MHCC Engineering Students Compete in Annual Cardboard Challenge

Posted: December 4, 2013

First, there were functional chairs, then two-person, human-powered boat races on the campus pond; followed by cars and last year, pedestrian bridges – and everything was crafted from cardboard, glue and duct tape. This year’s version of the annual “Cardboard Challenge” requires Mt. Hood Community College engineering students to devise and build a system to deliver 12 16-ounce bottles of frosty beverage across a 12-foot chasm to three thirsty MHCC instructors, Troy Donaldson, Andy Dryden and Tom McCormack.

Come out and watch what happens – Dec. 5, 3 – 5 p.m., in the 1600s courtyard on the Gresham Campus, 26000 S.E. Stark St. Parking is free on all MHCC campuses, no permit required.

The weight of whatever delivery system the students create, as well as speed of delivery, will be factored into the contest. In addition, the instructors have put six rules into place for the students:

  1. No student can cross the chasm.
  2. No part of the device can reach down and touch the ground past the edge of the chasm…unless it crosses to the other side.
  3. The “lightest” device wins.
  4. Duct tape and glue will be considered cardboard for weight considerations.
  5. No throwing frosty beverages at the instructors. (They can’t catch.)
  6. Bottles will be open and cannot spill.

“The purpose of the annual cardboard challenge is to help students learn strategies for collaborating with others,” says Dryden. “Engineering students are engineering students because they want to make stuff. As instructors, we like to give them that educational opportunity – and have a little fun with it.”

For more information, media professionals may contact the Office of College Advancement at 503-491-7204 or

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 Last Modified: 12/4/2013 02:06:34 PM