My name is Benjamin Major, and I am a Year 10 student currently immersed in a Personal Project as part of my final year in the Middle Years Programme. My Project promotes reusing and repurposing by utilising electronic wastes (e-waste) such as computer motherboards, graphics cards, CPUs, hard drives, memory cards and batteries to produce a mathematically scaled, three-dimensional model of mid-town Manhattan, New York City (NYC).

In 2019 I visited New York City with my family, residing in a lively hotel in the heart of Times Square. If only I knew that I would be building this hotel two years in the future! Only this time, 804 times smaller, and in my own garage.

Beginning my project was a strenuous and unmotivating experience. Taking weeks on end to collect e-waste, as well as research and experiment in search for the most efficient and effective cutting and gluing methods, the complexity of my project daunted upon me. Beginning the construction was also a discouraging process, taking up to six hours to perfect a singular building. Regardless, I persevered with my project. Building after building, block after block, I could begin to see my project coming to life. A singular building taking six hours turned into five and then into four, tackling each problem head on throughout the journey. To date, I have completed 85 per cent of my project and I have learnt a plethora of new skills. For example, I have learnt how to use various softwares such as Google Earth, Open Data and Blueprint to collect the dimensions of all the buildings. I have also learnt how to use many power tools to construct the base, frame and cut the e-waste buildings for my model. Furthermore, I learnt many self-management skills such as time management, persistence, perseverance and staying positive after setbacks.

Although my Personal Project journey has not been the easiest, I could not be happier with the outcome thus far. The process has been very rewarding, enabling me to explore and express my personal ideas and feelings. As well, my project has challenged me to think in an open-minded manner to deliver my personal belief that in a perfect world, e-waste would not exist!

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