Repurposed robots get art students excited about recycling

MARSHFIELD, Wis. (WSAW) -- An art teacher in Marshfield is wasting no time helping her kids learn the importance of recycling.

Recycled Robots WSAW

Mrs. Schmidt is going above and beyond to help show students how to repurpose items in new ways with a little robotic twist.

"Wood pieces, plastic game pieces, connect pieces, LEGO pieces are really good," art teacher Shelisa Schmidt explained.

'Found object art robots' make for a fun assignment for the students, but also one that's teaching a serious lesson. One that 5th grader Lauren Holmes is recognizing.

"You can reuse things instead of having to cut down trees and make more," Holmes said.

Fellow classmate Austin Niehaus agreed, "Instead of putting garbage in the ground and stuff, where like those pitholes are, we're actually reusing it and not throwing it away."

The students say the class is unique and allows them to use their imagination. Something, they're also taking outside of the classroom.

"You can use the cans or anything that you put into the recycling, to use it again on something else," Holmes said.

Mrs. Schmidt said she borrowed the robot idea from another teacher
and now, the word has really spread.

"A lot of the materials I get are from family members, friends, staff here at school. Sometimes, businesses will ask. Ya, so I just kind of collect it around from different kinds of people, and the kids will bring their stuff in, too," Mrs. Schmidt said.

While robots are a big part of the class, they're certainly not the only thing she's been able to repurpose.

"I take all the old markers from the school and in my class and I make watercolors out of them. So, instead of having to buy new watercolors every year, we make our own liquid watercolors."