Meet the Sunset Hills Blockheads Recycling Styrofoam into Adhesive
Don’t tell Girl Scout Troop 1484 that something can’t be done. What started out as a challenge for six middle school students from Sunset Hills, Missouri became an experiment that had them presenting at the White House Science Fair in April 2016. “The girls were challenged by the First Lego League competition to find a solution to a community problem,” explains JoAnna Jones-Raymond, mother to one of the girls. After speaking with Ellie Kaiser, head of the Resident Facilities Committee at the Friendship Village Retirement Community, their issue was how to dispose of their Styrofoam cups. “We’ve heard for too long that Styrofoam can’t be recycled, but these girls were determined to find a solution.”
Their first chemical solutions produced a toxic byproduct so it was scrapped. The girls continued research and experimentation to find environmentally friendly solutions. They succeeded and discovered an extra bonus: the reduced slurry possessed adhesive qualities. With hours of research and reaching out to business resources, the Blockheads team was invited to present at the White House and met big names such as President Obama and Bill Nye the Science Guy.
It wasn’t an easy journey, however. JoAnna adds, “The girls were quickly exposed to popularity, visibility and lots of media attention.” As anxious Blockhead parents viewed the presentation through live-stream video, they were touched by the camaraderie and professionalism that emerged. “It was quite emotional to see our girls face the challenges as a team and come out shining.”
With help and support from the Lindbergh School District, the business community and everyone who wanted to help improve the world, these girls accomplished what was believed to have no solution. “If you humbly and sincerely ask for help, you will always find someone willing to assist.”
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Post provided by Kris Edens, a copywriting and blogging resource for small business. She resides in Festus, Missouri and enjoys networking, writing and the entrepreneurial community.