University/College Level Challange (adaptable for advanced high school students)
Students will ultimately create a cardboard chair that holds 150 pounds.The chair can not use any glue, nails, tape, or reinforcements of any kind to hold it together.
Students will individually come up with concepts for the chair and then work in groups to construct a final chair that encompasses various student's ideas.
The chair project is a unit where students learn various design principles over a course of several months. These principles taken into account the design process where students revise their work based on how the following criteria: How well does the chair design function?
How is teh chair designed structurally? Will it hold the weight? Can someone lean back and still get ample support?
How does the chair design look? Is it aesthetic? What isthe driving force behind the design
Is the chair economical to produce? Students are given a limited amount of cardboard to work with and need to revise their designs accordingto the budget?
Does the chair have integrity? Perhaps it is designed to help handicap people, or use recycled cardboard, or effects the environment?
Throughout this unit students are constantly evaluationing their work and their classmates designs. Students first create a 1/4 scale model to assess the design. Later they construct a 1/2 scale and make the needed revisions to the full scale chair.
Students are given daily homework to reinforce principles of design and structual forces. The homeworks including sketching, experimenting and testing howmuch strength structures withstand, handouts and reflective writing.
Samples of other students work from a Freshman high school class.