Schools around the UK can now benefit from new multidisciplinary teaching resources on aluminium recycling. The Aluminium Packaging Recycling Organisation (Alupro) has launched the new resources for schools with free curriculum-linked activities for pupils aged seven to 14. The resources, which can be used across several subjects including geography, design and technology, English and ICT, are hosted on a new dedicated website www.learningaluminium.co.uk.
The Aluminium Life Cycle resources are based around short films with supporting lesson and activity plans. Younger students are guided around the aluminium recycling ‘loop’ by three animated characters: Ally the aerosol, Alex the drink can and Freddy the foil tray – who between them explain aluminium’s material properties, many uses and the importance of recycling. A second version of the film and resources is also available for older students. The project has been co-funded by Alupro members Novelis UK and Contital i2R, with additional support from Unilever.
Diana Caldwell, Marketing & Communications Manager of Alupro says: “Learning Aluminium is the result of extensive research conducted with teachers about how best to link aluminium to the curriculum. As an industry we are keen to ensure tomorrow’s consumers, recyclers, designers and engineers appreciate the value of aluminium, and this is reflected in the support the project has attracted from all sectors of the industry.”
The Learning Aluminium website also features the aluminium industry’s popular design & technology schools resource, the Alu D&T Challenge, which includes a national competition to encourage students to think about the importance of sustainable design.
The Alu D&T Challenge teaches students about the material properties and sustainability potential of aluminium. It has been designed to help young designers realise the contribution aluminium makes to the world we live in through a wide variety of uses and products from smartphones to cars, packaging to buildings.
Lesson plans, design briefs, stimulus sheets and guidance are available for teachers to support the D&T curriculum for 11-14 year olds throughout the UK. This year’s competition sets challenges in three design categories focusing on transport, building and packaging. The aim is to inspire students to really get creative and design a product for the future using aluminium. This year’s competition has attracted sponsorship from across the aluminium industry and its customers. Main sponsors are Alupro, the Aluminium Federation, Novelis UK Ltd., Hydro Aluminium Rolled Products and Jaguar Land Rover, with additional support from Alcoa and Befesa.
Entries will be assessed by a panel of judges from across industry, the sponsors and academia. The winning student and team in each of the three design challenges will win a desktop 3D printer (worth £600) for their school, plus £100 in vouchers. There will also be prizes awarded to runners up and all shortlisted schools.
In addition, the individual designer voted the judges’ favourite will win a trip to Germany, including a visit to the Hydro Aluminium Rolled Products facility at Grevenbroich near Dusseldorf. The plant is the company’s largest aluminium production site in Germany and produces 440,000 tonnes of aluminium annually for customers including the packaging, automotive and construction industries.
Diana Caldwell adds: “We are excited to see how teachers will respond to the new Learning Aluminium materials, and also to see the students’ entries to the D&T Challenge. We hope to attract as many schools as possible to the Challenge, which encourages creative and sustainable thinking about aluminium – a highly versatile and infinitely recyclable material.”
The Alu D&T Challenge competition launches at the beginning of the 2015 autumn term. The resources and full details of the competition are available online at www.learningaluminium.co.uk/aludtchallenge.