A class at Morton Junior High School took what they learned and asked for a change in their school.

The environmental investigation science class was offered to seventh-grade students during the second quarter of this school year. The class started researching the impacts of Styrofoam on the environment. What they learned prompted them to ask the District 709 administration to consider changing from Styrofoam lunch trays in the MJHS cafeteria to something more environmentally friendly.

They made their case in the form of a commercial, Power Point presentations, an electronic brochure, persuasive speeches and graphs from statistics they gathered. The students presented their information and request for change to Superintendent Dr. Lindsey Hall, Assistant Superintendent Craig Smock, MJHS Principal Lee Hoffman and Assistant MJHS Principal Chris Carter in December.

On Friday the students had a pizza party during lunch and Dr. Hall made an announcement.

“I’m really, really proud of you. I hope you learned that your voice matters,” Dr. Hall said to the students. The junior high will use biodegradable lunch trays until the end of this school year. The trays cost more money than Styrofoam, Dr. Hall said, and she will look at the cost and determine if this change will be permanent and applied to other schools.

“They were really happy with the outcome,” Miss Shopiro said about her students. She said the students also had the opportunity to speak with administrators after their presentations.

“I was very nervous. It went really good and it was fun, too,” Ray Ziegler said.

While the students learned about the chemicals in Styrofoam and the health and environmental impacts, they also learned about making a change in the world.

“I learned how something like a little project can make a big difference in your school,” Kassidy Shurman said.

Their hard work paid off.

“We were prepared because we worked a lot. I didn’t think it would change but I guess they liked the idea,” Jack Arnold said.