What’s black and white and “read” all over – and sometimes even used to make chairs?
Well, newspapers, of course.
A class of Oxford High School (OHS) students learned just how strong newspaper can be when they spent last week constructing chairs out of nothing but newspapers and twine.
The project was completed as part of the OHS Lawrence Tech Dual Enrollment course.
Students will graduate this challenging year-long course with four college credits– two for Introduction to Engineering and two for a Computer Aided Design (CAD) and Engineering class.
While the chairs’ themselves may be quite ready for mass production, they did teach the students a few important things about the art of design and manufacturing, according to OHS Mathematics/ Mechatronics Teacher Philip Kimmel.
“Projects like this one help make things more fun. We have to think about real life and not just about equations. When you design something, you’re not just designing something so that it works; you’re designing something so that you can manufacture it. It’s not just designing a chair, it’s designing a chair with specific specifications in mind that you have to adhere to,” said Kimmel.
For the project, students had several “specifications” they needed to follow.
Each of the groups had to build a functional chair with four legs (at least 30 centimeters long), a fully-constructed “seat” piece, along with a “back” piece to provide further support.
They were also required to be modular-– with leg, seat, and back pieces all maintaining the ability to be disassembled and reassembled.
The seat also had to hold the weight of an adult or, in this case, the weight of Kimmel.
“Some of the students have been taking my measurements. I am the customer and they’re designing according to that,” Kimmel said.
At the end of the project, the class of 12 students had built six chairs.
All newspapers used during the project were donated by Sherman Publications, Inc., owner and publisher of The Oxford Leader.