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Three elementary schools participate in YVCHR canstructure competition


Students from Forrest Elementary School, Mary W. Jackson Elementary School, and Langley Elementary School recently participated in the Youth Volunteer Corps Hampton Roads (YVCHR) canstructure competition.


Students from across Hampton Roads were invited to design and build three-dimensional works of art from canned food donations. These canstructures not only challenge youth to work together creatively using STEM concepts, but also play an important role in addressing food insecurity in our local community. Teams collected canned food donations from which they built a themed structure. YVCHR recorded a student-led presentation of the team’s project which was evaluated by a panel of judges. Once complete, the food was donated to the Virginia Peninsula Foodbank.


Forrest Elementary collected 3,165 cans solely through a canned food drive at the school from March 1 to April 1. The school received special recognition for collecting the most cans of food in the competition. The team picked the top two voted Wonders of the World and then had a drawing contest that would decide which canstructure would be built, the design, and the color of the structure. The winning decision was to build a clouded in the sky theme Eiffel Tower.


Langley Elementary collected 1,364 food items and chose to build the Roman Colosseum. The team met to plan their design. Using trial and error, and seeking the advice from an engineer employed by Norfolk Shipyard, the students were able to create their design and structure entirely on their own without help from any teachers. They collected the cans through a school-wide canned food drive. As a motivation to donate more cans, the winning class had the opportunity to pie the art teacher in the face.


Mary W. Jackson Elementary collected 571 canned food items through a two-month school-wide food drive. The Girls Club and SCA decided on a heart, fork, and knife as their structure and wrapped all the canned foods in earth colors signifying that they wanted to feed the earth with all the cans.