‘Canstruction’ project tests third-graders’ mettle

Barbara Hootman

Students at Black Mountain Primary constructed a large football stadium from canned foods to be donated to Swannanoa Valley Christian Ministry.

The students in resource teacher Rachel Averett’s third-grade class started planning the “Canstruction” project last October. They’re really proud that it is on display in the school’s media center.

Student teacher Holly Lugo said the students had to learn engineering and design. They had to work as a team on a project designed to be a community service.

“These students really worked well with each other throughout the project,” Lugo said. “They were always excited about it.”

“The project started as reading series,” Angel Brown, another resource teacher, said. “Some of the projects were elaborate in the book, and a few even looked dangerous. Some of the projects in other schools were built for competition. (Teacher) Elizabeth Middleton and her academically/intellectually gifted students helped the third-graders in this project with the engineering part.

“We even made a graph, and that was fun,” student Michael Rollins said. “It made it easier to lay out when we got to the media center.”

The students set a goal of 500 cans of vegetables with which to build the stadium. They placed five collection boxes around the school, and students and teachers were generous with donations. More than 500 cans were collected.

“We wrote down what we needed to ask people, and made flyers telling about our project, and we put it on the school announcements that we needed canned goods,” Hunter Styles, a student, said.

“Joanna Gonzalez-Jaime said that she and her classmates made a large box to hold all the canned goods. I liked making the box, because it was fun,” she said.

Rebecca Escudero, a student, said the purpose of the project was to help families and the homeless who needed extra food.

Austin Anderson said it made he feel good to donate the canned food to people who needed help.

“They really need a lot of stuff because they don’t have much,” he said.

Kylie Martin said it also made her feel good to know that the canned foods would go to people who needed it.

“Lots of families don’t have anything,” she said. “We have to support them.”