Magazine article Arts & Activities

Disk-Cards? (Recycling Renaissance)

Magazine article Arts & Activities

Disk-Cards? (Recycling Renaissance)

Article excerpt

What shall we do with all of those computer disks and CD-ROMs that inundate our mailboxes? It seems shameful that so many "free-trial" disks are often discarded; after all, they are invitations to try a product or receive complimentary services for one thing or another.

I decided that I would hang onto the disks and CDs until I found an artful purpose for them. Added to my ever-growing pile were the unwanted disks that students brought from home. A parent even brought in boxes of disks and told me, "I hope you can find a purpose--seems like a waste to throw all these out!"

And so, my magnificent collection grew. One day, while I was planning my lessons with technology on my mind, a brainstorm hit: Why not use the disks and CDs as material for a lesson in sculpture?

To begin, my fourth-graders and I talked about three-dimensional objects. We examined what makes an object functional as opposed to non-functional. They were then told that they could create their own three-dimensional sculptures or structures using our store of computer disks and CD-ROMs.

I demonstrated how two disks could be bonded together using 2-inch-wide masking tape, making sure to hide the tape on the inside. In this manner, students carefully connected disks until their sculptures were completely constructed. Students were surprised to see that CD-ROMs could easily bend or even break apart. (If you carefully hold a CD-ROM and bend gently, the disk will easily conform. …

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