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What do you do with the pizza box after enjoying the contents? Dispose of it in the trash can, right? Or maybe you drop it at the recycling centre? 

What if we tell you that a pizza box can be transformed into a tool that opens your children’s mind to the world of robotics and engineering.

Cardboard is the overlooked but great hero of STEM Education. It’s not difficult to work with, and your creative mind truly is the constraint of what you can make with it. 

Your local Dominos uses hundreds of boxes daily which most of them goes to landfills, some end up polluting the environment.

Dominos boxes can serve as a constant supply of cardboard materials for creating some awesome robotics projects. Presently that may sound crazy — how’s a box expected to teach engineering? — yet the greatest piece of STEM and STEAM learning is that it is based on everyday experiences and how we can solve simple everyday challenges.

We pull from the entirety of our experience and information when making something, and the more children are introduced to this level of critical thinking and problem solving, the more experience they have to become future problem solvers.

Some of the amazing projects that can be created using a pizza box as part of the components include:

A robotics arm

The robot arm using hydraulics to control the joints was able to pick up and plastic cups and bottles from one position to another

Components 

  • Dominos box
  • Syringe and tube from your local pharmacy 
  • Glue 
  • Food colouring 
  • Skewer stick from your local supermarket or stationery store
  • Cardboard paper from your local supermarket

A truck

This truck was modeled after our local garbage truck that picks up trash from the STEM hub. It can compress trash and empty it’s load just like the truck that visits the STEM hub weekly.

Components 

  • Dominos box
  • Syringe and tube from your local pharmacy 
  • Glue 
  • Skewer stick from your local supermarket or stationary store
  • Cardboard paper from your local supermarket

These and many more are some of the projects that can be done using that “pizza box”.

Thinking “outside-the-box” isn’t only a typical saying—it’s a mentality Having your children play without set principles or rules energizes their creative mind and autonomy. A car? A truck? Regardless of what it is, changing a cardboard box expects children to check out what they have and make an arrangement to transform the vision they have in their minds into reality. From cardboard to a robot arm isn’t an easy fit for a child to casually do, it requires thinking which is what we want them to undertake in becoming creative scientists and engineers.

We constructed a garbage truck some weeks ago and till today my students still play with it! They made the plan and I did the cutting and glueing. Activities like this can be great for family bonding and also learning science and engineering design processes.

Engaging in STEM builds a form of experience in science and engineering for the kids.  What happens when you cut a circle here? Make a square here? Children may not know it, yet by physically altering the dimension of the box they’re taking part in STEM. The idea is that you can take a pile of Dominos boxes which is basically trash, and turn them into something that’s easy to work, using basic tools that kids can handle. The accessibility of cardboard makes it a great first material for kids to build something three-dimensional and large-scale.  

So the next time you’re visiting Dominos remember to take the box home for some science with your kids. And keep in mind that cardboard isn’t the only household object that can teach a STEM lesson.

You can enrol your children for STEM classes and give them an opportunity to learn 21st century STEM skills by reaching us on +2349091095057.

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