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Local Students Support Hunger Relief with “Canstruction” Creations

CANSTRUCTION WINNERS – STEM Club members from local schools recently participated in the 5th annual Canstruction Jr. competition at Discovery Park of America and Westview students won first place in five of six categories. Westview STEM Club members include (from left) Cannon Elliott, Joseph Roupe, Club Advisor Laura Sterrett, Christopher Ostenson, Alyssa Chua, Hunter Terrell, Samantha Bates, Nicholas Sterrett, Jacob Foltz, and Matthew Moon.

Three Weakley County Schools competed in the 5th Annual Canstruction Jr. competition held at Discovery Park of America [DPA] to support local food banks, and Westview High School secured first place in 5 of 6 categories.

STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) Clubs from Dresden Middle, Dresden High, and Westview High represented the district at the event on November 3.

Under the direction of STEM Club Advisor Laura Sterrett, Westview took home first-place crystal trophies in 5 of 6 categories, including Best in Show, Jurors’ Favorite, Best Meal, Most Creative, and Structural Ingenuity. 

The team’s colorful hot air balloon ‘canstruction’ represented breaking through the traditions of food insecurity to successfully meet the challenge of hunger. They were also awarded the honorable mention ribbon in the remaining Best Use of Labels category that was won by the Lake Road Elementary School Plus Class.

A total of nine schools participated in the competition, and each team received $500 from sponsors and purchased canned goods to build a pre-designed and practiced structure. The creations will be on display in an exhibition until the end of November, when the cans will be donated to local hunger relief organizations.

Westview’s Club Advisor Laura Sterrett was blown away by the awards received.

“This is the third year of competition for our seniors. The last two years, they based their designs around the theme of ‘transportation,’ so they decided to keep that theme again this year. The team chose a rising hot air balloon in the mountains concept to symbolize conquering the battle over hunger. We are very proud of these nine members of the Westview STEM Club and the many hours of effort they put into the planning and execution. We are also proud that their work will bring food to area food banks,” Sterrett commented.

Dresden High School STEM Club’s design was inspired by breakfast and warm memories, while Dresden Middle’s STEM Club built their theme around their group’s collective state pride. Students are already preparing for next year’s canned works of art, according to Club Advisors Rachel Abbott and Magan Cooper.

The 5th annual event was a great success according to Dr. Emalee Buttrey, DPA Director of Education, Programming, and Museum Experience.

The canned goods were sponsored by Carol and Bill Latimer, Searcy Construction, Ben E. Keith Foods, Union City Energy Authority, and Leaders Credit Union.

The display will be on exhibit throughout November at DPA in Union City.

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