Sixth graders show off inventions throughout cardboard convention
Matthew C. Perry 6th grade students gathered at the M.C. Perry playground in the second cardboard convention with their contraptions made from recyclable material May 17, 2013, to better understand engineering and the fun of creating something once imagined.
“We do this in conjunction with STEM, Science Technology Engineering and Math,” said Jennifer Walker, Math and Science 6th grade teacher and cardboard convention sponsor. “Last year, we decided to have the kids make things out of recycled material, mainly cardboard, because there is always a lot of cardboard around.”
The level of skill shown by the young engineers wowed the gathering crowd.
“We have a car made completely out of recycled metal, a soda vending machine, a skeeball machine that returns the balls, working gumball machines and a stop light that works, as well as various other items the kids have made,” said Walker.
Along with the other items on display, viewable at the front of the rows of items, a large Tow-Mater tow-truck with a working crane made from recycled cardboard and metal. In addition, one student's project stood ready to satisfy thirsty passers-by.
“I made a vending machine,” said Alexia Lopez, 12, a 6th grade student and cardboard convention participant.“I took two golf club boxes and stacked them on top of each other, then inside I placed a little box where there was a slot where the coin would go in and then a stick where it would push the soda off the edge when the coin hit it.”
Learning to think outside the box at a young age helps improve young minds toward better success in the future,Walker said.
“We want to encourage these kids to use more recyclable materials to make things work better and learn because companies are always looking for people like that,” said Walker.
Students possessed different opinions about the process of participating in the convention.
“I enjoyed painting it and learning the science behind what makes things work,” said Lopez. “I like science, building things and architecture. I would maybe like to be an architect one day.”
The 6th grade cardboard convention is the first step in the process of another cardboard convention slated for the entire school in upcoming weeks.