Friday, May 27, 2011

Proud "Mama"

This year in IED (the Project Lead the Way engineering course) I decided to assign a "cardboard" chair project. I had gone to a workshop in February, and 2 other IED teachers presented this project, and I totally had to do it. My class started right after our spring break in March, and I decided to do the project with my students. I JUST finished my chair, and my students' chairs are in various stages of completion.

I altered their project to fit my school's needs and time frame and such, and the kids stressed out and grumbled and such, but then I heard various whispers of them being impressed with themselves for designing and creating something totally from scratch and from their own imaginations. Part of the specs were that it could only be made out of cardboard, and it had to support 200 lbs.

I finished mine today, and it worked! Woot! Anyway, just a bragging post to show pictures, and because I was hopeful that it would work, but deep down wasn't quite sure I could pull it off.

Quarter Scaled Mock Up:

In Production:

Finished Product:

Goofy Person In Chair:


  1. That looks amazing. You've definitely made me want to make one.

  2. Wow! Consider me impressed. Can't wait to see what your kids made, too. (Definitely better than those spaghetti bridges I remember making!)

  3. Awsomely fun! So--tell us the details. What sort of cardboard did you all use? What do you use to cut it? When do I get to seem more of these totally cool chairs?

  4. Thanks! It was a pain in the butt (and hands) while I was doing it, but nice afterward. We all "dumpster" dove for corrugated cardboard. We used $2 box cutters from Harbor Freight, and made sure they were frequently sharpened. I have 6 groups that created chairs, and I'll post pictures later once they've presented in class next week. I'm curious to see their reflections on the project.

    Hmmmmm, what else. I'd definitely do a project again where they had to design and create something in engineering, but maybe not something SO large. I only have 12 students in that class, and next year, their may be 2 classes of 20, so that would probably be TOO much stinky cardboard in the classroom. By the way, cardboard that stays in your class for 2 months SMELLS! Oy.

  5. Nice article, thanks for the information.