Students take on cardboard challenge
Imagination. Problem-solving. Creativity. Communication. Kwethluk fifth-graders used all of these to create inventions out of cardboard and tape.
"Press the buttons on my robot," Matthew asked the principal when he came to the classroom.
"Make a copy on our copy machine," Heather requested.
"This is my hover-craft," Michael pointed to the "air bags" he had taped to the bottom of a box with a ramp for moving machinery.
Most students worked in groups of two or three to build everything from drums to houses with awnings and doors that they could crawl into.
Mrs. Henke, the fifth-grade teacher in Kwethluk, heard about the Cardboard Challenge last year on the internet. This is the second year she has dedicated classroom time to it.
She has the students come up with guidelines about sharing materials, helping each other, and not destroying someone else's work, then she lets them go with whatever ideas they have. "The students are using math skills measuring and building. They are using important communication skills and problem-solving to find solutions," she said.
Henke allowed about two and a half hours of total classroom time for the challenge and felt it was well-worth it. "The students are completely engaged in their work. They are so proud of what they created! I am amazed at their ability to come up with these things!" Henke commented.
The boys and girls learned that it is fun and challenging to recycle and be creative. Each year the International Cardboard Challenge is held on the first Friday of October. Kids all over the world are encouraged to engage in creating whatever they can think of using recycled cardboard. The fifth graders in Kwethluk amazed themselves, each other, and their teacher with what they created.