Student designers are helping to inspire recycling in Grand Teton National Park, thanks to a visionary program titled, Building STEAM, led by Jackson Hole Public Art in partnership with Grand Teton National Park and Teton County School District, and funded by Subaru of America, Inc. as part of its Zero Landfill Initiative where the automaker is sharing its knowledge of zero landfill practices with the national parks and working towards a goal of significantly reducing waste going into landfills.
Students enrolled in Jackson Hole High School's Fabrication Lab have created concept designs to increase recycling within Grand Teton National Park, proposing a range of concepts from recycling containers to educational exhibits and messaging. The overarching goal is to improve the park's diversion rate and facilitate easier collection, while communicating to a diverse audience that recycling can be fun.
Starting in December, students conducted research, participated in site visits, and held stakeholder interviews. By employing Stanford University's Design Thinking Process to evolve their concepts, students created prototypes and tested various solutions, culminating in the development of highly innovative final design concepts.Last week, eight student teams presented their concepts to a panel of Subaru, Grand Teton National Park, and National Parks Conservation Association staff with impressive results.
Last week, eight student teams presented their concepts to a panel of Subaru, Grand Teton National Park, and National Parks Conservation Association staff with impressive results.
The STREAM (Science, Technology, Recycling, Engineering, Arts, Math) team project was selected for its excellence in use of repurposed materials, and strong messaging. Their concept depicts the number of bottles used in one day in the park and includes shimmering fish and flowing rivers constructed from cans and plastic bottles.
My favorite thing about this project is that I am making something that revolves around art and design instead of my first idea of just making a different type of recycling bin. I've started thinking outside the box and have found a way to show how recycling can be turned into a very fun and alluring piece of art. It shows the public that the materials they recycle can be used to create something that you wouldn't expect.
Mountain Recycling and Zero Waste Bin, two receptacle projects, were identified for excellence in design, innovative use of materials and engaging messaging. They will combine to work as a team to create a final receptacle design and water refill station messaging.
Our favorite thing about this project is how it makes people think about and understand that they can make a choice when they go and recycle their materials in the park. - Ashley, Vinny, Gage, Gus
Next steps for the class include further prototyping of actual materials, budgeting, and engineering in preparation for fabrication and installation. Throughout the design process students in the Fab Lab work in teams, to "mash-up" similar ideas into stronger concepts through collaboration, mirroring a process that is similar to how design team projects evolve in a professional setting.
The review panel criteria shared with teams in advance of their presentations included: buildability and functionality, excellence in design and creativity, and public engagement, and impact. Every concept that was presented has the potential to be developed into a functional project, and someLast week, eight student teams presented their concepts to a panel of Subaru, Grand Teton National Park, and National Parks Conservation Association staff with impressive results.
Ultimately, this Building STEAM project engages students as ambassadors of the park and promoters of resource reuse. STEAM introduces students to a variety of professions and equips them with the ability to develop a concept from design into production through a collaborative, creative problem-solving process that can be replicated in any future profession they choose to work in.