News: CDC continues tech trend by building robot from recyclable items
Story by Cpl. Thomas Bricker
BARSTOW, Calif. - In the future, mankind may have technological advances so intelligent, many ordinary chores like recycling could be done by robots. Until this day is at hand, the children at the Marine Corps Logistics Base Barstow Child Development Center will stick to creating their own robot and, instead of utilizing it to recycle everyday household items, they’ve decided to use these products to build her instead. Her name is Rachel and she’s larger than almost everyone in the classroom.
The concept of a robot made entirely of recyclable materials came from MCLB Barstow’s Environmental Days, a weeklong event creating awareness of current and relevant environmental issues. Although the event wasn’t held this year, employees at the CDC felt it was still worthy to celebrate it somehow.
“Last year, we did a ‘Castle in the Clouds’ project. It’s a great way to show the kids recycling can be fun too,” explained LaNell Mayberry, an education technician with the CDC aboard base. “This year, the base didn’t hold Environmental Days, but we still wanted to have a project for the kids. I think it helps show how much the event affected the kids,” she added.
The children of the pre-kindergarten class voted on a robot for this year’s project and quickly got to work on collecting the materials.
“We taught the kids what things at home were able to be recycled after they were done with them and asked them to bring in any recyclables,” Mayberry said.
Mayberry explained that items with refundable value were saved to recycle out in town and having Rachel, the class’s robot, made out nonrefundable recyclable items shows the kids that there are more than just bottles and cans that can be recycled.
Throughout the course of April, a class of nearly 20 children brought in the supplies needed to bring their classroom Frankenstein to life. Everything from empty paper towel rolls and newspapers to cereal boxes and sheets of cardboard were used to make Rachel come to life.
“Building Rachel was a way to have the kids become interactive with the project. It helped them have fun and it helped us teach them about recycling at the same time,” Mayberry explained.
While Rachel was being constructed, the class learned about different aspects of environmental awareness including “the three ‘R’s” or effects on the environment the children would be able to notice.
The children enjoyed building their class project and learning about ways to protect the environment through the help of their robot Rachel. Through her construction, the class was able to tie in their lessons to an interactive project that took an effort from the whole class.
“I liked putting Rachel together in school,” explained Leland Lundin, son of Amaris Kanteena, an employee at MCLB Barstow’s Yermo annex. “My favorite part was making the [paper-mache to make the] paper stick together,” the 5-year old added.
The materials brought in to the class with refundable value had use to the class as well, but not with Rachel.
Mayberry explained that the money they made from turning in the recyclable items out in town will be donated to charity. It’s another way to show the next generation how recycling helps.
The employees of the CDC hope the creation of Rachel will have an impact on people of base and inspire them to be more aware of issues.
“We hope people see what the kids have done here and see how important it is to be environmentally conscious.” Mayberry concluded.