Students design and install bench made out of recycled materials


Paavo Lahdesmaki

The recycled bench can be seen outside the 600 buildings, surrounding a tree to commemorate the Green Ribbon award.

In front of the 600 buildings, Design and Fabrication students constructed a bench with recycled materials to commemorate Los Altos High School’s Green Ribbon award for environmental sustainability. 

The Green Ribbon was awarded by the United States Department of Education in 2021 for the school’s efforts to reduce its environmental impact, improve the wellness of students and staff and provide education on sustainability. The bench encircles a tree that was planted to commemorate the award. 

The bench is almost entirely made of recycled materials. Old filing cabinets and Chromebook charging stations were retrieved from storage, and wood doors were found at a junkyard. 

We tried our best to capture the idea that old items can still be reused for other purposes,” senior Caitlynn Chock said. 

The idea for the bench originated from and was designed by a team in last year’s class. The team ran out of time, and this year’s group seeked to bring the design to life. 

“It was challenging working with unfamiliar materials and seeing the other group’s vision for the bench,” Caitlynn said. 

The bench was created by five students, with Design and Fabrication teacher Adam Anderson acting as an advisor. The students modeled, planned and constructed the bench by themselves. 

“I show them how to use the tools safely, but they do the work,” Anderson said. “I stay out of the way as much as I can.” 

The corners were made out of the filing cabinets, and the repurposed door sits on top. The bench was finalized with blue weather-resistant paint. The only new products were the bolts used to attach the bench to the ground. 

“The whole process between plan to product is one of the coolest parts of this class,” junior Joey Braun said. Producing something you’ve imagined feels awesome.”