As you may have read in previous blog posts, my team and I have been building a recycling bin as part of an effort to make sustainability a part of our DNA. Since my last post, we have finished the prototype of our final product, hooked a Makey Makey device to it to count the number of times it will be used, and put it into Mr. Song’s Middle school classroom. We implemented it into the classroom at the very end of the day on Friday so the Middle Schoolers would come back from their long Columbus Day weekend and investigate it for the first time. When we checked on it at noon on Tuesday, it already had 13 uses! It felt pretty great that something you created with your own hands and ideas helping to make our school and our Earth, a better place. Today, Wednesday, October 14th, we did some interviews and checked up on our creation yet again. Our prototype, which now had 30 uses, was a great success, an interview with the custodial staff revealed that it wasn’t just helping solve the problem of recycling, it was helping the room be significantly cleaner. In response to this information, we asked what room was the dirtiest of all the middle school classrooms, and put the prototype to the test in there. We also interviewed Mr. Song, the math teacher who teaches in the original classroom, and he also said that the prototype has been a resounding success, it has sparked conversation between the students about what you can and can’t recycle and what the effects of recycling are. Although they are having these conversations, the custodial staff say that there are still items that they found in the bins that cannot be recycled. This is a big problem, it shows that the informative poster part of our prototype isn’t effective. Since people don’t take the time to read, we could have a button that you press that will activate a recording of someones voice, telling them what to recycle, then congratulating them for recycling, since the students we interviewed wanted a sort of interaction or reward for recycling with the prototype. In our pitch, we touched on that really well with a clip from Wall-E and the photoshopped picture of trash all over MVPS, however, that isn’t translating onto our poster or our prototype. Some next steps we are thinking of taking include, but not limited to, adding a student artwork competition component where hold an art competition and the best piece goes on all of our bins, creating a second prototype to collect two times the data, and revising our poster to make it more effective. I think our first couple days of testing went pretty spectacularly, but my group and I should really emphasize something that came up in an interview with Dr. Jones a couple of weeks ago, how does recycling effect middle school students and why should they care about recycling? Since our prototype proved so successful, with a little changing to our prototype, I want to put one of these in every room on the MVPS campus!