Trash turns trendy: Students at Avon Middle School get creative recyclables

Eco-Fashion show

L-R: Molly Heideman, Anna Schneider, Thomas Zeng and Jayde Restivo show off some of the fashions they created as a part of the eco-fashion science project at Avon Middle School. Press photo - Michael Fitzpatrick

L-R: Tramanh Luong, Morgan Hanucin and Sean Murphy created the dress that Morgan is wearing. The dress is made out of recycled materials and was made by the Avon Middle School seventh-graders as part of a science project. Press photo – Michael Fitzpatrick


By Michael Fitzpatrick

Nearly 300 seventh-grade science students at Avon Middle School  let their creative sides show as they turned trash into treasure.

OK, maybe not treasure, but some really cool-looking clothing and furniture.

The students were told to bring  in recyclable trash they collected at  home over spring break, science teacher Renee White said.

After being paired into teams, they then went about fashioning the trash into cool clothing and other items over a three-day period, keeping track of what trash they used and what they recycled. Milk cartons, plastic shopping bags, juice containers, plastic bottle caps, old fabric and pop cans were just some of the items that were used to make the creations.

“The kids are basically making stuff out of trash,” White said.

The project is now in its seventh year, White continued, and runs in conjunction with Earth Day. In its infancy students created simple projects, like linking together soda pop can tabs, White explained. But now students are given free reign on what they want to create and are expected to do so independently.

It’s very challenging  for the students, White said. The project teaches the students independence, she added. Typically in grades one through six, the students are directed by their teachers on what do to and how to do it. The eco-fashion project, however, allows the students to plan out and complete a project on their own, she said.

Seventh-graders Tramanh Luon, Morgan Manuscin and Sean Murphy debated about what they wanted to make. Tramanh and Murphy pressed for a couch, but Morgan argued for a dress; the result was a nifty little dress with a shiny top and a bottom made out of soda pop cans. The shiny top portion of the dress symbolized the sun, said Morgan.

Students used duct tape donated by ShurTech Brands LLC to piece the projects together.

Anna Schneider, Molly Heidman and Thomas Zheng made a skirt, while Jayde Restivo, Mariah Cash and Hannah Watters created a skirt-and-top combo. The skirt was fashioned out of cardboard boxes that at one time were homes to soda cans, and the belt buckle on the skirt was created out of a  juice carton holder and a plastic bottle cap.

The children showed off their creations at a show on Friday. Models wore the dresses, skirts and tops and strode down a red carpet that was put down in one of the school’s science rooms.


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