Upcycling

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First published 2012

This resource is a great way of reusing old products that would normally be thrown away and to raise students’ awareness of upcycling waste products in an innovative and enterprising way. It considers the themes of sustainability and enterprise – designing, making and marketing desirable, quality products from recycled materials. Most children at some point have made a puppet out of an old sock or a rocket or car out of an old kitchen roll, plastic milk bottle etc. The aim of this project is to take that concept to a level at which the product can be sold in a shop.

The resource consists of a PowerPoint presentation and accompanying teacher notes, and a lesson plan. After defining upcycling, students are given a design brief to design and make a quality household product by re-using products that would normally be sent to landfill. CDs, vinyl records, earphones, video tapes, cassettes and boxes are all old products that can be used. The PowerPoint gives examples of finished products as well as setting the design task, and contains useful teacher notes with each slide. A sustainable design lesson plan is also provided including long and short term outcomes, strategies and assessment.

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