Recycling Paper Into Art

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Inspired by the school’s recycling efforts, Hampton Bays Elementary School STEM teacher Jonathan DellaSperanza and art teacher Debra McDowell teamed up to teach students how to turn old paper into new paper that can be used as an artist’s canvas. 

Students are working in the school’s STEM lab to make usable paper through a process that involves shredding recycled paper, soaking the scraps in water to turn it into pulp, and drying. Once the material is set, students will use it in their art classes to paint pictures of their choice. 

“Through a partnership with Suffolk County, the school has recycled 7,159 pounds of paper and 8,705 plastic water bottles this year,” said DellaSperanza. “It is this program that sparked this collaborative idea.” 

McDowell plans to continue the idea next year by creating artwork using the recycled water bottles.