Students create custom Christmas ornaments for foster children

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Peoria Unified students in the Medical Engineering and Technology Professional Academy are working in conjunction with Terra Verde and the Sunshine Angels organization to provide custom Christmas ornaments for over 250 foster care children in the valley ranging in age from three to 17 years old.

MET students use Corel software and Trotec Rayjet 80-watt laser engravers along with wood a polyurethane finish donated by Terra Verde to create custom Christmas ornaments with the child’s name on it, along with the year and a holiday graphic that is age appropriate.

The MET students wanted to give back during this holiday season and thought that offering custom ornaments to children in foster care would provide them with a small token that they can keep with them regardless of where they are staying.  The MET students were so excited to make these customized ornaments for such a great cause, they also began collecting much needed supplies to donate to the Sunshine Angels organization as well.

At a recent network advisory board meeting, a representative from Terra Verde, a business partner that advises the MET Professional Academy, heard about the project and saw a prototype of the concept and immediately offered to donate the funds for the raw materials to complete the 270 ornaments before Christmas. This project signifies the collaboration of education and business, providing students with unique, immersive experiences while giving back to the community.

The ornaments will be produced beginning Monday, Dec. 4 and will continue throughout the week. Students are collecting supplies for Sunshine Angels December 4 through December 13 and plan to deliver their donations on Thursday, Dec. 14.

About the MET Professional Academy

The MET Professional Academy is a signature STEM program in the Peoria Unified School District for juniors and seniors who attend one of the district’s seven high schools.  MET students are immersed in a professional setting and gain valuable experience working with industry professionals who help them learn through authentic projects and work experiences.

About the Peoria Unified School District

Peoria Unified, located in the Northwest Valley, serves more than 36,000 students in 34 elementary schools, seven high schools and one non-traditional high school. With ongoing open enrollment and alternative educational opportunities, the district boasts a 94 percent high school graduation rate. It is one of the largest unified school districts in Arizona and prides itself on excelling schools, award-winning teachers, high test scores, specialized signature programs and championship sports programs. The Vision of the Peoria Unified School District is “Every student, every day, prepared to shape tomorrow.” For more information, visit the district’s website at

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