KODIAK — While the screams and shouts of delighted elementary school students filled the Kodiak Middle School gym, Arielle Himelbloom sat quietly in the school's nearby cafeteria.

With the din of younger kids leaking into the cafeteria, Himelbloom confidently explained her plan to spread recycling bins throughout the middle school.

Her proposal — and the gymnasium's din — was all part of the Kodiak Island Borough school district's science and engineering expo.

The expo was a project of the district's Kodiak Extended Learning Project, said Teresa Hedges, the KELP instructor for North Star and Peterson elementary schools.

Tuesday's event brought elementary students and parents together on projects intended to provide fun applications for engineering and math lessons. "Everybody likes to build," she said.

While elementary schoolers were entertained by hand-built vehicles, it took bigger projects to get the attention of middle schoolers.

Alongside Himelbloom's presentation were several others by other middle schoolers participating in the Sustainable Redesign Competition. In the competition, students were challenged to find a way to make Kodiak a more Earth-friendly place.

Sophia Sannito won the competition with her design for an easy-to-use cafeteria recycling center. She received a $50 gift card and a prize from Grand Slam Toys & Cards. She also receives the honor of seeing her project put into motion through a $100 grant from the Kodiak Island Medical Association.

In second place was a presentation by the Kodiak Middle School Student Council, which used its filmmaking skill on a video discouraging styrofoam use and left judges Barry Altenhoff and Lisa Hupp grinning.

Himelbloom, Melina McElligatt and Gabby Nachel each received $35 gift cards for their presentations regarding recycling.

Contact Mirror editor James Brooks at editor@kodiakdailymirror.com.

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