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We are the TAZ BOTS and we are members of a FIRST Lego League team. Each year teams are given a challenge--this year's challenge is call TRASH TREK. Team are asked to explore the hidden but fascinating world of trash, from collection, to sorting, to smart production, and reuse. After researching their TRASH problem teams are then given the task of inventing a solution to help solve the problem.

So--What's our problem? We waste too many pencils! A pencil is 7" long but the average person will waste 2"....mostly due to the fact that they become to short to easily write with or they don't fit into most pencil sharpeners at this length. It might not seem like much but the 2" of waste each year when you do the math means that we WASTE 16,800 trees!

Our solution is the PENCIL EXTENDER--yes, there are many others out there to purchase but ours is the best choice because it really does EXTEND the pencil. Most other products on the market just hold the pencils!

Step 1: Start With a Good 3-D Printer

We used the Maker-Bot at our school, Poinciana Elementary STEM Magnet School, Boynton Beach, Fl. We also did some research to see where else you could find a 3-D printer. Located less than 2 miles from our school is the Boynton Beach Hack Lab. So check out your area, we think you'll be able to find assess to a printer!

Step 2: The Files

We used Solidworks to CAD design our extender.....feel free to make adjustments but please share your changes with us!

Step 3: The Extender

So that the extender would truly extend the pencil, we used a piece of plastic from on old ballpoint pen. Remove the inner ink holder part from the pen. Use an exact knife and carefully cut a length of plastic tube. Super glue the end onto the pencil and now you have the EXTENDER for the pencil holder.

Step 4: Finished Product

Put it all together and you now have a pencil that you can comfortably use and it can fit into the pencil sharpener.

<p>Great tool. This would probably also make a great chalk holder. </p>

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