Cardboard Chair Challenge
Corrugated cardboard, made from a natural renewable resource, has one of the best environmental records. In 2002, more than 23 million tons of corrugated cardboard were recovered and recycled in the US – that is 74% of all cardboard produced in the same year. Cardboard has the best recycling rate of any packaging material used today. A hard look at every scrap of cardboard can lead the creative mind to see it as a valuable raw material. This is your opportunity to discover the potential of corrugated cardboard.
Design a chair! This activity asks students to design and build a full-sized chair from corrugated cardboard. The chair must support a pre-determined weight that is selected by the team for at least 5 minutes. The person seated will be in a “comfortable” position with his / her back leaning against the back of the chair. Students will get an opportunity to learn about paper and cardboard as a building material and the statics and dynamics of structures. This design competition is designed to encourage and reward excellence in design that integrates function (does the chair work); aesthetics (is it pleasing to the eye); ergonomics (is it comfortable for the average person); details (are my drawings and actual construction accurate); and fun.
1. Form & Function of the chair (comfort & aesthetics) 25 pts.
2. Presentation of the Solution (academic display / presentation drawings) 50 pts.
3. Structural Integrity of the Chair (strength) 25 pts.*
*Your weight divided by the weight of your chair equals a strength design factor. High numbers are best.
Final team rankings will be based on the total score from the competition components. A maximum of 100 points are available. In the case of a tie, the team with the lighter chair will be declared the winner.
Final team rankings will be based on the total score by adding all of the component scores.
1. Untreated corrugated cardboard
2. Box cutters
3. Metal rulers, Scissors
4. Adhesive of team’s choice
RULES FOR CONSTRUCTION
1. The chair must have a seat and a back.
2. No non-cardboard mechanical fasteners will be permitted.
3. No adhesives of any kind
4. The seat of the chair must be at least 16” from the floor (measured to the bottom of the seat).
5. The top of the back must be no less than 30” from the floor.
6. If any of the above criteria are not met, your design will be automatically disqualified.
1. Each chair will be weighed and the weight will be recorded.
2. Each team should identify a “tester” prior to arriving to the competition. This person will be weighed and the weight will be used in the structural integrity formula to determine the chair’s efficiency.
3. The tester will carefully sit in the designed chair; as previously tested. The weight distribution on the chair should be a design issue for each team.
4. Once the “tester” is comfortably seated in the chair, the timer will begin. If the chair withstands the allotted time, your chair is then compared by the weight.
5. “Comfortably” seated is defined as the tester being seated in the chair and leaning against the back of the chair and resting. There will be no sudden forces acting on the chair; just one constant force and weight throughout the five minutes.
6. The chair with the highest efficiency will receive the maximum 25 points. The chair with the second highest efficiency will receive 20 points. The chair with the third highest efficiency will receive 15 points. This pattern will continue until 0 points is reached or all of the chairs have been evaluated.
7. Any chair that is not successful will not receive any points for the function category.
1. A team of judges will conduct individual evaluations of the designed chairs.
These individual scores will be averaged to determine the overall winner.
ALL DECISIONS MADE BY THE JUDGES ARE FINAL.
The suggested order of procedure is as follows:
a. Research – see what others have done relative to similar contests such as using the Internet, library, local bookstores, or furniture stores.
b. Design sketches – prepare sketches of some possible design ideas of a chair of your own design.
c. Drawings – prepare dimensioned working drawings from your design sketches that will allow you to construct a model from the plans you prepare.
d. Model – prepare a prototype model made completely out of cardboard and fixatives as per allowed in this competition.
e. Test – conduct some tests to see how well your prototype conforms to the design requirements of this competition.
Cardboard Chair Academic Display (25 points)
Teams will present their chairs and relevant aspects of the design project in a display format. The focus of the display is to highlight the design process of each team.
Components of the Display
A brief synopsis of the project in 250 words or less must be part of the display. It should state the purpose and the most important features of the students’ research, the main conclusions and recommendations. It should be written in informative, non-technical terms and be interesting to the reader.
An explanation of the team’s approach to address the scientific forces acting on the chair should be included. In addition, to identify with the theme, the team should discuss the environmental impact of using recycled corrugated cardboard.
Drawings / Graphics
Each display board should include an orthographic drawing of the designed chair (top, front, and side views). This drawing should include dimensions and a specified scale. The drawings on the display and the actual chair should be accurate when the project is complete.
The Design Process
Photographs, tables, processes, etc should be included that demonstrate the team going through the design process. The design process includes: identifying the problem, the design brief, research the problem, brainstorm / develop solutions, choose the best solution, modeling & prototyping, testing & evaluating, manufacturing, and redesigning.
Criteria for Evaluation
Clarity of Abstract (6 pts)
Scientific Explanations (6 pts)
Accuracy and presentation of orthographic drawings (6 points)
Organization (4 pts)
Creativity and Overall Presentation (3 pts).
Cardboard Chair Oral Presentation (25 points)
Each participating team will make an oral presentation about their engineering design project to the class. After the presentation, teams will be asked questions by the judge(s).
1. Teams will have a maximum of five (5) minutes to make an oral presentation of their project to the class.
2. All team members must be present and orally contribute to the presentation.
3. Props, models, charts, graphs, and visual aids are allowed. Costumes are not allowed.
4. Due to time constraints, electronic presentations will not be permitted (i.e., laptops, PowerPoint, Internet)
5. The presentation will be followed by a brief question and answer period conducted by the
Judge(s). These questions will be brief and to the point and solely to ascertain student knowledge of the project.
6. Students are discouraged from reading directly from a sheet of paper.
Students should discuss and describe the following topics:
The design process used in designing and constructing chair
How they addressed the scientific forces acting on the chair
Any research or knowledge gained about recycling materials
Recommendations and conclusions
Criteria for Evaluation
Effective and clear description of specific design process 6 pts
Effective and clear description of how addressed the various forces 5 pts
Demonstrated gained knowledge of environmental issues and relationship to this project 5 pts
Conclusion and recommendations 5 pts
Delivery/Demeanor 4 pts
Introduction to Architecture
This full year course for grades 10-12 is an overview of architecture.