Upcycling Challenge


Upcycling summer challenge

Muiris Capon-Telford excelled in the summer upcycling challenge set by the Design and Technology Department by creating a pirate boat themed ball pit.

Each year the Royal Hospital School set a number of optional summer projects for pupils to stretch and challenge themselves over the holiday. The Design and Technology Department set an exciting project to test problem solving and creative skills; upcycling.

"Upcycling, also known as creative reuse, is the process of transforming by-products, waste materials, useless, or unwanted products into new materials or products of better quality or for better environmental value."

Muiris had to source the majority of his materials for free which included a donated rowing boat from Waldringfield Boatyard and over 300 plastic balls from the Partyman World soft play company. Using these raw materials Muiris set to work to come up with a design and new function for these previously unwanted items. After exploring a number of different ideas and through trial and error Muiris settled on the idea to create a children's pirate themed ball pit. Hard work was required to make the boat clean, safe and secure as well as adding a mast and pirate flag.


The boat donated by Waldringfield Boatyard before Muiris upcycled it.

Head of Design and Technology, Mr Millington commented, "Muiris' project is an excellent example of upcycling and although it was not his initial idea to make a ball pit, his final solution is high quality and functional."

Muiris described his upcycling journey, "I really enjoyed working outside in the sunshine learning new skills while upcycling the old boat to a pirate boat. I am aware of how much is wasted and put into landfill and wanted to find a project that would give an old boat new life and then find a family who would have lots of fun using the boat. Working to the small budget my Dad set was difficult; but it did improve my negotiation skills to ask for donations and discounts."