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Totem students get creative at sustainable energy fair
EVERETT Totem Middle School students put their thinking caps on, literally, as they helped spread the word about recycling last weekend.
A team of Marysville kids were helping out at the Sustainable Energy Fair at the Snohomish County Public Utilities District headquarters, where they were showing how many things can be reused, for fun if not profit.
Elizabeth Holiway is a sixth-grader who helped make a chess set out of milk bottle caps and old film containers, as well as a bunch of doohickeys and other items.
We wanted to use something out of the ordinary, Holiway explained. The whole idea was to make a recycled chess set out of things that nobody else would use.
As kids from other Puget Sound schools were passing the glue guns and egg cartons around the cramp conference room in the Everett building on Oct. 6, the Can Man stood guard outside. He was a creation of her classmate Michael Cameron, fabricated out of silver juice cans and standing about five feet tall. He was one of several recycle-bots on display around the fair, where environmental groups and government agencies were spreading the word about energy options that are easier on mother nature.
George Swaney was been teaching math and science for 23 years and was helping his sixth-grade students with their projects. They had built several displays and were helping other kids create their own works of art out of the mish-mash of recycled items available. Besides the chess set they were making a variety of hats and someone fashioned a ray-gun out of aluminum cans.
We wanted to get them conscious of recycling, Swaney said. They really had to use their imaginations.
The group got a huge boost from the Creation Station in Lynnwood, where the students got to grab $100 worth of materials, according to Swaney. The chess set was inspired by one at the Totem campus, and other ideas sprouted as they went along.
Emma Honeyman was making a hat from Popsicle sticks, a milk jug and a plastic medical device that nobody the correct name for. There was some defective stuff, Honeyman explained as she tried in vain to get some egg carton scraps to stick to the jug.
I want to create something interesting, Honeyman said. The whole purpose of the fair is for recycling with environmentally friendly stuff.
Swaney said the fair was a lot of work for the students, as they agreed to manage the crafts room and help visitors with their creations. It was a day-long task and they worked shifts to give each other a chance to see the other events.
The sustainable energy fair included hundreds of people and featured tours of energy efficient homes throughout Snohomish County, as well as businesses that offered solutions for solar power and other environmentally friendly options.