Ava’s Inventions

Ava’s Inventions

by Ava, 8 years old, Room 3

The Aratiatia team at Wairakei Primary School has been learning about using plastic products. Our challenge was to make an invention so people don’t have to use so much plastic. 

Mrs Thompson chose to look at big and serious problems to sort out. We ended up doing plastic as our problem. Our teacher didn’t especially choose plastic as our topic. Our class all decided together that plastic was a problem. We all knew that New Zealand had a plastic problem, but we wanted to find out if plastic was a worldwide problem. So we watched some videos about different countries to see if plastic was a problem and it is. So we worked on that problem for a very long time. 

After we knew plastic was a worldwide problem we did a design process. What we did first was we thought about what emotion we felt about so much plastic being wasted, like single-use plastic. Next, we saw a problem. After that, we had an idea, like a lightbulb moment. Next, we started making prototypes and making little changes to our prototypes. Lastly, we shared our ideas with other people.

My Design Process: 

I feel scared because plastic can take over our world and a mixture of angry and sad is going over me because of what people are doing to our planet. The problems I saw were plastic in lunchboxes and plastic cutlery, which are both single-use plastic. Then I had a lightbulb moment that I should make reusable snack bags and reusable cutlery pouches. Then I made 2 prototypes for snack bags and 3 prototypes for my cutlery pouches. Then I shared my learning with other people at our Celebration Day.

My first topic was using plastic packaging in your lunchboxes. I designed reusable washable snack bags. My first prototype I used string on the top to tighten it, and my second prototype I used elastic.


I realised one topic wasn’t enough for me, so I created a cutlery pouch to put utensils in for when you have takeaways. This saves using and throwing away the single use plastic cutlery. It would also be great to use for when you go camping, on school camps or to take on picnics. 


Ava's cutlery pouches and snack bags


Ava's reusable cutlery pouches

After studying for a while Mrs Thompson gave us a 31-day challenge sheet to try. It had different challenges to save our world. Things like say no to plastic straws. Drink it straight from the cup. One small change can make a big difference. Persuade other people to do these challenges. You can make a difference. If you see a problem you can help by using the design process. Make up your own challenges to try on other people. Also, we made posters using a topic off the 31-day challenge to persuade people when they come in the classroom.

Keywords: Enviro, Technology, design, student-led inquiry, global issues, student voice, Room 3

Ava s cutlery pouches and snack bags