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Students making junk art - literally

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Springfield Heights School Grade 4 students Matteo Pescatore (left) and Darby Riguidel (right) made art out of old items in the class of teacher Paul Bilodeau (centre).

PHOTO BY DAN FALLOON Enlarge Image

Springfield Heights School Grade 4 students Matteo Pescatore (left) and Darby Riguidel (right) made art out of old items in the class of teacher Paul Bilodeau (centre). Photo Store

One teacher’s trash turned into one class’ art project.

Paul Bilodeau’s Grade 4 class at Springfield Heights School recently took apart some of his old electronic waste and repurposed it for art,  and some students even brought in some of their old toys.

The project, which started in February, began when Bilodeau looked to clean out his garage and felt there could be a better use for the e-waste than just throwing it all away. Four students would be selected to take apart old items like computers and stereos every afternoon recess, and they put the parts in a large garbage bin.

Bilodeau said students were able to learn plenty of skills which will come in handy later in life.

"They’d never gotten to use screwdrivers. They didn’t know right from left," said Bilodeau. "They got to use all these tools that we have in class."

Darby Riguidel, who made a house complete with a coffee table and fireplace, as well as a drive-in movie theatre with partner Oumou Diop, took an environmental lesson from the project as well.

"When people throw away old electronics that don’t work anymore, it clutters up our landfill, and Monsieur (Bilodeau) thought this would be a good idea to recycle and reuse (items)," she said.

Matteo Pescatore started with a toy war vehicle that was already taken apart, and with some additional parts from Bilodeau’s treasure trove he was able to make a large truck and a boat with partners Dylan Basaraba and Mitchell Ambernack.

"(A piece) was from a different vehicle, and we glued it on... it was pretty much a war vehicle, and it goes with the war boat," said Pescatore. "I wanted to make a car, then we had more time, so I wanted to make a trailer. Then we had even more time, so I made a boat."

Bilodeau instructed students to write a story to go along with the projects, which will be displayed in the library until the end of the year.

Though the goal was more artistic than practical, the project still gave the students a surge of accomplishment, and the kids proved to be pretty handy at repair jobs, too.

"(A student) brought in his dad’s old Blackberry that hadn’t worked for a long, long time," said Bilodeau. "They put the screwdriver in it, took it apart, and all of a sudden, it fired up. They played with that for about a day until it finally went dead, and then they got parts."

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