Ready for the Trash?




Introduction: Ready for the Trash?

In our classroom, we take apart anything we can get our hands on. When done we are left with many parts. Some look less desirable than others when left on their own but add imagination and you never know what it can become. Alpha is our first creation after the students told me that there was nothing left to choose from in the drawer and we needed to clean it out and get more stuff, Alpha was born!

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Step 1: Assemble to Make Recognizable Humanistic Features

there is no rhyme or reason for putting together your creation. Choose pieces that remind you of human anatomy. The plastic binoculars became our head. A vintage toy container lid became our body while the wooden toys became our legs and feet. A simple pill bottle and the kitchen faucet aerator that came in our son's 6th grade science experiment became a death ray. Now that we have our skeleton we can embellish with paint and broken jewelry.

Step 2: Giving Your Creation Life

Alpha needed a heart! Using broken jewelry, misc. nuts and a hair barrette on one side the lid gives us the outside of his heart. The first time we put him together we used hot glue. Today he is put together with screws we have scavenged from other things taken apart. in the next pic you will see the inside of his heart.

Step 3: Embellish to Add Emotion and Interest

The inside of Alpha's heart represents a timepiece. Using odds and ends to build a center for clockworks and hands to be able to rotate without hitting out number representations which are simply made from broken jewelry and nuts and bolts taken from cameras and other small appliances we have taken apart. Notice the head and legs have been painted with a bronze craft paint and broken jewelry embellish and give emotion to his eyes. In this pic which was our first attempt his legs are attached by gluing springs from the body to the wooden legs. This was not logical and Alpha had a difficult time balancing a very heavy body and head on such small springs. In the next pic notice we have changed the design to bolts.

Also you will notice that there is a front and back to Alpha. This is our Wise General side that knows war and is saddened by the devastation. like I stated, he morphed as we continued to find pieces and I still don't think he will ever stop.

Step 4: Finished Product? Probably Not!

Side 2 is a younger looking soldier angry and ready to go to war. Notice we changed the springs to bolts and also added arms with copper connectors.

I think the most important lesson we learned from Alpha is that as long as you are willing to look at something differently, you may just see a bunch of unusable parts. Instead we found great value in unused pieces to create a piece that has given great joy in our classroom and with passersby. I titled this Finished Product:? Probably Not! because I believe we are never finished and unless we continue to add valuable pieces as we grow and age we would live a very sad life.

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    2 Discussions

    Sheila Rae
    Sheila Rae

    6 years ago on Introduction

    Thank you for your comments. I am new to this and had great difficulty uploading. I did end up finding help from support. I have a school sponsored Before and After Scool Program. I have students anywhere from 15 min a day to, if nonschool day, 10 hr. The students are 5th and 6th graders at this time but we serve through 8th grade if desired. I have a 5-12 American history/Psychology teaching license but know as a mom and grandma kids at this age are very inquisitive and also like to destroy things. I started bringing in small broken appliances and it has grown from there. Parents love their students are being engaged and students love the activities. We have a policy that the person who tears down the object gets first choice on parts. Last year we had a whole economy set up. The junkyard had to buy from me the supplier and breakdown and sell to the store manager who employed help to run the shop. They earned money by having planners filled out, playing respectfully, I employed those who wanted for odd jobs in the classroom and so on. I created our money and was the bank. I did not allow loans. Want something earn it. Anyway our classroom was moved to a different building and we no longer have the availability of space. Again thanks for your comment and I will consider revising.


    6 years ago on Introduction

    Thank you for sharing this. I like it.

    I'm wondering what class this would be for. It appears to me that it is an art class, but I don't see it mentioned anywhere and I don't see anything in your profile that says you are a teacher or of what. I am also wondering if this class is based on subject or age group or both. You did mention that your son was in 6th grade, but you didn't indicate if this was your son's class.

    May I suggest you make the title a bit more indicative of what this is about? It would likely get more views and be more 'findable' if it could show up in a search. If my guess is right, you might try "Recycle Trash Into A Robot Sculpture" or something similar.

    Unless you remove this instructable, I believe it will live here for a very long time and therefore has the potential to be seen by many people. A quick proof-read will help improve typographical accidents such as missing capitalization or other errors. One instance of missing capitalization can be seen in the first word of the first sentence at the beginning of the paragraph beneath the photo in step 1. It isn't a critical issue, of course. However, a few minutes of tidying up would add a bit of polish.