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APPLIED TECHNOLOGY & ENGINEERING

Cardboard Chair Project

Name: ______________________________________
Date: __________________ Grade: ____ Section: ___

1

Cardboard Chair Project
DESIGN CHALLENGE
Design and build a cardboard chair that will comfortably support an
“average” middle school student.
Criteria

Constraints

You prototype must...
Your prototype must stay within these limits...
 Be made entirely out of cardboard and glue.
 No painting or coloring of any kind!
 Have a seat and a back.
 No metal or other fasteners are permitted. (Such as
staples, nails, screws or tacks)
 The seat of the chair must be at least 16” from
the floor (measured to the bottom of the seat).
 The top of the back must be no less than 30”
from the floor.
 Be portable (able to be carried through doors).
 Be comfortable to sit in

Approved Materials

Key Points

• Cardboard
• Glue
NOTE: Keep track of and safeguard all materials.
Points will be lost if replacement parts are
needed.


The strength of any material can be increased or
decreased by changing its form
Weak materials can be strengthened through
folding, creasing or other modifications
Load distribution is key in identifying areas of
potential weakness

Key Terms







Beam: a supporting member that transfers weight
from one location to another.
Center of gravity: the single point in an abject
that gravity pulls on.
Compression: a force that presses or pushes
towards an object’s center.
Ergonomics: the practice of designing objects
that conform to the dimensions of the human
body to maximize comfort.
Load: weight that is carried by an object.
Strut: a brace or support.
Sway: to move back and forth.
Truss: a triangular support.

Chair Competition
Chairs will be evaluated by having other students sit in them and vote to determine which design is the most
comfortable and “cool.”

!

2

IDENTIFY THE PROBLEM
In your own words... state what you’ve been asked to do.
I have been asked to ___________________________________________________________ that will
_____________________________________________________________________________________
Look at the rubric for this project on the last page and then answer the next two questions.
1. What do you think will be the most challenging part? _________________________________________
2. What’s ONE strategy you can try to overcome it? ____________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________________

DEVELOP POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS
In the boxes below, draw six (6) different isometric versions (see example) of what your design might
look
like. It’s
very
important
to label the drawing to helpTeaching
me understand
your thinking.
Teaching
Aid
Master
18
Aid Master
18
Prototype
Isometric
Dot#1Paper

Teaching Aid Master 18

Teaching Aid Master 18

Prototype
Isometric
Dot#3Paper

Prototype
Isometric
Dot#4Paper

Teaching Aid Master 18

Prototype
Isometric
Dot#5Paper

18

© Prentice-Hall, Inc. All rights reserved.

Teaching Aid Master 18

Multiple-Use Classroom Resources

Prototype
Isometric
Dot#2Paper

Prototype
Isometric
Dot#6Paper

18

Multiple-Use Classroom Resources

© Prentice-Hall, Inc. All rights reserved.

3

CHOOSE A SOLUTION

Iden%fy  which  prototype  you’ve  chosen  to  make  and  explain  why.  If  you  really  can’t  tell  me  why  this  prototype  is  insanely  
great,  you  shouldn’t  be  building  it.
______________________________________________________________________
A paragraph has a
beginning a middle and
an end.
The beginning, or the
topic sentence, states
what the paragraph is
about.
The middle develops the
idea in detail by giving
specific support & details
for it (usually 3 - 5).
The end (conclusion)
restates the main idea in
the topic sentence.

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______________________________________________________________________
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4

WidTH

F
r

1” Side View

Top View

LENGTH

WIDTH

p
o
T

STEP 3

p
o
T

3-View
ingsDrawings

WidTH

F
r

1”

Side View

View
CHOOSE ATop
SOLUTION

D

D

D
A- CHEAT Transfer the height of the shape to the side view by drawing dotted lines Width
1”
B - Draw in the object line representing the overall width (2 ½ inches or 10 blocks) B Front View
F
B
Top
View
C - Draw in the object line representing the overall height (2inches or 8 blocks, you
also have
a dot that represents the height)
A- CHEAT
Transfer
height
of the
to the
view
dotted
linesview by drawing dotted lines r
ACHEAT
Transfer
theside
height
ofby
thedrawing
shape to
the side
D- Finish drawing the object lines
that represent
the the
outside
edges
of shape
the
shape
o

3

en
gt
h

D

A - Dimension the overall length (either the front or top view)
A - Dimension the overall length (either the front or topLENGTH
view)

HEIGHT

2”

LENGTH

Front View

HEIGHT

HEIGHT

2 1/2"

2 1/2"

2 1/2"

LENGTH

E

HEIGHT

HEIGHT

B
- Dimension the overall
height (either the front or side view)
A - Dimension
the overall
length
the front
or topheight
view)
Front
View
Front
Front View
B - (either
Dimension
the overall
(either the front E
or side
view) View
C - Dimension the overall width (either the top or side view)
C -(either
Dimension
the overall
(either theany
top other
or sideedges,
view)cut-outs, slants, holes, etc. (don’t over dimension, it only makes the drawing look messy)
B - Dimension the overall height
the front
or sidewidth
view)
D
- Dimension
D (either
- Dimension
edges, cut-outs, slants, holes, etc. (don’t over dimension, it only makes the drawing look messy)
C - Dimension the overall width
the topany
or other
side view)
Materials Needed
Bother edges,Production
D - Dimension any
cut-outs, slants, holes, etc. (don’t
over dimension, it only makes
Orthographic
Drawings
D the drawing look messy)
STEP 5
STEP 5
C

(Ex. 1 piece of cardboard 2’x3’)
D
D
ESketch
Sketch
gin 3 blocks over and 3 blocks
B -upDraw in the object line representing the overall
length (3inches or
12
blocks)
B
D
C
ne representing the overall C
length
(3inches or 12 blocks)
B Sketch the overall height
D or 8 blocks)
D
C
- Draw
(2 inches
Sketch in the object line representing
Sketch
D
B
D
ne representing the overallAD
height
(2
inches
or
8
blocks)
C
- Finish drawing the object lines that represent
the shape
2
1 the outsideCedges of 2
1
2
1
D
B shape
C
C
2
1
2
1D
2
1
D
C lines that
object lines that represent the
edges ofand
the
E outside
- Measure
draw
any
otherover
object
represent
more
surfaces
A
Place
a
point
of
origin
3
blocks
and
3
blocks
up
3
3
3
DC
4
4
4
any other object lines that represent
more surfaces
3
3
B - Draw in the object line representing
the overall length (3inches3 or 12 blocks)
Sketchand 3 blocks up
A - Place
of origin
3 blocks over
STEP
5 a point Front
View

Sketch

4

C

C

5

Sketch

4

4

5

C
2 in the1object line representing
2
1
1
C - Draw
the overall
height
(2 inchesDor 8 blocks) 2
5
A5
A5
D - Finish
represent
the
outside
edges
of
the
shape
STEP
2 drawing the object lines that
A
A
A- Draw
the
of the shape
in the
bottom right corner of 3
the sketch box (over one up one)
3
3 side view
E4- Measure
and draw any otherCobject
represent
more
surfaces
4lines that
4
5
LENGTH

LENGTH
STEP
2
Top View

D

WIDTH

C

C

WIDTH

B

Width

C

B

LENGTH
Top View

LENGTH

WIDTH

CHEAT

WIDTH
WIDTH

C

HEIGHT

A

B

A

Top View

D

D

HEIGHT

C

A

LENGTH

LENGTH

LENGTH
B - StartingLENGTH
at point #1, draw a diagonal line up to the left 5 intersections. (take
your time and hit each diagonal intersection)
C - Repeat
stepView
B for points 2, 3, 4, and 5.
Top
Top View
C
D - NowA
simply connect all 5 dots and your isometric view will be complete.
CHEAT

5

B shape
- Starting
at bottom
point #1,
draw
a diagonal
line upbox
to the
5 intersections.
(take your time and hit each diagonal intersection)
A- Draw the side view of the
in the
right
corner
of the sketch
(overleftone
up one)
C5
- Repeat
step line
B for
and 5.
B - Starting at point #1, draw
a diagonal
uppoints
to the 2,
left3,54,
intersections.
(take your
5 time and hit each diagonal intersection)
Tools Needed
D 2,
- Now
C - Repeat step B for points
3, 4,simply
and 5.connect all 5 dots and your isometric view will be complete.
A
A
D - Now simply connect all 5 dots and your isometricAview will
be complete.
Top
View

A- Draw
the side view of the shape in the bottom right corner of the sketch
(over one up one)
Top
View
Top box
View

WIDTH

HEIGHT

D

Sketch

HEIGHT

3”

Side
View
1”

1”

2 1/2"

WidTH

Side View
Width
1 1/2"

HEIGHT

3”

2”

HEIGHT

1”

D

HEIGHT

3”

3”

2 1/2”

HEIGHT
HEIGHT
1”

1”

2 1/2”

HEIGHT

HEIGHT

3”

2”

2 1/2”

2”

HEIGHT

HEIGHT

HEIGHT

2”

A

D

3”
STEP
1
D
LENGTH

WidTH
Side View
1 1/2"

Front View

Front View

C

Side View
1Top
1/2"View

Top View

1”HEIGHT

Top View

Front View

2”

Side

2”

Length
WidTH
STEP 4
STEP
4
2. LENGTH
Top View
Length
Length
STEP 1
LENGTH
3. Right Side
View LENGTH
Front View
LENGTH
LENGTH
LENGTH
LENGTH
4.Front
Dimensions
Front
View
Front View
View
Front View
5. Isometric View

2 1/2"

Height

Side
B - Draw in the object line B
representing
the object
overallline
width
(2 ½ inches
10 blocks)
- Draw in the
representing
theor
overall
width (2 ½ inches or 10 blocks)
n
C - Draw in the object line C
representing
the object
overallline
height
(2inches the
or 8overall
blocks,height
you also
have or
a dot
that represents
- Draw in the
representing
(2inches
8 blocks,
you also the
haveheight)
a dot
that represents
the height)
View
D- Finish drawing the object
thatdrawing
represent
outside
of the shape
t
D-lines
Finish
thethe
object
linesedges
that represent
the outside edges of the shape
L
Right

Right
Side
Width

D

Width

C

HEIGHT

C
2 1/2"

A

HEIGHT

CHEAT

HEIGHT

CHEAT

A

WIDTH

Side View

HEIGHT HEIGHT

HEIGHT

CHEAT

3”

WIDTH

Side View LENGTH
Front View


3

LENGTH

Front View

p
o
T

1. Front View
2.3-View
Top View
B
3.
Right
Side
View
e View
Front View
4.Drawings
Dimensions Side
ns
View
4
1.Isometric
Front
ViewView
View 5.STEP

w

HEIGHT

STEP 3

HEIGHT

STEP 3

HEIGHT

Side View

Height

o
o
WidTH
WidTH
n
n
WidTH
WidTH
2”
You   need  to  create  clear,  specific  and  labeled   drawings  (using  
rulers  and  other  drawing  
instruments)  from  
three  different  
View
Side View
SideD
View
Side View
t
t SideRight
Le
A
Le C
views  (front,  top  and  side).  Label  the  dimensions  
like  the  examples  below.  
ng
ng
Side
1
1/2"
th
h able  to  build  un.l  the  
Ddrawings  are  completed.
You  will  not  bte  
Front View

Top View
Side View
A- CHEAT Transfer the length of the shape to the top view by drawing dotted lines
A- CHEAT Transfer the length of the shape to the top view by drawing dotted lines
- Draw
the object
line representing the overall width (2 ½ inches or 10 blocks)
the length of the shape to theBtop
view
by in
drawing
B
- Draw
in the dotted
object lines
line representing the overall width (2 ½ inches or 10 blocks)
C - Finish
drawing
theobject
object
lines
represent
theedges
outside
C
Finish
drawing
the
lines
that that
represent
the outside
of theedges
shape of the shape
line representing the overall width
(2- ½
inches
or 10 blocks)
Doutside
-D
Measure
draw
any
other
object
lines
that represent
more surfaces
- Measure
andshape
draw any
other
object
lines that
represent
more surfaces
object lines that represent the
edges of and
the
any other object lines that represent more surfaces

5

BUILD A PROTOTYPE

BUILDING GUIDE

BUILD A PROTOTYPE

There are many ways to build your prototype. This building guide gives you some
hints and suggestions to consider while building yours. Trying to copy exactly the
parts shown here probably isn't a good idea. You have to make the parts fit for your
design.
However irritating it may be, I strongly recommend that you read through all of
these instructions and make sure you understand them before starting on your own
construction.

ar Race Cars

ample of

1. F i r s t g e t s o m e s t u r d y
The point of the
Solarcardboard.
Race Car
with Construction Tips
chair is to be environmentally
friendly though, so find some
used cardboard
somewhere
i n s t e a dto o f b u y i n g y o u rMotor mounted to
Axel mounted
materials.
chassis
using screw
underside of chassis

eyes.

2. Cut out the back as a rectangle
with the fold down the middle.

3. Cut a very shallow V from the
bottom of the back to cause it
to tilt backwards. About 1.5" at
the fold.

Cutout for
axle gear

Axle Gear

4. Cut the sides. They are simple
rectangles and will be mirror
images of each other.

"
This photo is taken from the bottom of the car. The chassis is built from bass wood sticks and a piece of 4
sinch
photo
is bass
takenwood
fromforthe
bottomthe
of the
car.Note
The that
chassis
is built
from
bass
wood sticks
and a piece
wide
mounting
motor.
in this
car the
motor
is mounted
underneath
the
4 chassis,
inch wide
bass
wood
for
mounting
the
motor.
Note
that
in
this
car
the
motor
is
mounted
though5.you
could how
also high
mount
the
motor
Choose
you
want
theabove. Note the cutout for the gear that is on the rear axel.
toand
be.rear
erneath
you
could
also mount
thechassis
motorusing
above.
Note
for the
gear
Also notethe
thatchassis,
theseat
frontthough
axels
are mounted
to the
screw
eyes.the
It cutout
is important
to make
the
front
rear
axelsAlso
parallel
to each
other.
is on
theand
rear
axel.
note
that the
front and rear axels are mounted to the chassis using screw

6. Cut slots in the bottom of the
s. It is important
to make the front and rear axels parallel to each other. Note the use of alligator
back parallel to the long edges
>
Note
the
use
of
alligator
clips to attach theto
motor’s
electrical
wires to the solar cell.
s to attach the motor’s
the solar
module.
to for electrical
the sides. wires
The slots

"
"
"
"
"
"
"
"

should be less than the
height of the seat chosen.
7. Cut matching slots in the sides.
These slots have to be at an
angle to match the tilt of the
back, and long enough to reach
down to the top of the slots in
the back.
8.Cut the support beams and
seat.
!

!"
6

9. Fold the beams twice along
their length to give a triangular
cross section.
10. Cut holes to receive the
beams. The holes should be
triangular with the top of the
triangle parallel to the bottom of
the side. The fit should be
snug. The holes on opposite sides
should be the same, but front and
back holes might be different if
your beams' cross-sections are
not equilateral (As seen in this
case.)

11. Cut a slot in the back at the
appropriate height to receive
the seat. Note that as the
back slants and is bent, the
slot is not straight (the halves
should be parallel to the `V'
at the bottom, and should be
symmetric. The slot will have
to be wider than the seat
thickness because of the
distance of the seat from the
ground.
12. Slot the back into each of the
sides.

13. Push the beams through the
holes. Pushing them outwards
from the inside, both through one
side first should be easiest.

7

14. Slide the seat through the
slot in the back from in front. The
seat should be supported by the
bottom of the slot and the tops of
the beams.

15. C u t a r m s i n t h e s i d e s
a c c o r d i n g t o yo u r t a s t e ,
comfort, artistic flair.
16. For extra strength, this model
of chair has additional supports
made of U-folded rectangles of
cardboard. These help to stop
the back and sides moving. For
each of these, (there are fourone at the top and bottom of each
of the side/back joints). Cut short
parallel slots in the back (side) so
that one falls on either side of the
side (back). Push the U-shaped
piece through both slots when the
chair is assembled, to strengthen
the joint as shown below.

This design was listed in "Critics' Choice" of the
Education Guardian 24th January 2006:
Art and Design - Take a Seat

8

ENGINEERING LOGS

EXAMPLE

Describe what you did today. Mention any problems
you had, design changes or questions.

Make a labeled sketch that shows what you did.

LOG #1 Date: _________________
__________________________________________
__________________________________________
__________________________________________
__________________________________________
__________________________________________
__________________________________________
__________________________________________
__________________________________________
__________________________________________
__________________________________________
__________________________________________
YES I used complete sentences to describe my progress

YES My drawing is large enough and centered in the space

YES My description is neatly written and legible

YES My line quality is sharp and precise (no smudges)

YES I used key terms when possible

YES Labels and dimensions are OUTSIDE the drawing

9

Describe what you did today. Mention any problems
you had, design changes or questions.

Make a labeled sketch that shows what you did.

LOG #2 Date: _________________
__________________________________________
__________________________________________
__________________________________________
__________________________________________
__________________________________________
__________________________________________
__________________________________________
__________________________________________
__________________________________________
__________________________________________
__________________________________________
YES I used complete sentences to describe my progress

YES My drawing is large enough and centered in the space

YES My description is neatly written and legible

YES My line quality is sharp and precise (no smudges)

YES I used key terms when possible

YES Labels and dimensions are OUTSIDE the drawing

Describe what you did today. Mention any problems
you had, design changes or questions.

Make a labeled sketch that shows what you did.

LOG #3 Date: _________________
__________________________________________
__________________________________________
__________________________________________
__________________________________________
__________________________________________
__________________________________________
__________________________________________
__________________________________________
__________________________________________
__________________________________________
__________________________________________
YES I used complete sentences to describe my progress

YES My drawing is large enough and centered in the space

YES My description is neatly written and legible

YES My line quality is sharp and precise (no smudges)

YES I used key terms when possible

YES Labels and dimensions are OUTSIDE the drawing

10

Describe what you did today. Mention any problems
you had, design changes or questions.

Make a labeled sketch that shows what you did.

LOG #4 Date: _________________
__________________________________________
__________________________________________
__________________________________________
__________________________________________
__________________________________________
__________________________________________
__________________________________________
__________________________________________
__________________________________________
__________________________________________
__________________________________________
YES I used complete sentences to describe my progress

YES My drawing is large enough and centered in the space

YES My description is neatly written and legible

YES My line quality is sharp and precise (no smudges)

YES I used key terms when possible

YES Labels and dimensions are OUTSIDE the drawing

Describe what you did today. Mention any problems
you had, design changes or questions.

Make a labeled sketch that shows what you did.

LOG #5 Date: _________________
__________________________________________
__________________________________________
__________________________________________
__________________________________________
__________________________________________
__________________________________________
__________________________________________
__________________________________________
__________________________________________
__________________________________________
__________________________________________
YES I used complete sentences to describe my progress

YES My drawing is large enough and centered in the space

YES My description is neatly written and legible

YES My line quality is sharp and precise (no smudges)

YES I used key terms when possible

YES Labels and dimensions are OUTSIDE the drawing

11

COMPLETE DECISION

My prototype’s performance was: (Check one)
___ Exceptional: it worked every time it was tested and needed no repairs
Some reasons for this are:
1. _____________________________________________________________________________
2. _____________________________________________________________________________
3. _____________________________________________________________________________

___ Very good: it worked most of the time it was tested and didn’t need any (or many) repairs
Some reasons for this are:
1. _____________________________________________________________________________
2. _____________________________________________________________________________
3. _____________________________________________________________________________

___ Good: it worked some of the time it was tested and needed repairs
Some reasons for this are:
1. _____________________________________________________________________________
2. _____________________________________________________________________________
3. _____________________________________________________________________________

___ Not good: it didn’t really work
Some reasons for this are:
1. _____________________________________________________________________________
2. _____________________________________________________________________________
3. _____________________________________________________________________________
Things that I redesigned (changed)

What the changes did

1. _____________________________________

1. _____________________________________

2. _____________________________________

2. _____________________________________

3. ____________________________________

3. _____________________________________

Things I’d do differently next time

What these might do

1. _____________________________________

1. _____________________________________

2. _____________________________________

2. _____________________________________

3. ____________________________________

3. _____________________________________

12

OPEN RESPONSE: MAKING THE SHELF
A design for a wooden shelf is shown below. The materials available for construction include one 1" × 8" × 7 '
A design
forbrackets
a wooden with
shelf is
shown below.
Theand
materials
available for1construction
include
one Examples of the
11
board, four
wooden
shelf
backer
boards,
twenty-four
1/4” wood
screws.

1
1" × 8" × 7beneath
' board, four
shelf
with backer boards, and 24 1 4 " wood screws.
materials are illustrated
thewooden
design
of brackets
the shelf.
Examples of the materials are illustrated beneath the design of the shelf.
Finished Product
8"

3'
8"

Side view
Design
6"

2'

6"

Top view
Materials
8"

7'
2"

6"

1"

14
Side view

Front view

Brackets

Sue wants to make two of these 3-foot-long shelves using these materials.

Sue wants to makea.two
of these
3-foot-long
using these
materials.
Describe
the steps
Sue shouldshelves
take to complete
this project.
Include in your discussion the tools
a) Describe the stepsSue
Sue
should
take
to complete
this project. Include in your discussion the tools Sue needs to
needs
to use
in each
step.
use in each step.
b. Identify
describe
one safety Sue
precaution
to in
follow
in completing
project.
b) Identify and describe
ONEand
safety
precaution
needsSue
toneeds
follow
completing
the the
project.
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13

APPLIED TECHNOLOGY & ENGINEERING

Cardboard Chair Project
Name: ______________________________________
Date: __________________ Grade: ____ Section: ____

GOAL #1: I   CAN   apply   the   Engineering   Design  

GOAL#2: I   CAN   select   and   judge   which   tools,  

process   to   imagine,   plan   and   build   solu%ons   to  
situa%ons  involving  bioengineering.

materials   and  methods  are  the   best   and  safest   to  use  
when  making  a  prototype.

This is how I’ll do it...

This is how I’ll do it...

a. I will make a collection of isometric concept
drawings that shows different ways to solve a
bioengineering problem. [p.3]

a. I will wear safety goggles and follow all safety
procedures in the workshop without reminders.

0

1

2

3

4

b. I will have an explanation for my “best idea” with
specific reasons and supporting details. [p.4]
0

1

2

3

4

c. I will make three-view orthographic drawings
of my “best idea” with measurements & labels
that others can follow. [p.5]
0

1

2

3

4

d. I will complete open response question(s) about
technology & engineering [p.13]
0

1

2

3

Engineering Log #1 [p.9]
1

2

3

4

1

2

3

4

Engineering Log #3 [p.10]
0

1

2

3

4

Engineering Log #4 [p.11]
0

1

2

3

4

Engineering Log #5 [p.11]
0

1

2

3

1

2

3
Final Score

3

4

b. I’ll keep track of my materials and not need
any replacement parts.
0

1

2

3

4

c. I will clean up my work space and put tools
and materials back where they belong.
0

1

2

3

4

d. I will pass the tool-use license test(s) for this
project.
0

1

2

3

4

Final Score

GOAL#3: I  CAN  explain  and   defend  my  reasons  for  

the   tools   and   materials   I   use   when   building  
prototypes.

a. I will follow my production drawings and
building guide to make cardboard furniture fit for
an “average” middle school student.
0

4

1

2

3

4

b. I will build a prototype that looks like a
finished product without any loose parts,
damaged or rough surfaces, dents, gouges or
globs of glue.
0

4

f. I will collect and display data about my prototype
and use it to evaluate how well it worked. [p.12]
0

2

This is how I’ll do it...

Engineering Log #2 [p.10]
0

1

4

e. I will keep track of my progress and design
changes by completing engineering logs during the
project.

0

0

1

2

3

4

c. I will build, test and demonstrate a prototype
that is sturdy, holds together and doesn’t need
repairs between multiple uses.
0

1

2

3

4

Final Score

14