Local Schools Win Shedd Aquarium's Wreath-Cycled Challenge

Chicagoland Students Helped Deck Shedd’s Halls with Sustainable Splendor

Shedd Aquarium got into the holiday spirit with a fun, annual contest that gave Chicago-area teachers an opportunity to fold environmental education into their classrooms’ holiday celebrations with its Wreath-Cycled Classroom Challenge. Hosted by Shedd Aquarium’s Auxiliary Board, Wreath-Cycled is a holiday tradition designed to promote creativity and conservation among teachers and their classrooms, and encourage them to reduce, reuse and wreath-cycle. Students from kindergarten to high school decked the halls with wreaths built of 100 percent recycled or recyclable materials, which were put on display around Shedd’s Caribbean Reef exhibit.

The 2016 Wreath-Cycled Challenge winners:

Overall Winners

Pre-K – Grade 2:  Lovett Elementary School (Ms. Ramirez’s class)

Grades 3 – 5: Mark Twain Elementary School (Mrs. Panto’s class)

Grades 6 – 8: Wirt-Emerson Visual and Performing Arts High Ability Academy (Mr. Settle’s class)

Grades 9 – 12: Jefferson High School (Mr. Stenberg’s class)

Most Creative

Pre-K – Grade 2:  One Hope United School (Ms. Jeanette’s class)

Grades 3 – 5: Saint John Berchmans (Ms. Engle’s class)

Grades 6 – 8: Indian Trail Middle School (Ms. Kowynia’s class)

Grades 9 – 12: Lincoln Park High School (Mr. Hill’s class)

Best Educational Message

Pre-K – Grade 2:  Sonnets Academy (Ms. Ray’s class)

Grades 3 – 5: Galileo Academy (Ms. Economou’s class)

Grades 6 – 8: John Barry School (Ms. Maciejewski’s class)

Grades 9 – 12: Lincoln Park High School (Ms. Smith’s class)

Fan Favorite On-Site

Paul Revere Primary School (Ms. Hull’s class, Grade 2)

Fan Favorite Online

Bright Horizons at Kemper Lakes (Ms. Leonard and Ms. Smith’s classes, Pre-K)

Classrooms were challenged to build a wreath out of recycled materials celebrating the theme “Water Wellness.” Along with their wreaths, classrooms were required to submit an essay responding to the prompt, “How does protecting our waterways, conserving resources and responsibly enjoying the environment promote water wellness?” Each classroom took its own unique approach to addressing the theme. 

The classrooms selected as the overall winners will receive a sponsored field trip to Shedd Aquarium. Other category winners will receive gift cards for purchasing classroom supplies.


High resolution photos of the wreaths hanging at Shedd are available for download:


Photos of winning wreaths are available for download:


Photos of all wreaths and essays can be viewed on Shedd’s Facebook page:


Photo credit: ©Shedd Aquarium/Brenna Hernandez

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