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Niles West News

The Student News Site of Niles West High School

Niles West News

The Student News Site of Niles West High School

Niles West News

APES Annual Upcycle Auction

APES students sit and wait by their projects for staff member’s and students to bid on their pieces.

It’s that time of year when the AP Environmental Science (APES) course holds its annual upcycle auction. This year the auction was held on Tuesday, March. 12. Students who take the class make projects from old materials that would otherwise be thrown away. This auction is held outside the lunch room where the pieces are displayed for students and staff members at West to bid on their favorite projects. All the earnings get donated to Will’s Place after the auction. 

APES teachers Chris Barnett and Susan Schram hold this auction every year where they ask their students to come up with ideas to reuse objects that wouldn’t normally be reused and create something out of it. Many students made home decor or everyday furniture like a coffee table. 

“The students spend several weeks to get materials and build their projects. The project has to be made from objects that would have been recycled or even been thrown in the garbage. Next year we would like to have a little more advertising to get the word out on what it is and what is available. We do this because it is fun for the students and brings awareness to waste issues and that people buy things from recycled materials because there isn’t a lot of market for those kinds of things,” Barnett said. 

Many of the students reused old clothes to make their projects. Senior Peter Korzun made a planter out of old pants and shoes. This piece was displayed around other planters that different students made using soda cans and empty containers. Korzun enjoys taking the APES course and explains how he thought about this project he had to do. 

“I saw this idea to make a planter on Pinterest and found it interesting. I like the ability to have lots of time to learn the topics as well as very few tests. I find what we do in class very fun, I also enjoy the field trips we are able to go on while taking this class. I would not want to join another science elective,” Korzun said. 

Making these projects took a lot of thought process and required many different materials. Korzun explains how he made his project and why he decided to come up with this idea to auction off. 

“I cut a round piece of wood, screwed two pieces of scrap wood to that to make legs, and then screwed on two smaller pieces to put inside the shoes. I searched it up on YouTube and found a video and basically used their process but they used quick set cement to fill the shoes. I used wood instead for stability so it doesn’t fall over in the wind or be knocked over accidentally,” Korzun said 

Other students used materials like cloth t-shirts to make tote bags and blankets. Seniors Genciana Ortiz and Mackenzie Bickhaus made a blanket out of old West t-shirts. This is one of the two most popular bids along with a bike made by seniors Daniel Woo and Murad Sawalha

“The process was really repetitive consisting of outlining the size of the shirts I wanted to transfer to the blanket then pinning it and sewing it all together. I think in all it took about 5 days, the tracing took the longest and the sewing was the easiest part of the project. Mack and I were brainstorming and just came to me randomly. We agreed that it would work the best. I would make the blanket a bit bigger and spend more time to make it neater If I could do it again. APES is such a hands on class which I enjoy and I like how close we have gotten as a result of this project,” Ortiz said.

These students spent many days and used their creativity to show that recycling cannot only help the environment but can also be used to make many useful items. This year’s auction had pieces that many people enjoyed and had many bidders. We hope next year’s auction goes just as well.

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