The Moo Machine at Ida Freeman Elementary

Mar 25, 2015
milk truck made of milk cartons

What do you get when you take 400 elementary school students, 1,298 empty milk cartons, six “Cookies,” and a ton of inspiration? You get a “Moo Machine,” of course. But, you get a lot more.

Students at Ida Freeman Elementary in Edmond, Oklahoma, were challenged by their Cookies (the cafeteria ladies that cook them healthy school meals each day) to enter the “Made by Milk” Carton Construction Contest.

The milk carton creation took them three months, working some time each week. A cool group of 4th graders told me about the important concepts they learned and practiced:

  • Working together we can do almost anything
  • Concentration
  • It’s fun to work with people
  • It’s fun to recycle
  • It takes time to make a great thing
  • We can accomplish our goals and dreams
  • Precision is important
  • Milk is useful for measuring and building

Who knew?

Of course I always like to talk to kids about how important it is to drink milk three times every day. There is just no substitute for the nine essential nutrients kids get in milk. So, I asked them why they love milk. Here are some of my favorite answers:

  • Tate: “It makes your bones strong and it’s healthy for you, and I drink it with every meal.”
  • Kaleb: “I like milk because it’s a better choice than juice if your parents ban you from juice because [milk’s] a better choice and more healthy.”
  • Jennifer: “Milk tastes really good and helps you grow.”
  • Abby: “It goes good with lots of things and you can cook with it.”
  • Emma: “My New Year’s resolution is to not drink soda for a whole entire year and to mostly drink milk.”
  • Wise beyond her years Brianna: “I’m a person who likes spicy stuff and milk makes the spicy feeling go away.”

And, my favorite:

  • Anthony: “I like milk so much, when I finish my milk and my parents aren’t looking, I secretly sneak back in to the refrigerator to get more.”

And then I asked, “What do you think about kids who don’t drink milk?” Paden indicated he was concerned that they might not get the calcium they need. You got it Paden, I’m concerned about that too.

The students at Ida Freeman love learning, they love milk, and they love their Cookies! And I love Ida Freeman students! And their Moo Machine too!

So, the next time you finish off a milk carton, think of the things a group of Cookies and a bunch of students could do with it.

And why not try a few projects yourself with our milk container crafts Pinterest board?