Bottle boat exhibit opens at Kentucky Science Center on America Recycles Day

An exhibit featuring a boat made of discarded plastic water bottles opened Friday at the Kentucky Science Center.

The “bottle boat” features more than 3,000 bottles collected by a group of ecology students at Louisville Male High School.

The students constructed the boat last spring after seeing hundreds of empty water bottles scattered along the banks of Beargrass Creek where they were collecting water samples.

“I noticed these large formations of plastic water bottles. When I came back to school, I realized that if I don’t do something, who will?” Senior Katie Norman said.

After tossing around a few ideas on how to solve the waste issue, Norman came up with the idea to build the boat. Her ecology teacher, Angela Page, said repurposing the bottles into a boat was a great hands-on lesson about sustainability.

“It’s OK to learn from a book but to build a boat and actually go out and talk to people is more powerful,” Page said.

Not only did the students build the boat, they sailed in it down the Ohio River during The Subway Fresh Fit Hike, Bike & Paddle event hosted by Mayor Greg Fischer.

The boat is now on display at the Kentucky Science Center as a part of its second annual Make Your Season celebration and STEAM learning lab.

America Recycles Day is sponsored by the Keep America Beautiful program and encourages everyone to reduce, reuse and recycle.

More: Students’ bottle boat sheds light on river waste