ecomaine’s Upcycle Challenge

Want to win $500 for your school’s Green Team, STEM Club, or Project Graduation? Submit your design using upcycled materials and let us know how it works!

In the past, we’ve seen a working chandelier made from old plastic bottles, a bike rack made from, well…bikes, clothing made out of plastic, hair scrunchies made from old clothing, clothing made from old curtains, furniture from old tires, and movie projectors made from all kinds of would-be-junk materials!

Find items that would normally be thrown away and create an all-new, super-useful invention from them!

Students had until March 31, 2023 to submit their upcycled inventions via the form below.

Finalists will be chosen by ecomaine’s Outreach & Recycling Committee based on the following criteria:

  1. Incorporation of post-consumer materials (must be a majority of materials used)
  2. Ingenuity and functionality of a new “upcycled” invention (must be an entirely new item – though we encourage repair and reuse, this is the Upcycle Challenge!)
  3. Inclusion of students in the design and construction process
  4. School (teacher, coach, administrative) leadership and approval
  5. Submissions must be from a K-12 school in one of ecomaine’s member communities to be considered.

Finalists were voted on online until the end of Earth Month, April 2023.

Aurora Milton of Cape Elizabeth High School won 2023’s Upcycle Challenge for her design of a jumper made from old fabric and discarded clothing.  Congratulations to all our finalists!

Aurora Milton’s winning 2023 design