“Canstruction” project collects thousands of food cans in Australia

Australia Southern Territory will give food to the community.

[Photo courtesy of the Australia Southern Territory]

More than 30,000 cans of food were delivered to The Salvation Army’s Doveton food bank in the Australia Southern Territory last month, thanks to a building project with a difference.

Over 200 students from four primary schools and one secondary college in Melbourne’s outer-eastern suburbs built 28 famous landmarks out of the cans as part of the worldwide Canstruction Project.

It took them several months of planning with final year Monash University engineering students and three days of solid building to construct landmarks as diverse as the Eiffel Tower and the Amazon River.

The annual Canstruction Project, which has donated food cans to charity since it began in the U.S. in 1992, aims to teach student mathematics, engineering and design in a fun way.

This was the first Australian group—and the youngest participants—to take part in the project.

Victorian Education Minister Bronwyn Pike presented the awards at Bayswater Secondary College.

“Education should be fun, and this project has all the right elements,” Pike said.

Bayswater Primary School student Rebecca, whose team built the Amazon River from 1,660 cans, said students learned a lot about teamwork. One team member used money he had received for his birthday to buy the extra green-packaged tuna cans they needed to complete the river.

Ferntree Gully corps officer Major Merv Lincoln, who was one of the event’s five judges, said Canstruction’s timing was ideal with Christmas just a few months away.

“These 30,000 cans are going to help hundreds and hundreds of families, especially at this time of year when we start to put hampers together,” he said. “I think this event gave the children an understanding that there are people in the community that need a little help.”

The cans were donated by the community, Campbell’s and Coles Supermarkets.

Images of the winning entries will be sent to New York to compete against U.S. and Canadian entries in the international Canstruction competition.

From the Australia Southern Territory’s On Fire publication; vol. 9, no. 22; November 8, 2008.

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