SPRING HILL — Austin White constructed a 2-foot frog — he admits his 8-year-old sister, Olivia, helped him — painted it and won a laptop computer.
The Springstead High School International Baccalaureate junior took part in an 11-day challenge with other IB students. The contest was sponsored by dosomething.org, a website that encourages students to embrace positive causes, and Lenovo Group Limited, a computer technology corporation that sponsored this particular contest. The students were asked to complete new challenges each day for 11 days this summer.
The challenge that resulted in the frog focused on recycling. The frog's body was made from chocolate milk powder cylinders. It had milk jug arms and legs, a sandwich box head and plastic egg eyes.
"And we painted it, and I made a little sign that said, 'Please recycle. Save my home — Red-eye, the tree frog.' " Austin said.
He posted a photo of the frog online to submit it. "I guess they liked it, because in a few days I got an e-mail," Austin said.
The contest sponsor had awarded him the laptop.
He said the challenge "made me realize recycling is important. We recycle at my house."
Another challenge was an 11-day scavenger hunt, which Austin did with a team of 11 students, mostly from Springstead.
"We posted things daily on Facebook," he said, acting on and answering messages from the sponsors about such topics as recycling, violence, animal welfare, education and supporting troops overseas.
Examples of some of the ways the students answered those challenges included collecting books and other school-related items to give to underprivileged children and collecting clothing for those in need. "We wrote letters to troops," Austin said.
Austin credits team and school mate Jonas Gonzalez with suggesting they participate.
The team, called Sublime, came in 11th in the nation.
Austin is the son of Alexandra and James White of Brooksville.