BTT Lost at Sea - A Plastic Pollution Odyssey

by  Bash the Trash Environmental Arts

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Take a virtual voyage exploring environmental issues endangering our oceans! Featuring our strange and wonderful musical instruments built from reused materials, our intrepid captain will take students on an online high seas journey in which they’ll encounter floating trash, macro and microplastics, and ocean-spanning garbage patches. Baked-in instrument-building activities are included for maximum engagement. This program opens up a conversation about the future of our oceans in a safe and age-appropriate manner for students elementary through middle school.

Program Rating

This program has not yet been evaluated.
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About This Program


Multipoint: $220.00
Point to Point: $220.00

This workshop is intended for a single classroom, but 4 additional classrooms may sign in.
First classroom: $220
Up to four additional classrooms @$55 each


45 minutes; with Q&A can go longer

Target Audience

Education: Grade(s) 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, Homeschool/Family , Learning PodPublic Library: Library Patrons

Minimum participants:


Maximum participants:

Full school, but separate shows for K-2, 3-5, 6-8 recommended

Primary Disciplines

Fine Arts, Performing Arts, Problem Solving, Sciences, Social Studies/History, STEM

Program Delivery Mode

Zoom or YouTube Live

Booking Information

Book it!

Receive this program and 9 more for one low price when you purchase the CILC Virtual Expeditions package. Learn more

For more information contact CILC at (507) 388-3672

Provider's Cancellation Policy

If for any reason the recipient wishes to reschedule up to 24 hours before the program, Bash the Trash will make every effort to accommodate the rescheduling.

If for any reason the recipient wishes to cancel a program, there is no fee up to 24 hours before the program. Cancellation within 24 hours of program, with no rescheduling possible, entails payment of the full fee.

However, in the case of a weather or pandemic-related cancellation within 24 hours of program, please contact us and we'll work it out.

About This Provider

Content Provider logo


Bash the Trash Environmental Arts

United States

Bash the Trash programs are about music, science, culture, arts and the environment! Centered around the concept of sustainability, we’ve been building and performing with found-object instruments for over 30 years, making connections to plastic pollution and climate change. 

Over time our programs have evolved into a wide range of musical and cultural experiences that go beyond homemade instruments. Our diverse crew of presenters offer a series of programs based on their individual artistic skills and cultural backgrounds, making connections with students through their amazing experiences. We’re eager to interact with audiences through the arts, Q&A and conversation to create true cultural and artistic exchanges. 

Hands-on instrument-building or art-making is possible in most programs using simple reused/repurposed materials. Bash the Trash offers workshop/performances and multiple-session residencies as well as fun and useful professional development for educators, all closely aligned to national and local standards. Plus Bash the Trash programs are great for special days like Earth Day, National Recycling Day and World Water Day! 

Ian Bertles

Program Details


1 - Audience joins the captain of the good ship BTT Lost at Sea in harbor. Introductions are made, Q&A is discussed, some parameters are set, and we set sail to discover if BTT can do anything about reducing plastic waste.
2 - At sea, the captain shares some of the research they have done plastic; what it is, where it comes from and where it goes.
3 - We discover some floating plastic trash, and turn it into instruments. Students build simple instruments at this point as well (this is optional depending on the age and desired engagement level) and join in a song.
4 - We enter the garbage patch, sharing pictures and graphs, and discover more about how harmful plastic can be to the ocean life, ecosystems, and can even accelerate climate change.
5 - [spoiler alert] Our boat runs aground on garbage! We have to get creative with available resources in order to get back to harbor...
6 - Back in harbor, we recapitulate, discuss plastics in a realistic way that accepts the good - respirators, lightweight materials for electric cars - and highlights the bad - just about any single-use commercial plastics. We lay out some possible ways that students can help to join the fight agains plastic pollutions, and open the door for further discussion.
7 - Q&A with our audience! This can be via text or on-camera, depending on the connection technology and privacy concerns.


This show is intended to raise awareness of plastic pollution issues in our oceans, and explore possible solutions. Along the way we explore creative use of repurposed materials and show students a different way of looking at resources around them.

- Raise awareness of plastic pollution in our oceans
- Explore the dangers of microplastics
- Make connections between plastic pollution and global climate change
- Explore creative solutions to new and difficult problems
- Look at innovative ways to use trash as a resource
- Discover how to help fight against plastic pollution

Standards Alignment

National Standards

BTT Lost at Sea focuses on two main subjects:
Sound - waves, vibrations, instrument families, resonance, etc.
Sustainability - plastic pollution, climage change, microplastics, resources, Reduce/Reuse/Recycle etc.
In terms of the science connections, BTT programs connect to the following NexGen Science Standards... or as much as possible within a 45" program... just being realistic!

1st Grade
1-PS4-1, Wave Properties: Waves and Their Applications Technologies for Information Transfer
1-PS4-1 Plan and conduct investigations to provide evidence that vibrating materials can make sound and that sound can make materials vibrate.
1-PS4-4 Use tools and materials to design and build a device that uses light or sound to solve the problem of communicating over a distance.
Crosscutting Concept: Cause and Effect

2nd Grade
2-PS1 Matter and its Interactions
2-PS1 Plan and conduct an investigation to describe and classify different kinds of materials by their observable properties.
2-PS2 Plan and conduct an investigation to describe and classify different kinds of materials by their observable properties.
Crosscutting Concept: Patterns; Cause and Effect
K-2 ETS1 Engineering Design
K-2-ETS1-2 Develop a simple sketch, drawing, or physical model to illustrate how the shape of an object helps it function as needed to solve a given problem.
Crosscutting Concept: Structure and Function

3rd Grade
3-PS2 Motion and Stability
3-PS2-1 Plan and conduct an investigation to provide evidence of the effects of balanced and unbalanced forces on the motion of an object.
3-PS2-1 Plan and conduct an investigation to provide evidence of the effects of balanced and unbalanced forces on the motion of an object.
Crosscutting Concept: Patterns; Cause and Effect

4th Grade
4-PS3 Energy
4-PS3-2 Make observations to provide evidence that energy can be transferred from place to place by sound, light, heat, and electric currents.
4-PS4 Waves
4-PS4-1 Develop a model of waves to describe patterns in terms of amplitude and wavelength and that waves can cause objects to move.
4PS4-3 Generate and compare multiple solutions that use patterns to transfer information.
Crosscutting Concept: Patterns; Cause and Effect

5th Grade
5-PS1 Matter and its Interactions
5-PS1-1 Develop a model to describe that matter is made of particles too small to be seen.
5-ESS3 Earth and Human Activity
5-ESS3-2 Generate and compare multiple solutions to reduce the impacts of natural
Earth processes on humans.
Crosscutting Concept: Cause and Effect
5-ESS3, Earth and Human Activity
5-ESS3.C: Human activities in agriculture, industry and everyday life have had major effects on the land, vegetation, streams, ocean, air and even outer space. But individuals and communities are doing things to help protect Earth’s resources and environments.
Crosscutting Concept: Systems and System Models
3-5-ETS1 Engineering Design
3-5-ETS1-1 Define a simple design problem reflecting a need or a want that includes specified criteria for success and constraints on materials, time, or cost.
Crosscutting Concept: Influence of Science, Engineering and Technology on Society and the Natural World

Middle School
MS-PS4 Waves and their Applications in Technologies for Information Transfer
MS-PS4-2 Develop and use a model to describe that waves are reflected, absorbed, or transmitted through various materials

High School
HS-PS3 Energy
HS-PS3-2 Develop and use models to illustrate that energy at the macroscopic scale can be accounted for as a combination of energy associated with the motions of particles (objects) and energy associated with the relative positions of particles (objects).

State Standards

available upon request