This year, the theme for the annual Cardboard Challenge was How Might We be Better Together, by Sharing the Gift of Play?

This year’s challenge was inspired by a young boy named Cain who lives in L.A. With a love for building things and tinkering, Cain followed his curiosities and built his own arcade out of cardboard boxes in his dad’s auto shop.

MV students began their design challenge by interviewing others in their class to learn how/where/what they like to play. From these interviews, the designers defined common play themes that resonated with their interviewees.

As a team, the students sketched a design prototype, shared it with their users for feedback, then made changes and sketched the improved design on blueprint paper.

During their build time on the Courtyard, the designers created a higher-res version of their sketched prototype. The prototype, however, had to be sized to fit in a cardboard box, about the size of a gift box.

After their build time, student designers took their creations back to their classrooms to share with the users behind the idea.

A group of grade 5 leaders, named the Cardboard Crew, partnered with Director of Media and Maker Programs Jim Tiffin to help plan and execute this year’s Cardboard Challenge.

Members of the Cardboard Crew:
Tina Alfred
C. C. Collins
Jackson Greene
Mary Laborde
Ansley LaCoste
Kade Minutaglio
Grant Reynolds
Mallory Schmidt
Siena Tiffin
Gabriel Zagoria

The Cardboard Crew met with Mr. Tiffin ahead of time to set norms for the day, work on the schedule and share ideas that they had.

From their meetings, they helped set the stage for the day of the challenge. When each group came to the Courtyard, the Cardboard Crew shared the norms that they created with the students.

The norms were:
– Products must fit into a gift sized box
– You must fill out interview sheets prior to your build
– You must have a build permit
– Completing a Range Finder is optional
– Don’t leave anyone out
– Have fun!

While Kindergarten through grade 5 were participating in their Cardboard Challenge on the Courtyard, Preschool students were on the Frontier creating their own version of the Cardboard Challenge, where they designed, had fun and explored.

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