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Pine Ridge students prep for Cardboard Challenge


Students bubbled with excitement as they showed off their imaginative Cardboard Challenge designs to classmates.

More than 120 students from grades K-5 filled the gym at Pine Ridge Elementary on Thursday, September 24th, with their handmade cardboard creations ranging from popcorn makers to skee-ball games and model cars.  The students built the projects as part of their STEM class to be displayed during the 3rd Annual Cardboard Challenge hosted by the Cherry Creek Schools Foundation on October 7th at Smoky Hill High School.  STEM teacher Robin Ellenbecker wanted the entire school to experience the students’ projects before they show them off to the district.

“I love whole school functions and I thought if they are going to go through the trouble of making these projects, the whole school should be in on it and participate with them,” Ellenbecker said. 

Pine Ridge teachers and students from all grades reported to the gym to experience the creations of their classmates. The event wasn’t all fun and games however; students had to apply their knowledge in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) to their projects while building with recyclable materials.

Ava Davis is a 4th grader at Pine Ridge Elementary said she found the recycled material component of the project to be a fun twist. “I really like to create things, and I think it is more of a challenge to build things with stuff that you haven’t before,” she said.

What’s more, challenging the students to use their imagination to create works of art fueled the students to do their best in other aspects of their education.

“I think this activity gets the whole school excited about school. That’s what we want, we want them to have a good time and they are,” Ellenbecker said.  “It’s been wonderful.”

It's the third year that the Cherry Creek Schools Foundation has funded and organized the event as part of their broader mission. The Foundation’s core goal focuses primarily on impacting all CCSD students, investing in innovation and building long-term relationships in the community.

The 3rd Annual Cardboard Challenge is open to all students in the Cherry Creek School District and will take place from 5 to 7 p.m. on Oct. 7 at Smoky Hill High School, 16100 East Smoky Hill Road in Aurora. Admission is free.  About 600 projects will be displayed. 

Registration for this event will close at 4 p.m. on Friday, October 2, 2015.  Click Here to register for the Cardboard Challenge.

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