S: Adventures with Walden and the Magic Box
3: Deep in the heart of the Pacific Ocean, Walden the whale awoke from his nap. That was so scary, he thought as he recalled his dream. Walden rubbed his eyes with his flippers and tried to move on with his day. Still, the dream haunted him. Too many scary pictures were running through his mind. He needed to get away to a place where he could forget his fears.
4: Whizzing past his sister, Walden quickly swam out into the open waters. He swam and swam until he could see her no more. Wondering what new place he would find, he fluttered his fins faster than ever. His heart pounded with fear, anticipation, and excitement all at once. Traveling quickly past the schools of fish, he went farther than he had ever been before. These new waters were unfamiliar to him, and since he was not as brave as other whales, he closed his eyes in fright of the unknown. Up and up he went to catch his breath after the tiring swim.
6: As he rose to the surface with his eyes squinted shut, he crashed. Metal, plastic, and oil surrounded the length of his body. He fluttered his fins in disgust and tried to push the mush away, but there was just so much of it!
7: What is this dirty place? He thought frantically. It was just like his dream. There were things everywhere. Walden wanted to cry. This was not the escape from his dream that he wanted. As Walden sighed, he decided that this place was even worse than any nightmare he had before. | Amidst his disappointment, something shiny caught his eye. Pleased that his trip might not be worthless after all, he decided to figure out what it was. With all his might, he pushed his way through the hoards of gray and black slush. Squished in between a plastic bottle and tin foil, floated the Magic Box!
8: Walden flapped his flipper against the Magic Box, and it lit up. The colors dazzled him. Walden decided that his discovery must be very valuable, so he took the steps to ensure he did not lose it. He quickly found a long piece of kelp and fashioned it into a big loop that he could use to hold onto this mysterious item. | What is this? I wonder what kind of magic this box does. What secrets does it keep? Whatever it was, he could tell that it hadn't been there for long. It was in far better condition than anything else in that swirl of gunk.
9: An image filled the screen. It was something he had never seen before. He called it the Vine of Color. Not bothering to explore the other secrets the box held, he raced home to share his newfound treasure with, Willa, his little sister.
10: When Walden arrived, Willa was busy playing hide-and-seek in the kelp. He called out, “Willa, you have to see this! It is the most amazing toy I have seen in my entire life!” | “Go away! You're going to give away my hiding place!” She whispered angrily. | “But Willa, you have to see this! I promise it'll be worth your while,” he pleaded.
11: “Alright, I guess I could sneak away for a few minutes,” she sighed. Walden pulled her out of the kelp, and they snuck away into Walden's favorite cave. | “Oooo, you never bring me to your cave! This must be important! Does it have to do with the box in your flipper?” Willa asked excitedly.
12: In his flipper, lay the Magic Box filled with secrets. Willa was immediately captivated by what she saw. Bright, vibrant yellows, pinks, greens, and blues filled the screen. | “What is that?” she asked Walden as she snatched the box out of his flipper. Magically, the image transformed into a dull, gray building.
13: By accident, Willa had stumbled upon the button that changed the image. | “This picture isn't nearly as pretty as the other one. It's ugly, and it makes me sad. I'll call it the Steam Box,” she decided. | Walden pondered whether this Steam Box had anything to do with that awful patch of garbage he discovered earlier.
15: Click! Another picture appeared. They called it Kelp above the Sea. Click! The next picture puzzled them. It looked like boats that rolled on top of inner tubes. They proclaimed them to be Boats on Wheels.
16: Willa shoved the Magic Box back to Walden. The impact caused a click and a frightening flash! It almost blinded Walden. | “Whoa, that's you on the screen! Where did you find this interesting toy, Walden?”
17: Walden grabbed his sister by her flipper and led her towards the murky slush. They swam away from the cave. As they moved along, they noticed other animals heading in the same direction.
18: Among the critters that they saw, Walden and Willa approached a wise sea turtle. They showed him the strange Steam Box, and he knew exactly what it was. “Really? What do they do there?” the whales asked intrigued. “Well kids, that is what humans call a factory,” the turtle explained.
20: “It looks scary,” Willa added. “Humans make things in the factories. Then, they sell the things they make to other people. The factory is a bad place though,” explained the turtle. “Why?” “These things called chemicals are released from the factories and pollute our waters. These chemicals have been making my life extremely difficult.” “That's terrible!” exclaimed Walden and Willa.
21: “I know it. The other sea turtles and I have been trying to make the most of it though,” he responded somberly. Before the whales left, they asked the sea turtle to be a part of their Magic Box. The turtle graciously accepted. With a click, his image was added to their collection. Walden and Willa continued.
22: Next, they bumped into a distraught seahorse. | “What's wrong?” they questioned. | “I'm just feeling a little blue,” the seahorse spoke.
23: Willa nudged Walden, “Show him! Looking at the Magic Box will make him feel better.” “Do you want to take a look at this amazing Magic Box I found?” Walden asked. The seahorse took the Magic Box and flipped through the images. He stopped at a green image.
24: “That's Kelp above the Sea,” Walden explained. The seahorse laughed, “Actually friends, those are called trees. They are very important for my survival.” “What do these trees do?” probed Willa. “Well dear, trees have the ability to get rid of a harmful substance called carbon dioxide. Since people have been cutting down the trees, carbon dioxide has been growing out of control and destroying my home.”
25: “Is there something we can do to help?” pleaded Walden. “To fix the problem? No,” the seahorse led on, “humans need to make a change. But, there is something we can do! We can make them aware of how they are destroying our habitats.” Walden and Willa thought about what they could do to help the seahorse and the other animals. Before they left, they offered to save his image in the Magic Box. Click! They swam on.
26: As they reached the surface, they blinded a dolphin with a flash from their Magic Box. | “My eyes!” cried the dolphin. She was searching for food, but was unlucky for all she could find was plastic floating around her. “Since people started dumping their trash in the ocean, finding food has been a huge obstacle. I sometimes even eat plastic because I think it's food. It makes me really sick!” | “How awful!” proclaimed Walden and Willa.
27: The tales that they had heard worried them. They wanted to protect the sea creatures, but they were unsure of what to do. They treaded angrily through the trash infested waters. And suddenly...
28: “I got it!” Walden exclaimed.
29: “Got what?” inquired Willa. | “My Magic Box holds all the answers!”
30: That's when they saw a boat coming, and they decided to catch the people's attention. | Making sure the Magic Box floated in clear view, Walden and Willa thrashed up and down out of the water. | As the spectators came to get a closer look, they noticed the Magic Box floating in the ocean. Willa and Walden disappeared under the water. The people on the boat reeled the box in and examined the pictures.
31: As they looked through the Magic Box, they found horrifying images of the factory and the Boat on Wheels. The people witnessed the beauty of marine life, but they also saw how their lifestyle affected the ability for underwater creatures to live. The animals were too precious to harm, so the people decided to make a change to better the conditions for the animals.
32: First, people brought awareness to the slush that filled the ocean. They shared the images from Walden's Magic Box in schools.
33: Children began planting trees in their school gardens to help sea critters, such as the seahorse.
34: People organized beach clean ups that were sponsored by eco-friendly companies to help the cause. More and more people joined the effort by actively picking up trash and other various objects that polluted the water.
35: Little by little, the slush began to disappear. Once again, Walden and his friends began to flourish in the waters. | Walden had no idea that he and his Magic Box helped save the ocean!
36: Boats on Wheels The name that Walden and Willa give to cars. Cars are a mode of transportation that damages the environment by polluting the air. Kelp Above the Sea The name that Walden and Willa give to trees. Trees are plants that help the environment by absorbing harmful pollutants, such as those created by cars. Magic Box The name that Walden gives to his camera. The camera makes Walden, Willa, the sea critters, and the people aware of what is polluting the ocean. Steam Box The name that Willa gives to factories. Factories are places where machines make lots of products in a short amount of time, but they often emit destructive pollutants into the air and ocean. Vine of Color The name that Walden gives to flowers. Flowers are a small plant that is vital to the diet of many small insects. Much like Walden's friends need food to eat in the ocean, animals on land need their food preserved as well.
37: Learn more about the Great Pacific Garbage Patch and see what you can do to help out the environment! Check out some of the resources provided below! For Kids: Earth Force http://www.earthforce.org/ Gorilla in the Greenhouse http://www.greengorilla.com/ Miracle Miracle http://miracle-kids.net/en/ For Parents and Teachers: Facing the Future http://www.facingthefuture.org/ Green Schools Initiative http://www.nationalgeographic.com/ North American Association for Environmental Education http://eelink.net/pages/EE-Link+Introduction Information for All: National Geographic http://www.nationalgeographic.com/ PlanetPals.com http://www.planetpals.com/
38: Nicole Garabetian is also a junior at San Jose State University. She is a Liberal Studies major, and her focus is in education. Currently, she works with kindergartners in an after-school program. She has started a paper recycling system within her classroom. | Jessica Apple is a junior at San Jose State studying to become an elementary school teacher. Presently, she is a gymnastics teacher, and she rides the Light Rail to work to save the environment.
39: Philina Lin is studying at San Jose State University to become a teacher and is currently working with resource teachers at a public bilingual elementary school. She has also recently participated in beautifying a park on Earth Day, April 22. | Stephani Higginson is a senior at San Jose State University. She is a Child and Adolescent major. To help save our beautiful planet, she recycles plastic bottles and aluminum cans whenever she can.