Canstruction 7What is Canstruction? In simple terms, it is construction using cans. But it is more than that. It is community service – the cans used in the designs are donated to Seven Loaves, a local food pantry. At Hill, the designs are all thematic – they are meant to raise awareness of hunger in our community. Canstruction supports the Hill School mission in other ways too – it challenges students to plan appropriately, think creatively, and work collaboratively.

The first step towards Canstruction is fundraising. This spring the Seventh Grade hosted the second annual “Minute To Win It” Carnival. Each Seventh grader created a challenge which participants had sixty seconds to complete, such as bouncing a ping pong ball into a fish bowl or stacking a certain number of lug nuts with a chopstick. To drum up interest, the class advertised the event by creating posters, making announcements at assemblies, and demonstrating Canstruction 3the games. Aside from raising money, this event is a wonderful opportunity for students of all ages to play and have fun together, and it provides the seventh grade with leadership opportunities.

Next, the class brainstormed ideas for their Canstructions. Students used graph paper and colored pencils to sketch out ideas – each box on the graph paper equals one can. It is amazing to see their wonderfully creative ideas!

Canstruction 2The final step is the actual Canstruction. To make sure the design is crisp and clear, each can is wrapped in paper – previously used paper whenever possible. Students figure out how much paper they need, cut the paper to the proper size, wrap the cans, and place the cans in the proper location. It is a lot work, and it takes all students actively participating to complete the task in a timely fashion. Although there are moments of monotony, students grow more and more excited as they see their ideas taking form. In the end, they take pride in creating beautifully cool, attention-grabbing art installations. So not only do they raise money and awareness for a good cause, they have fun doing it!