instead of spherical bath bomb  moulds).

My girls raised $62 as a class. Other classes had petting zoos, tie dye t-shirts, mason jars filled with beauty goodies, raffles, candles and more. In total, the grade raised around $800 with the final proceeds donated to the cause chosen by the class that raised the most money.

The service learning project involved hours of preparation outside of the classroom by the teachers involved. The materials I purchased was approximately $55 in total and allowed the students to make around 60 bath bombs.


Positives 

  • Students REALLY enjoyed the service learning. A few students took the initiative to personally advertise to other students during roll call. Every student was happy to do some hands-on learning.
  • Every student had a role to play for a successful sale. Some students went around to students and teachers to personally sell the larger bath bombs whilst others managed the store and collected money.
  • Students felt individual and group success when they finished producing a saleable product.

Negatives

  • Increased hours of preparation. I went to the shops twice and spent half a day finding ingredients. I also trialled the bath bombs twice at home. The first time was a failure as I couldn’t get the bath bombs out of their moulds in one piece. The second time I lined the bath bomb moulds with glad wrap as well as used paper cupcake trays (This worked really well!).
  • High competition between classes. Although it wasn’t a competition… it really was.
  • Product over cause. The emphasis became more about the product than raising awareness about the disease.

Verdict

It is worth it but be prepared to smell like rose and coconut oil. Line your bath with a rubber mat as the bath can get slippery from the oil.

Next time, I want the students to focus on the disease and look at case studies of people who have been diagnosed with the disease. This can make the learning more personable for the students and help students understand what they are really raising money for.

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