Persell Middle School Students Create Upcycling Projects

Persell Middle School sixth grade students, Camille Czerniak, shows off her upcycle project. Submitted image.

JAMESTOWN – Persell Middle School fifth and sixth graders learned a bit more about the environmental implications of items they use every day through creating innovative projects, called “upcycling,” in Tim Whitacre’s Technology class.

Tin cans were used to create objects ranging from chandeliers to dogs to robots to camp stoves.

“Last year our department discussed, and worked, to implement, a change from technology education to career and technology education,” said Whitacre. “When we were looking through the curriculum information, we saw an option to do upcycling as a project idea.  I did something similar with my Accel kids last year. While doing the research for this project, I realized that there were too many ideas to pick from, and with consultation from JPS Instructional Coach Jayme Genco, decided that using tin cans would be something that was readily available and inexpensive.”

As part of the project, Whitacre discussed the environmental implications of items students use everyday.

They discussed pollution and how landfills are near capacity.

In addition, they talked about the Great Pacific Garbage Patch and watched a portion of a video on how garbage is washing up on Midway Island in the Pacific Ocean and wreaking havoc on the wildlife.

Students spent time using their computers or iPads to explore ideas from the Internet.

They had specific requirements to follow to build their upcycle project including: sketching their project first and creating a list of what they would need to build it.

The project goal was that the item would be something that a person at a craft fair would want to purchase.


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