Imagination Explored Around the World During the Earth Day Cardboard Challenge
A child’s imagination is an incredible renewable resource. Give them a problem to solve and they will come up with a hundred and one different solutions.
During the month of April, Time Warner Cable (TWC), in partnership with the Imagination Foundation, supported the global Earth Day Cardboard Challenge, a partnership that provided non-profits, educators, community leaders and families around the world the opportunity to teach children ecological values through Creative Play and allow children to create sustainable solutions to environmental challenges with cardboard and other recycled and repurposed materials.
Over 22,000 children in 28 countries participated, and their creations were as unique as you can imagine. From classrooms to backyards, cardboard challenge activities ranged from large to small, simple to complex, depending on available time, resources and age of participants.
As part of our ‘Go Green’ and Connect a Million Minds® (CAMM) initiatives, we aim to raise environmental awareness by showcasing opportunities to use fewer natural resources and generate less waste while at the same time inspiring the next generation of problem solvers by connecting young people to the wonders of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). The Earth Day Cardboard Challenge was the perfect program to help us achieve this ambition.
Across the country, Time Warner Cable partnered with various Imagination Foundation Chapters, non-profits and schools to bring the Earth Day Cardboard Challenge to our local communities.
- In Los Angeles, CA, TWC partnered with the Imagination Foundation Chapter at Extera Public School and engaged 80 elementary students in the Boyle Heights neighborhood to re-imagine what people think is trash and turn it into beautiful art. More than 40 TWC employee volunteers played a major role in the students’ month long journey to promote the use of cardboard, recycled materials and imagination to build creative artifacts that addressed environmental challenges. The Earth Day Cardboard Challenge culminated with the Earth Day Fair on April 22 where the students presented their finished projects and got to participate in activities such as making recycled paper using banana peels. Lastly, employees made over 500 “Seed Pods” by hand for the students to take home and plant in their neighborhoods.
- In Austin, TX, TWC partnered with local non-profit, EcoRise and Cedars International Academy. EcoRise is focused on teaching environmental literacy, social innovation and hands-on design skills in elementary and middle schools. At Cedars International Academy, five teams of 5th grade students worked together to develop a blueprint and then create their design. Students had 90 minutes to gather materials and supplies and create their winning projects. TWC employee Green Team members served as on-site hosts, mentors and judges.
- In Columbia, SC, our local Green Team challenged TWC employees and their children to get engaged with the Cardboard Challenge. For several weeks employees donated an assortment of recyclable materials for the event and our warehouse also helped by donating plenty of leftover boxes. . With everything from cardboard to bottle caps, the children had everything they needed to build their own unique creations. 30 employee volunteers assisted 38 children as they spent hours creating new uses for left over and recyclable materials including an airport, a solar car and a large solar powered neighborhood of cardboard houses with functional blinds.
- Across the Northeast area of New York, TWC partnered with the Imagination Foundation, Buffalo Museum of Science, East Syracuse-Minoa School District and Girls Inc. of the Greater Capital Region to host three challenges in Buffalo, Syracuse and Albany. Cumulatively TWC brought the Cardboard Challenge to over 400 children across New York State who engaged with over 50 TWC employee volunteers to bring the recycled materials to life!
- In New York City, TWC and Free Arts NYC partnered to create a special event for 20 children living in transitional housing around the city. With their TWC buddy by their side to help teach them sustainability concepts along the way, the kids showcased their resourcefulness and created robots, cars, cityscapes, rockets, sharks and more.
- Our TWC employees’ children also got involved in the project during NYC’s annual “Take Your Child to Work Day.” More than 75 kids worked with their parents to design and build with materials that were collected in the office and from home. The kids (and parents) loved this part of their day and brought home everything from birdhouses to an operational drawbridge and a concert stage!
Check out our video recap of all the exciting Earth Day Cardboard Challenge activities that happened across the United States.
The Earth Day Cardboard Challenge once again showed us the importance of giving children the opportunity to explore problem solving through creative play. Listening to a quiet young girl loudly proclaim that she is going to be an engineer one day demonstrated firsthand the positive impact that we can have in empowering our communities.