Thomas & Friends

Student’s independent artwork to be displayed in building entrance ​
Posted on 12/07/2021
Terrell Causey

The Poplar Bluff Middle School has plans to permanently display the artwork of a student who has taught himself to create highly detailed 3D paper models from memory in very short order.

Administrators say they will install a shadow box cabinet in the school foyer to showcase the train characters drawn up by sixth grader Terrell Causey, based on the “Thomas & Friends” children’s television series.

“He creates these in record time without instructions using paper, colored pencils, scissors and glue,” said his teacher Jessica Schindler, further describing: “complete with spinning wheels, stairs, a functioning gate, and couplers on the front and back.”

Schindler explained how Terrell practices his craft "during any free time he can manage," and she “can hardly get onto him” because “his artistic talent leaves me in awe every time.” The student also has made paper cutouts of characters from the “Cars” film series and the “Dusty Crophopper” animation in the past, and recently taught his classmates how to make 3D pumpkins in celebration of Halloween.

“His brain could see it in ways mine can’t,” Schindler continued. “By high school, he could be working at Disney!”

Observing Terrell create a train that stands up from just a piece of paper in a matter of moments, he utilizes a well-worn art kit supplied by his teachers, and can explain each of the various components that he picked up on from the cartoon: a funnel, steam dome, boiler, coupling hooks, side rods, engine frame, etc.

Terrell says he “learned by myself,” he has been practicing “since I was little,” and creating the art pieces simply makes him “happy.” Paraprofessional Jennifer Seabaugh purchased the student a Thomas the Tank Engine toy for his birthday in November, and he made a modification in order to connect the wheels so that it is more structurally sound.

“In education, we’re always looking for students with background knowledge – in this case, science and engineering he has gained through observation. It’s creative and it covers both the art and the mechanical world,” said Dr. Josh Teeter, Middle School principal. “The attention to detail is fascinating; it goes to show a child understands more about this type of thing than we realize.”


Cutline: Middle School student Terrell Causey exercises his fine motor skills creating character ‘James the Red Engine’ No. 5 from “Thomas & Friends” on the spot, without using a visual aid.

Website by SchoolMessenger Presence. © 2024 SchoolMessenger Corporation. All rights reserved.