Empowering Student Innovation for a Clean Energy Future

Upcycle-Topia (A Sustainable and Energy Efficient City)

We are a team of fourth graders from Timber Lakes Elementary School. We (along with two other students) won third place in the virtual EnergyWhiz for our energy transfer machine, The Strikers, and were given the chance to enter the in -person contest as a result. We chose to enter the Energy Inspired Art contest so that we could upcycle some of the materials we used for the first contest (and some other materials available to repurpose from our school’s STEM Lab) and make a city out of recycled materials for our Energy Transfer Bowling team to “live” in. Our city is like a Utopia because it uses renewable energy and is made from materials that might have been thrown away and eventually into a landfill. We have tiny people helping with the environment so it won’t turn into a garbage can, they are many things around this little world helping and saving the environment by using energy responsibly.

Medium: Repurposed scrap paper from poster board and painted scraps, upcycled materials from our energy transfer machine, upcycled materials from Lego robot kits that contain a lot of packaging, large cardboard boxes, markers, upcycled cardboard boxes

Team Members:  Jenna L.(grade 4), Abigail B.(grade 4), Ava P.(grade 4),Daksha A.(grade 4)

The process we followed to create our Upcycle-Topia project included:

  1. We brainstormed ways we could use our E.T.M project materials to create an art project that can teach others about responsible energy use.
  2. We researched and thought about ways renewable and non-renewable energy are used in our local community and in the world.
  3. We imagined a Utopian world where everyone recycled, built community gardens, used water responsibly, and harvested natural resources to power a community and came up with the name for our project.
  4. We planned and designed how we would repurpose the materials that would have gone into trash bins and decided we wanted the Lego people from our ETM project, The Strikers, to live in this world.
  5. We began building Upcycle-Topia.

Here are close up photos of some of the highlights of our energy inspired art city, Upcycle-Topia:

Watch our video to take a virtual tour of our city!

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