Each year, students in the Tuscaloosa City Schools participate in a system-wide service learning opportunity and design challenge. Combining the principals of engineering and art, students work in teams to construct sculptures from canned food.
Schools first investigate the problem of food insecurity and then generate a theme for their build using assorted canned goods in their design. The challenge extends beyond just the build, it's an opportunity for students to use creative problem-solving skills toward reducing food insecurity in Tuscaloosa. All canned goods collected as part of the annual Tuscaloosa Can event will be donated at the conclusion of the event to the West Alabama Food Bank.
Many of the designs are based on using a particular color, size, or shape of can. Community members are invited to assist students in the challenge either by donating specific canned goods needed for their build or funding for the school to purchase the canned goods.
The 2019 event will be held in conjunction with First Friday in March at the Dinah Washington Cultural Arts Center and various locations in downtown Tuscaloosa. All structures will be available for public viewing.