We want to upcycle your junk!

For years now, my Entrepreneurship students have been learning the ropes of running a business by actually running a small business for the duration of my course. Students pitch their business proposals to each other “Shark Tank”-style and then vote for which business to pursue as a larger group. Until now, students have always designed products that would be created by an outside vendor (see examples here). It was about time to shake things up this semester. I wanted my students to have more ownership over the products that they’d be selling. I also wanted them to be mindful of what materials exist around us that would potentially end up in a landfill. It seemed like a natural progression to have students create products from upcycled materials!

I am very excited to see where the project goes this semester. Since the inception of this project, my students have donated over $7,500 to local charities and have made microloans to aspiring entrepreneurs in 14 different countries. Not only are my students getting direct hands-on experience with running a business, but they are also impacting their local community and communities around the world! I even won a prestigious Leavey Award in 2015 for implementing this project with my students. I’m proud of my students and love how much they grow during this project. Ok, back to the students . . .

My students have voted for their top project proposals already. Thanks to an Edcamp Impact Grant awarded to me earlier in the year, I have the means to provide tools to the students. We will be purchasing some fun tools that will be used many times over to create our products this semester and in future semesters. Now here’s where YOU come in. We need your junk! Some of your junk. Please don’t send in everything! We want to transform your unwanted and soon to be discarded items into treasures that we will sell. We’re not going to tell you what we’re doing just yet though. Where’s the fun in that? The following items are the specific things we’re looking for right now:

  • t-shirts of all sizes
  • sweaters of all sizes
  • old/broken keyboards (we’re just using the keys)
  • fabric leftover from projects
  • clean baby food jars
  • unwanted picture frames
  • old spoons


Items can be sent in with your students and will be collected in Mrs. Prester’s room. We appreciate your participation in our venture this semester! What we can tell you right now is that all of our proceeds are being donated to the Mansfield Animal Shelter! The animals of Mansfield will also be thankful for your support.