Students at Brentwood Primary School outside of Perth, Australia combined creativity and environmental education to craft upcycled art from waste.

One of the Alcoa W5 project activities at Brentwood was to create 3D animal portraits using old egg cartons and other types of common waste. The first step was for each student to make a sketch of the animal the wanted to feature – paying special attention to the essential features that make that animal unique, like a long neck for a giraffe or big ears for an elephant. Then they sought out waste that could be used to bring those animals to life in a 3D portrait!

Once the animals had been crafted on upcycled cardboard, they were put in frames to complete the portrait look. All the completed artwork was weighed, and it was discovered that the students had upcycled 8kg of cardboard that would have otherwise gone into the waste stream! The school also saved resources by using waste rather than purchasing new art supplies.

The artwork will be displayed for parents and the community to come see, along with the students’ reflections on what the project helped them learn about responsible consumption and production.

“It’s wonderful to see how the children view the materials they ordinarily recycle. Rubbish had been transformed in their minds to resources they can repurpose into unique masterpieces.” – Sonia Barker, Teacher at Brentwood Primary

This Alcoa W5 activity at Brentwood Primary School supports the following SDGs: