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How to Use Recycled Cardboard in the Classroom

How to Use Recycled Cardboard in the Classroom

Recycling cardboard is one of the main reasons Central Kentucky Fiber Resources exists. We do it on an industrial, global scale, serving those manufacturers whose products are designed to reduce demand for space in overflowing landfills. But we love it when people take old cardboard otherwise destined for our customers and use it to manufacture really cool things locally. As the material of choice for crafts and as an educational tool, cardboard's versatility has few limits.

The things you can do with recycled cardboard are limited only by your imagination, but we thought we would show you a few activities and projects to spark your creative genius and those of students everywhere.

Bryan Station High School Family Crest Project

We have a driver, Jason, who is also a great dad. His daughter's class received an assignment to design and build family crests with cardboard. These clever students displayed considerable artistic talent by layering elements of their crests to create three-dimensional representations of their family seals. We really like the ferocious stag crest Jason's daughter, Tamara, designed. It might make you think twice when hunting season rolls around!

University of Kentucky Greek Siege Event

Those who appreciate the benefits of recycling tend to engage in other socially-laudable projects. Take the fraternities at U of K, for example. As a fundraising drive for Habitat for Humanity, they produced a Greek Event wherein they battled each other with water balloons in a variety of contests. One friendly conflict required the groups to devise cardboard forts and launch water balloons at the others to see whose fort held out the longest. Who says recycling can't be fun, too?

We have a driver, Jason, who is also a great dad. His daughter's class received an assignment to design and build family crests with cardboard. These clever students displayed considerable artistic talent by layering elements of their crests to create three-dimensional representations of their family seals. We really like the ferocious stag crest Jason's daughter, Tamara, designed.

Monster Jaws Craft for the Little Lambdas

You don't have to be an undergrad to appreciate the many possibilities for amusement with cardboard. Here, we bring you the Cereal Box Monster Jaws project by which you can teach some simple engineering principles to a younger crowd. One-pound boxes formerly containing breakfast cereal serves up the cardboard. It's a simple design that resembles those expandable coffee cup wall hangers. A few simple craft supplies and you can teach children the foundations of lever action while they have a blast. 

Renaissance Recycling

Cardboard forts, crests and snapping dragons make for a theme. So, for those rambunctious middle school students, the perfect classroom team project could be to build and test a medieval trebuchet with a large supply of cardboard. Give them permission to launch super-sized spit wads and watch their mischievous eyes light up. Will they even know they're diverting cardboard from the landfill and learning complex mechanical engineering facts? Probably not. But what better way to sneak information into the head of an adolescent, right? This more involved cardboard machine can be scaled down if needed and will keep the kids engrossed for quite a while. Who knows, it could propel a few into STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) careers.

At Central Kentucky Fiber Resources, we recycle and market recovered paper products, as well as metals and plastics, by the truckload. But we encourage everyone to think about all the fun, interesting things to fashion from recycled cardboard. Every little bit spared from the dump is a good thing. If your organization is ready to collect recyclables, we offer a large variety of supplies by which to do so. Give us a call to see how we can help your enterprise go green.

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