Brandenburg Elementary wins national Made by Milk competition

What do you get when you mix cardboard, popsicle sticks, water bottles, straws and 1,244 milk cartons? Ask the fifth grade, gifted and talented students of Brandenburg Elementary School, and they would say: eight hand-crafted model airplanes.

After working hard all fall, their aviation project recently caught the eye of Evergreen Packaging®, a global leader in beverage paperboard carton manufacturing. Students entered the company’s seventh annual Made by Milk Construction Contest and were named among its 2016 winners on Jan. 4.

The group of 38 fifth-graders comprised one of 171 student teams to submit projects made mostly of repurposed milk and juice cartons for a chance to win up to $5,000. Their team, Up, Up and Away, constructed eight model aircrafts resembling planes made between the years 1905 to 1994 using 1,244 cartons collected by the entire school.

The contest theme for fall 2016 was “Inventions” – with entries ranging from a robotic surgeon to an entire platoon of planes; all made from repurposed milk cartons.

“The Inventions theme inspired schools across the country to submit some truly impressive entries; the carton creations that these students dreamed up really highlighted how creativity, teamwork, and a lot of effort can come together in one inspiring project,” Katie Simmons, marketing manager for Evergreen Packaging said.

The idea for their creation came while studying force and motion in science class and delving into Newton’s laws of physics. With the contest theme being inventions, students researched and brought their curriculum to life in a creative blend of STEM, innovation, flight and design.

“Our students knew this was a national competition and only hard work and inspired ideas would pay off,” said Brandenburg teacher Grizelle Larriviel. Ms. Larriviel, whose former class also won Made by Milk’s People’s Choice Award in 2013, and co-teacher Irene Sosa are extremely proud of their students rallying together to accomplish such a challenge.

Brandenburg’s entry, titled Aviation Evolution 1905-1994, won in the elementary school category of 300+ cartoons, alongside Idlewild Elementary in Memphis, Tenn., and Kennesaw Elementary in Kennesaw, Ga. Each school will receive a monetary award of $1,000.

Paulsboro High School of Paulsboro, New Jersey, won the grand prize of $5,000 for their project, which turned 274 repurposed milk cartons into a creative Serpent creature inspired by a “SLURPIT” water-cleaning biofilter used to absorb and digest oil and pesticides in waterways. 

Overall, 14 schools were recognized as winners with Brandenburg being the only Texas school to win. With the win, students hope to soon invite representatives from Bell Helicopter, Lockheed Martin and Boeing to view their planes and will attend Fort Worth’s C.R. Smith Museum this spring to participate in STEM workshops and see an actual Douglas DC–1 aircraft like the one they made by hand.

Additional schools recognized across various categories for their innovative and creative carton designs include:

People’s Choice Winner:

Hiawatha Elementary School, Hiawatha, Kansas; “The Tractor: an Invention That Impacts Our Community”

Elementary – more than 300 cartons

Idlewild Elementary, Memphis, Tennessee; “The Memphis Sound: STAX”

Bradenburg Elementary School, Irving, Texas; “Aviation Evolution 1905 – 1994”

Kennesaw Elementary School, Kennesaw, Georgia; “Kennesaw Elementary’s Little General”

Elementary – under 300 cartons

Western Hills Elementary, Little Rock, Arkansas; “Molly The Milk Moo-Chine”

Marietta Center for Advanced Academics, Marietta, Georgia; “Marietta Hover School for Advanced Academics”

Farmington Central Elementary School, Farmington, Illinois; “Titanic II”

Middle/High School – more than 300 cartons

Johnsburg High School, Johnsburg, Illinois; “Cornu-sono-copia”

John F. Kennedy Jr. High School, Elmhurst, New York; “Surgeon Moby”

Discovery Magnet School, Bridgeport, Connecticut; “WWII Jeep”

Middle/High School – under 300 cartons

Solon Middle School, Solon, Ohio; “Hoop It Up For Recycling!”

Lee County Middle School West, Leesburg, Georgia; “Tractor”

Mary McLeod Bethune Middle School, Los Angeles, California; “Bethune Rover”

The Made By Milk contest encourages students to build strong bones with milk and flex their creative muscles by repurposing milk cartons to build creative animal sculptures. Evergreen Packaging puts on the annual event, which encourages students to drink milk and to learn about recycling and embracing environmental responsibility.

SOURCE Irving ISD, Evergreen Packaging