Milliken provides unique opportunities for Rowan-Salisbury students

Published 12:07 am Monday, December 29, 2014

Under normal circumstances it would be considered rude to walk all over a student’s artwork — but several Rowan-Salisbury students probably wouldn’t mind, since their pieces have been turned into carpet squares.

Students at area schools were asked to put their pens, crayons, markers and colored pencils to paper to create their ideal learning space, and eight of those pieces were then printed onto carpet squares by Milliken & Company.

“It’s all about finding out what their ideal learning space is like,” said Prem Patel, Milliken’s market segment leader for the education department.

Not only is the carpet square a cool reward for a project well done, it “connects kids with career options” and gives Milliken insight into how students “inhabit that space,” Patel said.

The project opens doors for teachers to talk about the wide varieties of careers that are available with companies like Milliken.

The students were able to learn about a host of jobs — from design to marketing to research production.

“It really agave us a chance to look outside of Landis,” said Cheryl Lange, media coordinator at Corriher Lipe Middle School. “The kids don’t really think of job opportunities that exist elsewhere.”

The project itself lends a hand to the school system’s new focus on problem-based learning, said Isenberg Elementary Principal Marvin Moore.

“This isn’t just a scenario my teacher’s coming up with,” Moore said. ““It’s taking it to the next level.”

Students were also able to see their own art “transformed into a real life product,” Patel said.

“It felt nice because we worked hard on it and it felt like we accomplished something and we got our ideas out there,” said Rhiannon Kimmer, an eighth-grade student at Corriher Lipe.

The winners received their carpet squares and were treated to a pizza party at the district’s administrative officers before Christmas break.