New Education Resources link Aluminium to Design & Technology Curriculum

A new education initiative challenging students to realise the design potential of aluminium, and the sustainability benefits of using this valuable material in everyday life, has been launched by the Aluminium industry.

The free teaching resource – the Alu D&T Challenge – is aimed at secondary school students between the ages of 11 and 14 (Key Stage 3). As well as providing information and lesson plans for teachers, students are challenged to design a sustainable item using Aluminium, based upon one of four themes: transport, built environment, packaging and technology. Schools can also enter the designs in a national competition which will be judged by a panel of industry and design experts.

Developed by the Aluminium Packaging Recycling Organisation (Alupro) in partnership with the Aluminium Federation (ALFED) the resources have been endorsed by the Design and Technology Association (DATA),

Rick Hindley, Alupro executive director said: “The Alu D&T Challenge will help teachers raise students’ awareness of the value of aluminium and the importance of design for recyclability, to deliver both economic and environmental benefits.

“Aluminium is used in almost every aspect of modern life, from food and drink packaging to buildings and in aerospace. Its material properties offer many benefits to designers, but perhaps most importantly it can be recycled endlessly without any loss in quality. These materials have been developed to reflect our industry’s commitment to promoting recycling and delivering lasting behavioural change.”

School teachers will be able to enter their students’ designs into the Alu D&T Challenge competition until 23rd November. Prizes include a 3D printer  for winning schools in each category, and a cash prize for the students. Winners will be announced in January 2013.

Andy Mitchell, Assistant Chief Executive of the Design and Technology Association, said: “It is excellent to see this new D&T education resource made available to teachers. The Alu D&T Challenge provides a unique opportunity for key stage 3 students to produce innovative and creative responses to real, relevant and exciting design challenges and address sustainability issues. The resources will make a significant contribution to every schools’ modern D&T curriculum.”

Alupro’s partnership with ALFED to deliver the new education resource follows a period of significant activity and investment to boost recycling participation and capture rates for aluminium, and all metal packaging. This has also seen the organisation expand its membership to include the major producers of household foil and several major brands including Coca Cola and Nespresso.

Record recycling rates for aluminium packaging and drinks cans in 2011 reflects an increasing awareness of the economic value of recycling aluminium packaging, and the contribution it can make to the viability of a recycling programme.

Rick added: “Industry funded programmes such as Every Can Counts, Aerofoil and most recently MetalMatters, have not only increased aluminium capture rates, they are delivering a real shift in consumer behaviour leading to increased capture rates for all materials.

“Alongside programmes like MetalMatters and Every Can Counts, the Alu D&T Challenge will play a fundamental role in bringing about long-term behavioural change to ensure we maximise recycling rates for aluminium packaging.”